Speed Dating

About the piece

Speed Dating, a multimedia piece including text score, graphics, and a hand puppet, talks about Asian American self-image and the online dating culture. The fictional narratives were based on in-person interviews and field research.

This piece was based on sources including dating websites’ slogans (Asia Charm, MatchTruly, EastMeetEast, Tinder, OkCupid, and Compatible Partners), article Asian Bodies That Proudly Defy An Archetype from HuffPost, and Noёl Alumit’s Rice Room: Scenes From a Bar. The slogans were rearranged and became the lyrics in Prologue: Non-typical! and HuffPost’s article on Asian body images inspired my creation of characters David Schmidt on Asian masculinity and Camile Garcia-Wilson on being a plus-size Asian women. Peter Park and
Clark Cruz-Kim’s narratives were based on Noёl Alumit’s one-man show Rice Room: Scenes From a Bar. I recreated the narratives by extending elements such as the reference to the DC characters (Superman and Spiderman) as well as self-hatred caused by social stigma and family trauma. The piece also covers topics including colonization, immigration, interraciality, and sexuality based on real stories and figures that I have encountered which I infused into the seven fictional characters.

Composer's Note

Plenty of works exist on how American society perceives Asian Americans. Yet, there are not as many works on how Asian Americans view themselves. Through the lens of dating culture, especially in the digital era, I am in hope of decoding stereotypes in depth and shining light on some disregarded issues through the intimate, introspective, and historical perspectives of modern young Asian Americans.

Contents

PROLOGUE。Non-typical!


ACT I 
Scene I 。Profile I: Peter Park
Scene II。Profile II: Clark Cruz-Kim
Scene III。Monologue I: Peter
Scene IV。Monologue II: Clark
 

ACT II 
Scene I 。Profile III: David Schmidt & Profile IV: Grace Wong
Scene II。Monologue III: David
Scene III。Monologue IV: Grace
 

ACT III 
Scene I 。Profile V: Camile Garcia-Wilson & Profile VI: Wilhelmina Dai
Scene II。Monologue V: Camile & Monologue VI: Wil
 

EPILOGUE。It’s a Match!

Collaborators

Media Artist- Simona Fitcal

Soprano- Anna Elder

Graphic notation © Michele Cheng

Musical Album (Binaural mix)

Credits:

Michele Cheng- Producer & Binaural mix

Anna Elder- Soprano​

Brian Riordan- Vocals Recording Engineer

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Artworks © designed by Michele Cheng

Audiovisual Version (Ambisonics & Video)

Artists:

Michele Cheng- Ambisonics & Puppetry

Simona Fitcal- Three-screen Video

Anna Elder- Soprano​

Performance History:

2019

@ Bing Concert Hall Studio

- hosted by Stanford Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics

- Stanford, CA, United States

2020

@ Sonorities Festival Belfast

- hosted by Sonic Arts Research Centre

- Belfast, Northern Ireland

Solo Duet Version

Performance History:

2019 

@ Music and Erotics Conference at University of Pittsburgh

- premiered by soprano Anna Elder

- Pittsburgh, PA, United States

@ UCI Illuminations: Asian Immigration as Creative Muse

- performed by Michele Cheng

- Irvine, CA, United States

@  Resonance Café

- performed by Michele Cheng

- Montreal, Quebec, Canada

@  VU 3, a symposium for experimental, electronic and improvised music 

- performed by Michele Cheng

- Park City, UT, United States

Pop-up Installation

Check out the virtual reflection website here

Performance History:

2020

@ New Music Gathering at Portland State University

- Portland, OR, United States

© 2020 Michele Cheng.