Lawyer-writers Elaine Chiew, Jeffrey Lim and I did a tag-team unpacking of the legal, ethical and commercial issues around typical publishing contracts for a room of fellow writers today. Sing Lit Station's Jon Gresham designed a study "The Strange Case of Mathilda Xi" (any resemblance to real life is disclaimed) for our discussion and ably steered it. We hope the audience found the workshop to be practical and helpful. Big thanks to Jon for moderating & Sing Lit Station for hosting!
... is the subject of The A-List's video featurette, the latest in their "Dreams" series!
"Ola I ka Makana ma ke Akua" (Life is a gift from God), and Aloha is the gift that we bless you with this Christmas... it is such a honour to present Hula to many at Christmas festivals in the city, neighbourhood, in homes and everywhere!
SURE ON THIS SHINING NIGHT: A CHRISTMAS CONCERT FOR ALL
Weary from your busy year? Join these young professional musicians on a rejuvenating journey of Christmas music. Let the songs of the great composers including Handel, Mozart, Schubert, Ravel, Debussy, Britten and Bernstein soothe your ears. Be the first to hear Lee Jin Jun & Aaron Lee’s newly composed “Christmas Shopping”, a satire on Singapore’s favourite pastime. Adam’s “O Holy Night” will fill you with awe and your soul will be comforted by Andrea Bocelli’s “The Prayer”. Luxuriate in the sounds of the season!
"In our drive to do things better with the help of technology, we need to be careful not to start thinking and acting like machines. To go down that road is to lose our humanity."
- Aaron, speaking about Compliance and A.I. at the FinLab labcrawl, Singapore FinTech Festival 2017
Aaron collaborates with Cultural Medallion awardee Dr Kelly Tang to compose new songs for national schools
"Our hope is that students can relate to these songs and feel proud that they're written by fellow Singaporeans. We're hoping for these songs to be just the beginning, to empower and encourage young people to write their own songs," Dr Kelly Tang, senior academy officer for music at the Singapore Teachers' Academy for the Arts (STAR), at the launch of the ‘Stories We Sing’.
‘Stories We Sing’ is a joint project by NAC and STAR to further improve the quality of music teaching and learning in schools with the creation of contemporary songs with a local touch. The songs were composed by a group of seven educators and 12 artists, including Cultural Medallion recipients Kelly Tang and Liang Wern Fook.
-the National Arts Council
THE GOOD PEOPLE OF SWF: AARON LEE
Aaron Lee is a poet whose work has been published in several anthologies and poetry collections. Lines Spark Code, an anthology of 41 poems by established and emerging voices, was launched this Wednesday and was co-edited by him. A prominent mentor to young writers, Aaron also actively contributes to the literary scene by conducting workshops and seminars on creative writing. We asked him what compels him to write.
Q: Complete this sentence: “I write because_______________”
A: “I write because I am done with remembering. The phrase ‘done with remembering’ comes from one of my poems ‘Last Light’, which is about poetry as [a] testament and witness.”
-Aaron Lee, 45, poet, SWF steering committee member, and featured SWF author
#GoodPeopleOfSWF #SWF2017 #sgwritersfest #swfaram
Last Light can be found in Five Right Angles (Ethos Books, 2007).
Copies of Lines Spark Code and Aaron’s poetry collection Coastlands are on sale at our festival bookstore. Purchase your festival pass here po.st/SWFFestPass for a 10% discount!
(by Ethan Leong)
“For when the consequence is at an end/ The dream must end.”
– Old Man, “Purgatory” by WB Yeats
The celebrated Irish writer William Butler Yeats dealt in words that gave “expression to the spirit of a whole nation” (1923 Nobel prize citation). His defining sensibilities were Romantic and Symbolist, his phrasing tough yet mesmeric. Yeats the dramatist was overshadowed by Yeats the titanic poet. Possibly in counteraction, he chose in his Nobel acceptance speech to focus on the Irish Dramatic Movement and not on his poetics.
Purgatory is a place of biblical significance (more Catholic than Protestant), and in this eponymous drama its symbolic import derives from its staging in a recognisably earthly (earthy) setting. The lone bare tree around which the story takes place is elemental and natural, yet it is neither dead nor alive. Like a soul in purgatory the tree’s future hangs by a thread. In that stark place the story unfolds both forwards and backwards. In this insubstantial setting transpire a hazy past and unsubstantiated future, always under the eye of judgment; yet neither insight nor hindsight are enough in the state of purgatory—rather, our stories must be re-lived in an unbroken vicious cycle. Finally the old kills the young, in an attempt to nullify the misconception that is the precursor self.
This short play was first presented in at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on 19 August 1938, a few months before Yeats' death. In his writing he was obsessed with the symbolic, but it is known that he also imagined every detail of his plays on stage. What is glaringly missing from the mystic writer’s epic imagination is the notion of the afterlife, and in this earth-bound setting redemption never materialises. In this astonishingly potent drama Yeats saw the stage as a cataclysmic ritual space for delving into man’s spiritual loneliness and moral agency. As his contemporary Nietzche wrote, “if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you”.
(from Aaron Lee's notes to the programme)
To celebrate local writers and this month’s Sing Lit, Singaporean print-maker Dora Ho has created this beautiful brush lettering artwork based on Aaron Lee’s poem, ‘Just Some Found Words’. Ho also customises greeting cards, menus, wedding favours, textiles and more. This month, she is running an absorbing workshop where she’ll be teaching brush lettering and the intricate art of floral illustration.
Dora Ho’s Brush Lettering and Floral Illustration Workshop will be held on 11 Nov, 2pm to 5pm. Find out more here, or contact her via email.
(from the A-list http://a-list.sg/epilogue-november-2017/ )