Lee Kar-tai Phoebus: Wanderlust

October 19, 2022 / ISCM – HONG KONG SECTION

Lee Kar-tai Phoebus (b. 1986) received his Doctor of Music from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His works have been presented at various international music platforms and conferences, including The Asian Composers’ League Conference and Festival, The Chinese Composers’ Festival, Hong Kong Art Festival, Hong Kong Contemporary Music Festival, Hong Kong Week of Taiwan, International Rostrum of Composers, Musicarama, Singapore Asian Composers’ Festival, SOUND-IMAGination, soundSCAPE Festival in Italy, WASBE Conference, and contemporary music festivals in Japan, Indonesia, Israel, Latvia, Mongolia, Shanghai, Switzerland. Many of his works were commissioned and performed by renowned performing groups and artists from England, France, Germany, Greek, Hong Kong, Korea, Netherland, Switzerland, Taiwan, USA. Recent works include Lueur d’une chandelle sur paravent au paysage premiered by Ensemble Télémaque from France and Hua Yifei from Shanghai Music Conservatory on Sheng, Withered Lotuses and Drooping Willows Speak of Our Times premiered by the Hong Kong City Chamber Orchestra and Wuji Ensemble leader Mavis Lam on pipa, duet for violin and viola Everlasting is the Moon, and pieces from Hong Kong Odyssey, a staged and multimedia music concert production by the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Dews on Bamboo LeavesA Lagoon of CloudsNostalgia in Four RhymesPyrus Flower in Rain are some of his published works and recorded works. Phoebus Lee is a freelance composer, a part-time lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, a guest lecturer at the Education University of Hong Kong, a daily-music listing programme researcher at RTHK Radio 4, an invited composer-tutor for the Hong Kong Arts Festival Young Composers’ Workshop, and adjudicator and speaker for the competitions and seminars organized by the Education Bureau. He is one of the council members of the Hong Kong Composers’ Guild, as well as one of the directors of the Hong Kong Kyudo Association.

About Wanderlust, the composer has written: The pandemic of COVID-19 has been restricting our distance travelling and activities of outreaching local and foreign areas. The work takes the desire and urge of travelling and not-just-to-stay-home feeling of many people to make resonance with audience. Despite of the limited physical displacement, our mind is still set to be free and liberal without boundaries, which is more valuable than ever before. Restrictions, however, give us courage and unlimited possibilities to the realm that we might have not considered before and yet to be explored nowadays and in the future. The set-up of a range of percussion instruments on stage may also project the social distancing concept which is a core part of the recent everyday life of us, alongside with our masked life which we have been forced to get used to. The work include elements of leisure attitude, nostalgic mood, meditational atmosphere, impatience and impetuosity, rage, desire, and a bit of sorrow. It departs for a cultural exploration through rhythms; it explores various states of mind with pitches and seeks comfort in harmony. The piece does not carry an ending, as if what we may question about the current situation.