“CLOSER TO THE musicians,” Darren Moore, artistic director of the C.H.O.P.P.A. Experimental Music Festival urged the audience as we sat cross-legged on the floor. Obediently, we wriggled our bums across the floor, as musicians Yong Yandsen and Daysuke Takaoka wielded their instruments and took their seats less than a metre away from the audience.
As purple and yellow spotlights cast gentle hues on the performers in the pitch-black room, we braced ourselves to be reeled in for an intimate musical experience.
C.H.O.P.P.A., which ran from 22nd to 24th January at LASALLE College of The Arts, took experimental music fans on a thrilling yet well-paced journey. The festival, previously held in 2008 and 2010, showcased prominent musicians including Toshimaru Nakamura, Gerry Hemingway, Anla Courtis and members from homegrown experimental and electronica band The Observatory.
Moore, who is a lecturer of Music at LASALLE, played the drums on all three nights with bands Game of Patience, Tim O’Dwyer Trio and string-instrumentalist Xu Fengxia. Moore had started C.H.O.P.P.A. in 2007 as a monthly experimental series, but developed it into a music festival the following year and has brought C.H.O.P.P.A. to new heights since it first started.