Benjamin Tsok Wee Yap
Don’t Single Me Out
About the Work
Don’t Single Me Out is an improvised work for solo piano. It was conceptualised, created and performed simultaneously, unrehearsed and in one take. As a composer and pianist, I drew upon my personal experience as an Asian Australian living through the 2020 lockdowns of Melbourne. During this period I had no work and spent much time alone at home. The repetitive days, sense of isolation, feelings of frustration and uncertainty are some of the themes I wanted to express in this improvisation. I would urge the listener to pay attention to how the music builds on repeated notes, chords and melodic phrases–akin to a variation on a theme. With the sustain pedal, the harmonies are blurred, much like the days and weeks of my lockdown. The work is set predominantly on five notes–a pentatonic scale, much like the 5km radius I was bound by. The title Don’t Single Me Out calls to an incident where I felt I was observed and singled out at my local supermarket–presumably because of my race.
About the Creative
A graduate of AFTRS (2010) and WAAPA (Masters 2016), Ben has worked on many short films and honed his skills in music and sound design as an acoustic storyteller. While Ben enjoys creating and manipulating music and sounds on the computer, he is also a keen improvisor on the piano.