Correspondence for Choir [2.10] / 2022


Collaborative work

If Forests Talk '22 - online Singapore Art Week

curated by Kent Chan

Marjet Zwaans invited Singaporean composer and illustrator, Hee Suhui for a correspondence to experiment and create a set of instructions for choirs. Within online meetings, Marjet Zwaans introduces concepts and theoretical references from Ecological Economics, to depart from. Ecological economics views the economy as a subsystem of the environment and argues that many environmental problems are caused by the scale of economic activity exceeding ecosystem limits. Secondly, the project builds on the notion of lichen, a multitude of species of algae and fungus that strengthen and protect each other mutually. The response by the composer does not have to be a musical score with music stave. The set of instructions can take a form where the composer feels comfortable with or wants to experiment with as musical notation.


The resultant set of instructions for choirs stems from lichen’s multiple manners of sexual and non-sexual reproduction. The three sequencing acts relate to expansion, fragmentation and diaspora. The different reproduction strategies depend on the healthiness of the surrounding environment. The intention is for the choir to move and walk from the urban environment of Singapore towards the 0.28% of primary forest that is left in Singapore.



How can we create a collective consciousness wherein the value of the natural capital of the tropical rainforest is prioritized over the potential financial capital value? As in Ecological Economics, strong sustainability argues that different types of capital are not substitutable for one another, but instead complementary.


> to the video and website: If Forests Talk