New Music 20x12
20 outstanding new works, each lasting 12 minutes, commissioned to feature centre stage of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Liz Liew and Andy LeungLiz Liew and Andy Leung

XX/XY

The Chinese New Year celebrations heralded in the Year of the Dragon and with it the dramatic unveiling of XX/XY – an East meets West fusion of new music. The work is inspired by the competition of life – from the battle of the sexes (female XX/male XY chromosomes) to the competitive spirit of the Olympics and Paralympics.

New Music 20x12 is the brainchild of Jillian Barker and David Cohen who wanted to put new music at the heart of the Olympic celebrations in 2012. It is delivered by PRS for Music Foundation in partnership with BBC Radio 3, London 20x12 and NMC Recordings. For a full list of funding partners click here.


Artists

Liz Chi Yen Liew violin
Andy Leung electronics
Fran Bartlett cello
Dennis Kwong Thye Lee xiao
Bernie Gardner drums & Urban Youth Junk Band percussion

About Liz Liew

Liz was born in the suburbs of North London to Singaporean/Malaysian parents. She learnt the piano and violin from an early age, gained a Bachelor of Science in music at City University and gained her Licentiate of Guildhall School of Music and Drama (LGSM) with honours. Extensive gigging led her to perform, tour and record with a wide range of artists including Moby, Gnarls Barkley, Goldfrapp, Nelly Furtado, Lamb, Asian Dub Foundation, KLF/Orb and Barry Adamson.

In the late 1990s she formed a band with her sister Sarah called Chi2, a charismatic blend of ‘east meets west’ rhythms and melodies. Chi2 blends Chinese instruments with electric violins and beats, performing at festivals and gigs up and down the UK. Inspired by their tour of South East Asia they wrote Monkey King – A Modern Beijing Opera – with producer Tom E Morrison. The opera was performed throughout the UK in 2008 (as part of the CHINA NOW season) and 2009 with the support of Arts Council England; a CD was released to accompany the show, featuring special guest Kuljit Bhamra on tabla and Indian percussion.

Her unique blend of Chinese instruments with electronics has led to commissions including Time is Like Water Flowing a soundtrack to multi-disciplinary spectacle commissioned by Greenwich and Docklands Festival. This was a collaboration with Tom E Morrison in 2008, culminating in seven shows at London’s O2 Arena. This poetic evocation of the four seasons combined aerial acrobatics (by French group Les Passengers),with innovative multi-media effects (visuals duo 8gg) and epic Chinese landscape painting (Beijing visual artist Yan Huang). She and Tom released an album featuring music from this show under the guise of LT Chi Sound System and are planning live shows.

Other writing credits include a co-write on Lamb’s album Between Darkness and Wonder and music for Channel 4 documentary Birthday Girl. Chi2′s music has been used on BBC Radio 4 and BBC TV news, in short films and art installations.

 

About Andy Leung

Andy Leung is a songwriter, DJ, multi-instrumentalist and producer. He studied Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) at the University of Surrey and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree, mastering his skills as a multi-instrumentalist and recording engineer.

He first appeared on the music scene with the band Introducing – a 10 piece band remaking DJ Shadow’s seminal debut album Endtroducing note-to-note. His iconic solo on the track Organ Donar captivated the attention of online communities; the video has had thousands of views on YouTube. Since then, he has performed in the UK’s best live venues and festivals (including Jazz Café and Bestival) and continues to tour internationally.

Regarded as the listeners’ “Favorite DJ”, his DJ residence at Chinese Spectrum International Radio has also gained him an enormous UK-based audience. His weekly show was the first to focus on Chinese youth culture in Britain, and pioneered a new generation of broadcasters and media personalities.

He is the youngest composer to be selected for the New Music 20 x 12. Andy feels “This is a great opportunity to be creative, different and showcase our heritage. I am thrilled to be part of it and cannot wait for the performance; I am so honored to be part of this project.”

 

Chinatown Arts Space

Chinatown Arts Space (CAS) was established in 2005 as a non-profit making arts organisation to champion British East Asian (BEA*) performing and visual artists, and address the significant gap in provision for this sector in the UK. CAS encourages innovation in both traditional East Asian and contemporary arts, with a focus on collaboration and cross-artforms. Our vision is to showcase excellent East Asian artists and engage the British public, particularly children and young people, in the discovery of BEA arts for entertainment, education and social cohesion.

 

 

XX/XY

The performance of XX/XY at Trafalgar Square, London, was recorded by the BBC on the 15 July 2012 and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 18 August 2012.

This work is available on NMC in mp3 and FLAC download formats. (See below)

VIDEO

Liz Liew and Andy Leung, and Chinatown Arts Space

MUSIC MAP

FUNDERS

New Music 20x12 is the brainchild of Jillian Barker and David Cohen who wanted to put new music at the heart of the Olympic celebrations in 2012. It is delivered by PRS for Music Foundation in partnership with BBC Radio 3, London 20x12 and NMC Recordings. For a full list of funding partners click here.