A musical journey to the past…
When a piece of music aimed to chronicle the journey of early immigrant to Singapore won the Best Theme Song category at 2014 Asian Television Awards, one may wonder how elements of instruments, genre and lyrics are established and...
August 31, 2015
When a piece of music aimed to chronicle the journey of early immigrant to Singapore won the Best Theme Song category at 2014 Asian Television Awards, one may wonder how elements of instruments, genre and lyrics are established and merged into a single product we simply classify as ‘a song’. Four-time Asian Television Awards Winner, Ju Li Mo shares with us her thoughts, journey and challenges as music producer of the acclaimed theme song The Journey: A Voyage.
The theme song which you have written for the period drama A Journey: The Voyage scooped you the Best Theme Song category at the Asian Television Awards 2014. Tell us about your thoughts on winning.
The drama series itself is an incredible blockbuster production from MediaCorp and is indeed a heart-warming drama produced in conjunction with Singapore celebrating its 50th Independence and separation from Malaysia. The drama journeys the life of people in early Singapore and how their decisions have shaped the Singapore today. In relation to that, the song matches the period of the drama and the instrumentation plays a key part in telling the story as well. Traditional instrument like the Pipa, a four-stringed Chinese instrument, was used to set a traditional and cultural tone to the theme song. It was a wonderful series of drama and we worked really hard to find the perfect voice for it. We, as a team, were confident that it (the theme song) was a unique piece of work and has the standard to compete. Gaining this recognition through the Awards has really boosted our confidence in the work we produced – it is both assuring and motivating.
Describe to us how you have chosen Alfred Sim to sing The Voyage’s theme song?
After a few voice auditions, we concluded that Alfred has the most suitable voice for the period of the work and conveys a historical character to the drama.
In 2013, you were nominated under the same category and highly commended for your work. What are the differences between these two programmes?
Beyond is a Chinese modern drama about the supernatural power of human beings set in the modern times. The music we produced is of a modern contemporary genre, quite the contrary to The Journey: A Voyage, which highlights historical events in fictional context.
Most of your job as a producer revolves around editing, mastering, arranging and overall being subjectively creative. Where did you get your inspiration from?
I’ve always challenged myself to produce something new each time and aspire to work with the best in the field. I enjoy working with passionate and professional talents who demand high quality work. Demanding perfection may be too harsh of a word to use when it comes to working as a team but if we have similar objectives and quality of work, we could replace this word with ‘learning from each other’. It makes life interesting and beautiful. Meeting new people and discovering each others’ talents also give meaning to my work as I continue to discover voices and creativity from other sources.
Are there challenges specific to producing the theme song for A Journey: The Voyage?
At the beginning of the project, we were given the full script in order to have a more comprehensive understanding of the drama and its characters. The challenge is to put the idea to words and flowing music within the historical context. Lyrics play a vital part for a theme song as it sets the mood and atmosphere. In total, we spent a few months working with the lyricist and composer – it is indeed a team effort.