A Year of Experiments
Rethinking education—this is how Aura Music was started and it is still the lighthouse guiding our direction and development. 2022 is a special year. We made bolder moves and did experiments in the design and the launch of new events. We reorganised and introduced more programmes to enable the creativity of education through music.
Here is our journey for the year 2022:
Artist Chat & Music Connect
Concert schedules in Hong Kong have been heavily disrupted by the new wave of the pandemic and strict social distancing measures in the first half of the year. Our concert-based programme Artist Chat and Music Connect are affected therefore. We were only able to organise two Artist Chat during the first half of the year. Live concerts are back in the fall, and we were able to organise 10 sessions of Zoom under our programmes Artist Chat and Music Connect.
Artist Chat is designed to discover different characters and sides of an artist as a human being. Artists with different backgrounds and ways of seeing could share their lives and vision with the audience. Music Connect is the discovery of connection between music and another area of subjects. Music is the best connector and we hope to bring audiences to new learning and exploration by showing the bridges between them.
During the period, we have talked to Artist Director of Beare’s Premiere Music Festival Cho-Liang Lin, cellist Jamal Aliyev, astronomy enthusiast Wen Ling Chan, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, art therapist Howard Ho, conductor Stephen Lam, composer Daniel Lo, multimedia artist Yu Wing Yan, writer Lee Yat Hong, pianist Tony Siqi Yun, Nancy Loo and Rachel Cheung, LENK Quartet and Cong Quartet. You may notice we invited not only musicians, but also guests of different backgrounds. Aura Music is more than just about music after all.
Aura for Kids
We launched our first Aura for Kids programme “The Carnival of Animals” in May. We try to stimulate children’s imaginations with music. Listening to Saint-Säens’ The Carnival of Animals, instead of offering the original titles at the very beginning, we asked the children to guess and explain what animals the music would be describing. The listening session ended with cellist Kilian playing the Swan live. We worked closely with illustrator visual artist Maoshan Connie to offer an art and craft session using recycled material. Although the first session was hosted on Zoom, we moved on to organise in-person events around different places in Hong Kong – in a coffee shop, in a children’s caring space, in a bookstore, at the Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre, inside the backstage of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre etc.
For the Mid-Autumn Festival, we also initiated a festival-themed event “Hello Moon”. The event started with an astronomy session with Wen Ling, followed by listening to Beethoven’s Moonlight sonata and Debussy’s Clair de lune played by pianist Jenny and ended with an art and craft time of lantern-making with illustrator Pui Hung.
We try to incorporate bite-size play-based learning in our programme to keep the session fun and interesting. We hope these interactive sessions could unlock new learning for children.
Aside from zoom events and in-person workshops, we also started commissioning articles about music’s connection to different subjects such as arts, history, literature, psychology, and sociology. Our first article “O Fortuna! The Charm of the Wheel of Fortune” written by Remi was published in October. More articles are expected in the coming month. Stay Tuned!
2022 has been a fruitful year. With new experiments in launching new programmes, we hope to stay curious on where music can lead. We would like to give our sincerest gratitude to all our partners, guests, and participants without which everything we did won’t be made possible. We look forward to new exploration in 2023. Happy New Year!