"[I]t was a very special evening: sincere, unpretentious, inclusive, inspired and inspiring...[The] juxtaposition of Chinese and Western idioms and cultures was simply brilliant in its delivery." David Gowland, Artistic Director of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at Royal Opera House
Tangram is a London-based music collective creating and curating ambitious, multi-disciplinary and culturally-curious productions. Co-directed by Alex Ho and Rockey Sun Keting, they are Associate Artists at LSO St Luke's 2022-25.
Made up of researchers, composers and performers of Chinese and western instruments, Tangram launched in 2019 as recipients of the Chinese Arts Now Artist Development Bursary and winners of Nonclassical's Battle of the Bands. They have worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, Silk Road Ensemble, New Earth Theatre, and were Associate Ensemble at SOAS University of London. They were recipients of Jerwood Arts' inaugural Live Work Fund and Genesis Foundation's Kickstarter Fund, and most recently shortlisted for the RPS Young Artist Award 2023.
New music forms a large part of Tangram's work. Highlights include commissions by Raymond Yiu (shortlisted for RPS Awards 2020), Sun Keting, Tonia Ko, Beibei Wang, Vivian Fung, Jasmin Kent Rodgman, Shruthi Rajasekar, Robin Haigh and the premiere of Alex Ho's Untold (winner of George Butterworth Prize 2020).
Tangram are very grateful to the organisations and individuals who have supported their projects including Arts Council England, Jerwood Arts, Genesis Foundation, PRS Foundation, Countess of Munster Trust, Sound and Music, Britten-Pears Arts, and Help Musicians UK.
"As satisfying as a full-length opera..." Amanda Holloway, Critics Magazine
Co-founded by Alex Ho and Reylon Yount, Tangram grew from their 2018 collaboration, Rituals and Resonances, a composition for solo yangqin.
The piece reflects on shared experiences of our diasporic identities, and on what creating and performing a piece of new music on the yangqin meant for us at that time. The process was hugely generative and we felt there was more in the collaboration than could be expressed in a single piece. We worked on several further projects in the next few months including a yangqin concerto for the Cambridge University Chinese Orchestra and a yangqin-guitar duo for Syracuse University as well as recording Rituals and Resonancesat Abbey Road Studios later that year.
Through these projects and through numerous badminton sessions, the idea to form an artist collective dedicated to Chinese diasporic culture emerged. We had met several outstanding artists who shared our vision for a wider musical space that included more music influenced by non-Eurocentric traditions, and so in January 2019, Tangram launched at LSO St. Luke's as part of Chinese Arts Now Festival.
Find out more about Alex and Reylon's process in this 10-minute film by Ted Mair, For lack of a shared language.
"Tangram are a collective we should all listen to. They have a distinctive group personality, taking us well beyond clichés about East-West connections and breaking down barriers. Their ideas are at the cutting edge of contemporary debates around identity and how this is expressed and communicated in musical terms." - Caroline Potter, I CARE IF YOU LISTEN