KJ Wong’s God Trilogy
God or No God
Nothing arises from nothing, but out of nothingness everything is born
KJ Wong’s God Trilogy
God or No God
Nothing comes of nothing; but out of nothingness much is born
To be in control of your destiny – Does it make you God?
Nothing arises from nothing, but out of nothingness everything is born; Zen, Spirituals, Music; everything begins and ends with seeking the path for Truths.
The second installment from KJ Wong’s bold artistic conceptual trilogy, God or No God contextualizes music with philosophy, interacts with multimedia installations to portray a perceptive on how love is discovered, how life is pondered, how consciousness is perceived, whilst immersing the audience in the commonality of art, the Universe, and the mere phenomena of existence in theatre.
I Creatio Ex Nihilo
1. Fur Alina – Arvo Pärt
2. The Devil’s Staircase – György Ligeti
II Cycle of Life
3. Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582 – J. S. Bach / Émile Naoumoff
4. Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt
III God or No God
5. Piano Sonata No.29, Op.106, “Hammerklavier” – Ludwig Beethoven
Pianist KJ Wong
Visual and Creative Director Mathias Woo
At times I thought a better title would possibly be : “To be Human”
On B, Arvo Part’s “Fur Alina” resonates in an elevated, introspective manner (composer’s words) in time and space. It creates an atmosphere that is already there, permanently existing, unconsciously visible and audible, but ignored. The universe is there, within us. We are the Universe.
Created out of nothing, “Fur Alina” in this programme is followed by Ligeti’s “Devil’s staircase”, a geometrical music-mathematical experiment. Its universe expands and contracts; harmony and cacophony co-exist coherently. It is mathematics and music at the same time. The expansion culminates towards a formidable end stretching at the keyboard’s extremes (physically and metaphorically) and vibrates unto the abyss of nothingness – creatio ex nxhilo – all in B.
When all subsides, Bach’s Passacaglia enters where life starts on C. The materials on the same bass line were transformed and distilled into every possible forms. Form over matter, but matter over form. Without form, matter does not matter; Without matter, form does not form. This is the cycle of life, in C.
Arvo Part’s “Spiegel im Spiegel” in F (C became the dominant) was written in such an ingenious manner that when you observe the two melodic lines descending and ascending over the according harmony and bass, “Mirror in Mirror” is literally and metaphorically happening. In “cycle of life”, we contemplate the nature of our existence through consciousness, awakening to be human, in F.
The Hammerklavier Sonata by Beethoven in B-flat (F became the dominant), is perhaps the greatest philosophical quest ever written in classical music. I perceive the first movement as a convention for the classical form, a staple of society. The second movement is to live vibrantly, to fool, to argue, to play. The 17-minute third movement is the great lament of the human soul written in music. A human being confessing to the unknown, all before the two-pages realisation leading into the Fugue, which carries all the human spirits and strengths conquering all obstacles to surge as a better human.
To find God, is to be a better human. B-flat is the note before B-natural. Thus the programme suggests that “perhaps God is before or behind all the quests.” I leave it upon the audiences to decide which answers they want.
Creatio ex nxhilo -> Cycle of Life -> God
B-natural -> C / F -> B-flat
This experimental-classical concert is my 5th recital programme curated in my mid-20s in Hong Kong. I always thought this idea of contextualising music with different ideologies is necessary but arbitrary. It must be carefully done, searching for deeper meaning rather than shallow representations.
Over the years, I have been seeking for my identity as a performing artist. I believe that one cannot lie to yourself. These programmes come gradually over a period of time, condensing my various thoughts and interests into these concerts. “God or No God” is the 1st instalment of my “God’s Trilogy”, inspired by the “God’s silence” trilogy from Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman.
All concerts can exist without any context as a simple piano recital with title or not. In Sept 2019, I have this privilege to work with Zuni Icosahedron, an avant-garde experiment-based arts collective in Hong Kong. We combine theatrical and multimedia installations and the live-performance to produce an unique experience. It is my true honour.
A spiritual tug at the heartstrings, an exchange and a connection, sparking the power of stilling and awakening within people.
What we can feel with the musicality of KJ Wong’s entirety is the vicissitude and sentiments of life.
The power exhibited was intense when KJ Wong’s fingers touched the keys.
Pianist: KJ Wong
Visual and Creative Director: Mathias Woo
Production & Stage Manager: Chow Chun-yin
Deputy Stage Manager: Zeta Chan
Video Production & Operator: Wing Chan
Lighting Designer: Zoe Cheung
Sound Designer: Can. Ha
Creative Coordinator: Charmaine Cheng
Music Assistant: Joyce Siu
Assistant Stage Manager: Chan On-ki
Hair: Chris Ho
Wardrobe Assistant: Bonnie Chan
Stage Assistant: Kenneth Chan
Company Manager (Administration and Finance): Jacky Chan
Company Manager (Programme): Doris Kan
Senior Programme Manager: Bowie Chow
Programme Manager: Ho Yin-hei
Assistant Programme Managers: Rachel Chak, Ricky Cheng
Programme and Art Administration Trainees: Megan Hung, Stephy Yeung
Interns: Marco Chan, Fion Lee, Christine Tong
Photo: Charlotte in White
Graphic Design: Rachel Chak
Graphic Design Assistant: Coco Cheung
Promotional Video: Charlotte in White (Trailer), Wing Chan, Ricky Cheng (Interview)
English Translation: Moyung Yuk-lin