16: Wilson Tsang
Wilson Tsang compares his music to that of a cetacean. “Whale song is something we hear… and something we can’t describe or understand,” he says. “So I use that term as a parallel to express that you can’t really define music, [you can’t compare] what you hear to words or languages – it’s a different kind of language.”
The pianist and electronica artist is talking about his new album, aptly named Whale Song, to be released in the middle of November. It’s a mood-based work of improvised piano and ambient electronic that springs from Tsang’s admirable creative well of ideas. The album, he says, is like a soundtrack for a film – just without the film. “You can imagine a theme behind it.”
In fact, most of Wilson’s work, which can be loosely defined as experimental, is mood-inspired rather than pre-mediated. “I have a thought about the content that I’m going to play, and then I just play around,” he says of his creative methods. That approach has produced Stuck in Traffic (2002) – a colourful exploration of the city’s texture through folk, alternative rock, jazz and electronica – and Little Cold Red (2005), which carries a deeper, darker theme that explores the essence of dream, memory, and desire.
Tsang has also worked on visual exhibitions, animation, and stage plays, making him one of our most accomplished, and inspired, experimental musicians. Keep an eye out for more.
Recommended listening: Whale Song (2008), available at Zoo Records, Mackie Study, Delay No Mall, and Kubric as of mid-November.
Wilson Tsang will perform at Time Out’s free Top 20 Showcase at Backstage on Wednesday, October 22.