Tapestry’s latest staging is a reflection on life in an increasingly digital world.
Charity Lee, music director of local a capella group Tapestry, remembers a time when she grew up without the presence of social media platforms.
“I lived in an era where there was no Internet, no Facebook or no Twitter. And just by observing how people talk to each other now, it has changed so dramatically from what I remember growing up,” shares the 32-year-old on the idea behind Tapestry’s latest staging, Human After All (HAA).
HAA, directed by Michael Xavier Voon, marks the vocal group’s third project following 2012’s Christmas Tapestry and last year’s Stereo & Popcorn.
This time round, Lee says that instead of merely having another concert and delivering a purely vocal performance, the group seeks to add depth and meaning by exploring a concept.
“It was something that came up through our conversations about the things happening around us; the fast-paced and technologically-driven world we live in and how that affects society and people’s behaviour, delivered through song and music,” Lee explains.
Hence, the music production explores the notion of life in an increasingly digital world by taking viewers through several segments such as “technology” and another on “love” throughout the show.
Each segment consists of songs that illustrate those themes, accompanied by narratives and vignettes to further carry the point across.
“On the technology segment, it starts out with a very technological sound.
“The singers will use a vocoder (vocal processor) while belting tunes like The Buggles’ Video Killed The Radio Star, coupled with images of old radio and television sets and moving further to the digital age, vignettes showing Facebook and other social media platforms,” teases Voon, who was a performance coach for contestants on reality shows Malaysian Idol and One In A Million.
Audiences can expect to hear songs from a variety of genres, including pop, rock, jazz, doo wop and Broadway, and they can range from contemporary numbers to hits that go as far back as the 1960s.
Meanwhile, Voon assures that although HAA clearly has a message to convey, the music production does not shove them down people’s throats.
“Some of the songs we choose may not have a clear correlation to the theme. That’s because we hope the audience can put their own interpretation and make their own connection.”
Among the artistes covered by the 13-member group are include The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, U2, Jamiroquai, Daft Punk, Kelly Clarkson and Bruno Mars.
But the performances involve more than just covering one song after another.
“You may know a song performed by someone from a certain genre, but the beauty of a capella is we get to make our own arrangement that takes the song out of its own genre and into another, almost reinventing it. We’ve done that on quite a few songs,” Lee says.
She also reveals that apart from vocal harmonies, the group will even belt out sounds that mimic musical instruments and percussions in some numbers: “We have a beatboxer, Kim S’ng, who just came on board and she does a variety of different sounds. She can even imitate the choppy sound the helicopter makes and the siren.”
Lee believes it is quite fitting that production will be presented primarily in the a capella style, stating: “Human After All talks about the human condition expressed through the gift of the human voice.”
Human After All will be staged at the Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPAC) from Thursday to Sunday at 8.30pm with an additional matinee show at 3pm on Sunday. Tickets, priced at RM45 and RM55, can be purchased online at www.dpac.com.my or at DPAC. A portion of the ticket sales will benefit Support for Parents, Infants and Children through Early Services (Spices), an organisation providing early intervention services to children with developmental delays or learning difficulties.