About the Project
I think I’ve always been under the impression that I want all my show to be original works. It’s been 2 years since the first and I’ve only barely composed four songs. But I’ve just been dying to do a new show. I sat down and I said “I want to do a show but I don’t want to force this music out.” You can’t rush music. Music comes to you. I said, “Wait I don’t have to compose music to do a show. If I want to do a show, I’ll do a show.” I’ll showcase music I’ve seen, I’ll showcase it to my audience and there’s nothing wrong with that.
I’m showcasing a lot of Japanese songs in this concert, which I was afraid to do so in the past because a lot of people don’t understand Japanese, and I wasn’t sure how they would receive that. My attitude in my first show was that I wanted to please everyone’s ears with music that they would understand. But I feel like music is limitless; instrumental pieces have no lyrics and people still appreciate them, so I figured for Japanese music, think of it as an instrumental piece. Just because you don’t understand the lyrics doesn’t mean you can’t understand the music. Doesn’t mean you don’t feel the emotions I’m trying to convey. I think it was that revelation of not holding back anymore, not having to be like, “Oh, are people going to like this? Are people going to like that I’m covering songs? Are people going to think I’m not original by doing cover songs?” I think once I let go of these worries and just presented myself as an artist doing songs, and being very honest about it, too, honest that I know I haven’t composed recently. But why would people care? I think that was a major obstacle I overcame. Once I let that go, it was really easy.
I think even including the three vocalists that I’ve invited to join me in this show; it’s really to showcase different styles of these special artist and what they’re backgrounds are. All of them have different backgrounds. I’m proud of us for being able to hold on to music while doing other things with our lives. I think it’s a special energy when people come together to make music. It’s a special connection that is pretty hard to explain and you really have to be a part of that to experience it. What’s really cool is that even audience members will experience it when two musicians click; it’s this aura that resonates.... I can’t even put it to words.
I think the purpose [of this show] is pure experimentation; I’m doing a lot of things I haven’t done before. I’m doing piano vocal solo, piano vocal + guest vocalist, pure instrumental, me standing up singing, a capella. I’m basically hitting every range of my vocal range; I go low, high, midrange. I’m just playing around and experimenting with different sounds. There’s going to be an audio-visual portion of the concert (“into the world"), which I’m really looking forward to sharing with everyone. There are just a lot of different elements. Fresh elements to me at least, that would make me feel like a performer. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a show and depending on how well this goes, I might do more shows in the future. To identify my identity, I think that’s the goal. And to experiment with singing with other music, doing music with other people, and I think I want the audience to take away the view that I have of music. To become one with music, to immerse yourself into music, and just feel; to have the emotions resonate within your soul.
-Brian Tong, 6/24/18