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The TENG Ensemble isn't an ordinary Chinese instrumental ensemble but an intercultural ensemble, inspired by local heritage and Asian's sounds.
In 2004, a group of young Chinese instrumentalists under The TENG Ensemble had won the First Prize in Ensemble Category of Singapore National Chinese Music Competition. Some of them went on to form The TENG Company.
The ensemble now comprises six celebrated virtuosos: Yang Ji Wei (sheng), Samuel Wong (pipa), Gerald Teo (cello), Huang Peh Linde (sound artist), James Fernando (guitar) and Phua Ee Kia (countertenor).
The group is now a critically acclaimed group that masterly bridge the traditional and contemporary music, utilising electronics instruments and giving new breath to traditional songs a modern twist. The works highlight the significance of Singapore's heritage songs such as Chan Mali Chan, Munnaeru Vaalibaa, and Di Tanjong Katong and presenting them in a contemporary way.
The Little White Boat is an evidence of how clever TENG Ensemble has re-arranged a piece reflecting east-meets-west via The More We Get Together (British folk song) and Little White Boat (Korean children's song) and traditional versus contemporary styles. The work draws inspiration from the Singapore River and nostalgia for their childhoods.
2016 has been a busy year for the ensemble. It had collaborated with the Fullerton Hotel in Where the River Always Flows held at the historic Fullerton Square. The group had its concert "The Stories from an Island City" and also traveled to Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong. Their music are available for purchase at iTunes and Spotify.
It was awesome to watch them perform with a refreshing repertoire of the traditional folk songs. Dare to be different yet so creative!