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Interview with Composer Ken Chan Kar Yip
Hunting HK Music scores 1/1 - Page 3
Author(s) : Jean-Louis Ogé
Date : 11/4/2006
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
Comfort Chan Kwong Wing
Peter Kam Pau Tat
Aaron Kwok Fu Sing
Movies :
Infernal Affairs
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Page 2 : Creative process from Six String Guys to SPL
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Special thanks to Ken Chan Kar Yip for his time and updating our profile page.

Email interview by Jean-Louis Ogé, April 11, 2006.

Research: HKCinemagic team.

HKCinemagic : Can we find your music on CDs or is it hard to get a copy?
Ken Chan : The Hong Kong radio station CR2 released some of Tangent's songs on a few CDs. In terms of songs I've written for artists, I'm sure HMV in Hong Kong will have them. There was also a limited edition run of a soundtrack that I did for the television series Romancing Hong Kong, starring Aaron Kwok.
HKCinemagic : Why it's so difficult to find some CDs about HK movies scores?
K C : Well, my theory is that a lot of times, music in the film may be sparser and maybe it relies on the film for the music to make sense. A comedy film is a great example of this – you have lots of little short cues that are supporting the visual. I believe it takes a more serious piece of where you get to the point that the music cues are able to stand alone on their own musicality. Sometimes a real good piece of film music is the type of music that doesn't have a strong melody but its mood is still enhancing what's happening on screen. That is the real challenge for me and what I think I'm still learning, as I think music is easily “overdone” – especially in Hong Kong cinema.

I think another reason is just simply the risk/reward factor. With CD sales for pop singers down, I don't think producers are all that optimistic about releasing a CD unless they're fairly sure of its success.

HKCinemagic : Do the music writers in HK get the appreciation they deserve?
K C : You know, I bet you 99% of composers in the world think they are under-appreciated! Well, I do think that there is room for improvement. It is arguable but I think that if the producers of the film appreciate the music, that appreciation is more likely to be perceived and realized by the public. I think that it is great that Chan Kwong Wing has had the music of Infernal Affairs trilogy out on CD. It is a step in the right direction, and I hope that the movie industry builds on that and helps to raise awareness in people's minds that says, “hey, the music for this movie is something special, come and listen to it”. With the success of composers like Chan Kwong Wing and Peter Kam, I think HK people will come to appreciate their film composers more.
HKCinemagic : What has the recent victory of Peter Kam at the Berlin Film Festival for the movie score Isabella come to represent in HK?
K C : I am extremely happy for Peter in winning his award. I can only hope that it draws the world's eyes to both Hong Kong movies and composers; with improved quality of films being the result. I also think that movie productions will place a greater emphasis on music in the future and will be looking to raise the bar in terms of quality of music.
HKCinemagic : Your final words?
K C : Thanks to Hong Kong Cinemagic.com for your interest and support of Hong Kong cinema! And thanks for this interview!
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