The New Opium is new musical composition and visual work by electronic artist Andy Leung, written for Erhuist Wan Pin Chu, with videomaker Mario Hamad. It explores the ever changing landscape of our interaction and obsession with the internet and how it affects mass communication. The live performance consists of virtuso Erhu, electronics percussion, synthesizer and a visual backdrop to accompany the music.
About Andy Leung
Andy Leung is an award winning songwriter, DJ, multi-instrumentalist and music producer. He studied Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) at the University of Surrey and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree, mastering his skills as a music creator, most recognised for his unique sense of rhythm and the use of Chinese samples in his music.
He first appeared on the music scene with the band Introducing – a 10 piece band remaking DJ Shadow’s seminal debut album Endtroducing note-to-note. His iconic solo on the track Organ Donar captivated the attention of the audience and the online communities. He has since performed in the UK’s best live venues and festivals (including Jazz Café, Koko and Bestival) and continues to tour internationally.
In 2011, he was the youngest composer to be selected for the New Music 20 x 12 commission work- to compose and perform a piece for the London Olympics 2012 and Cultural Olympiad. The piece was performed at Trafalgar Square, Southbank Centre and featured on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Television show The Review Show.
In 2013, he started BeatNations.com, an event production and artist management company aimed to provides unique support and opportunities for emerging Chinese creative. He has organised, programmed and produced two major music festivals (attracted public audience up to 15000), music showcases across live venue in London, taught at masterclass on electronics music production in the Chinese community and supported in recording sessions.
About Wan Pin Chu
Wan Pin Chu (or Yunbian Zhu), 23, is an international award-winning Erhuist and composer from Hong Kong, who is recognised as a versatile performer with rich emotions and limitless virtuosity in his music.
He received his honours degree in Music and Composition at King’s College London; received Violin tuitions at the Royal Academy of Music, and is currently receiving a full scholarship from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) – studying Master in Composition for Film, Television and Games at the Royal College of Music.
He has won major international music competitions, including The United States Open Music Competition (2012) and The Llangollen Internation Musical Eisteddfod in the United Kingdom (2002), as well as champions of major national competitions in China and Hong Kong.
In the UK, he is the first Chinese instrumentalist to perform at The Duke’s Hall in Royal Academy of Music, The British Museum, and the Royal Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool. His repertoires span from traditional and regional Chinese Music to Western Classical Music, Jazz, Pop and Rock. His performance of Western Virtuoso pieces includes Saint-Saëns’s Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso and Paganini’s The 24th Violin Caprice has dazzled Erhu professors in China and awarded him Distinction of Grade 10 professional Erhu diploma, issued by the Central Conservatoire of Music in Beijing.
As a composer, he has scored for a Hong Kong film ‘Overheard 3’, one of the highest grossing film series in Hong Kong in 2013. He is currently co-scoring a BBC six-episode documentary with Professor Howard Davidson.
Wan has formed the company Hong Kong International Arts Platform in order to provide opportunities for performers in China to showcase their talent. Since then he has organised four Chinese international Music competitions, two Western String International Music Competitions and two Instrument Making Competitions.