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HKBU's Cantoría Hong Kong releases first commercial album

26 Jun 2020

Members of Cantoría Hong Kong record their first commercial CD at a professional music studio in Bangkok.
Members of Cantoría Hong Kong record their first commercial CD at a professional music studio in Bangkok.
Cover of Quotation of Queries
Cover of Quotation of Queries

Cantoría Hong Kong, a student music ensemble from HKBU, released Quotation of Queries: Choral Encounters of Hong Kong, China, and the Distant West in April. The record, which is the group's first commercial CD, is one of the few commercially released albums to have been performed entirely by university students in Hong Kong. From pre-production to recording and mastering, it took about three years to finish making this professionally produced compact disc.


Established in 2009, Cantoría Hong Kong is a student choral ensemble from HKBU's Department of Music, and they have performed in multiple countries and at numerous concerts in Hong Kong. Quotation of Queries is 25 tracks long, and it focuses on cross-cultural choral music performed in different languages, including Cantonese, Mandarin, English, German, French and Portuguese.


The collection features compositions from across regions and time periods, and it includes excerpts from The Suppliant Women, which combines elements of classical Greek drama and modern theatre, as well as Brazilian folk forms. New works by Hong Kong composers set to texts by the famous Song dynasty poet Su Shi are also featured. These include Under the Mid-Autumn Moon (Seui Diu Go Tau) and The Crane Releasing Pavilion (Fong Hok Ting Kei), which are sung in Cantonese, and excerpts from other poems that are sung in Mandarin.


Under the direction of Professor John Winzenburg from the Department of Music, around 35 members of Cantoría Hong Kong recorded the album at Studio 28, a professional music studio in Bangkok, over the course of one week in June 2018.


Joyce Chan, a member of Cantoría Hong Kong and a fourth-year student who majors in voice, said, "I've learnt a lot from this experience, such as recording short solo segments as part of the group performance at a professional studio and preparing myself mentally before recording."


According to Professor Winzenburg, Quotation of Queries achieves the rare feat of having Cantonese and Mandarin included with other Western languages on a commercial CD, and the record has been positively reviewed in Europe. "By engaging students to participate in our first commercial record, this HKBU project addresses a set of creative practices as research questions from the perspective of a Hong Kong music ensemble. These questions explore the development of cultures and human civilisation through choral music, such as how ancient texts find meaning in contemporary choral music and how a collection of works from different contexts and forms merge onto a choral platform," said Professor Winzenburg.


Quotation of Queries is available for purchase online, please click here for details.