News: An-Ting 安婷 and Daniel York Loh Unveil Soundtrack to Award-Winning Multimedia Masterpiece

Former Kakilang Artistic Director An-Ting 安婷 and esteemed writer/performer Daniel York Loh have unveiled the spellbinding soundtrack to their acclaimed multimedia work, “every dollar is a soldier/with money you’re a dragon.” Seamlessly blending spoken word and electronic music, this masterpiece delves deep into the immigrant experience, juxtaposing the trials of impoverished Chinese settlers in London with the opulent yet embittered life of émigré William Waldorf Astor.

An-Ting’s score is a transcendent fusion of ‘Asia beats,’ haunting piano melodies, and poignant Chinese instrumentation, carrying listeners across continents and centuries. From the dark depths of ship holds to the smoke-drenched streets of Victorian London, the music traverses landscapes both physical and emotional, evoking a visceral sense of journey and belonging.

Originally commissioned for live performance at Two Temple Place, the pandemic necessitated a move online, but this shift didn’t dim its brilliance. In fact, it garnered the prestigious 2021 Arts Council Digital Culture Award for Storytelling and earned a spot in the esteemed Horizon Showcase at the Edinburgh Festival. Its triumphant return to the live stage at the 2023 Kakilang Festival marked a momentous occasion.

Reflecting on the project, An-Ting expressed her excitement at blending East and West traditions into a harmonious whole, while Daniel York Loh shared his inspiration drawn from migrant journeys and the quest for belonging.

Combining elements of gig-theatre, spoken word rap, and captivating music, “every dollar is a soldier/with money you’re a dragon” offers a profound exploration of loss, loneliness, and the enduring legacy of migration. It’s a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the universal longing for home.

As the haunting words of Daniel York Loh echo:

“We jumped ship at the dock in this city sickly with gaslight, We huddled there in the eastern enclave where we made our world, And our own kind of street life…”

Indeed, this mesmerizing collaboration invites audiences to embark on a journey of self-discovery and reflection, resonating across cultures and generations.

Listen below:

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