Yeung Sin-tung Jessie: Dasein

November 15, 2023 / ISCM – HONG KONG SECTION

Yeung Sin-tung Jessie is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), majoring in Music and minoring in Government and Public Administration and Theology. She previously studied at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and was a student in its Junior Music Programme. Upon leaving Munsang College, she studied composition with Ms. Poly Ng Hau-yee, Dr. Phoebus Lee Kar-tai, and Ms. Li Kar-yee. She was granted a scholarship under the Hong Kong Composers’ Guild Mentorship Scheme and to study with Prof. Wendy Lee in the GalaMusica•School Chamber Compositions 2019, organised by Hong Kong’s Education Bureau. She created signature tunes representing the four core collections of the Hong Kong Museum of Art under the guidance of Mr. Chiu Tsang-hei. She is now a double bassist for the Hong Kong Youth Chinese Orchestra and a member of the CUHK Woodball Team.Yeung also actively takes part in theatrical productions, including The City Talks (2022, scriptwriter and sound designer) under the Jockey Club “Project Silver” Intergenerational art project organised by the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, Hear, We Dance and Mou6 Jin4 Cing1 Hang4 (2021-22) under the Jockey Club “In Search of Voice in a Cramped City” Dance Education Programme organised by Passoverdance, and Mind, and Hours II (2021) organised by XTRAMENTAL. Yeung would like to express music’s simplicity and intrinsic qualities through performance and composition, exerting herself to explore the essence and inwardness of music in this boundless world of art.

Dasein (2022) is a German term referring to “existence or determinate being” famously interpreted by Heidegger, where “da” means “there” and “sein” means “to be.” During the COVID times, I felt lost, and insomnia stole my sleep. I watched Soul, the Pixar comedy-drama directed by Pete Doctor and turned my attention to the concept of “Existence” and “Purposes of Life.”“What are we supposed to do with our lives? What is the meaning of life?” Life should be an end in itself. Being alive, aka, Dasein, weighs meaning. Being meaningless in life also embraces the meaning of being alive. Life should not be solely driven by purpose. Or else, it makes life very hard. Every breeze of wind, a moment of calm, a smile, a moment of being in love, embraced Dasein and arose every spark of life. This piece is divided into three sections with the concept of “Mineness,” “Being-in-the-world,” and “Mindfulness” in Dasein, inspired by the following three quotes.

“We are ourselves the entities to be analysed… if I am the being for whom being is a question – ‘to be or not to be’ – then the question of being is mine to be, one way or another.” – Mineness

“If the being of being human is defined by mineness, then my being is not a matter of indifference to be.” – Being-in-the-world. 

“Calm down and take it easy.” – Mindfulness

Martina Jembrišak (accordion) and Emanuel Pavon (cello)
from the 2022 Hong Kong Contemporary Music Festival program “Global Delights – Concert with Accordion & Chamber Ensemble”
on December 16, 2022
Presented by the Hong Kong Composers’ Guild