More on Sapphire Haze’s April 2022 Concert
By Cindy Kao & Aysha Dulong

We love being stimulated. We love having things happen. We love distractions. We love embracing the fall. Standing still is difficult. 

Our set represents a dream sequence, and each piece streamlines into the next. You are allowing what is happening around you to pull you in different directions, like in a dream where you don’t have a full sense of control over what is going to happen next.

The first piece, titled “Pastel Places,” is based on a dream Aysha had of walking on clouds, but feeling like you are being pulled upwards every time you try to touch your feet to the ground, almost like you’re floating. The piece is heavily influenced by synaesthesia, as the dream included many waves of colours, primarily pastel blues, purples, grey and vague hints of green, which painted the clouds and sky. These colours influenced the texture, timbre and harmonies. This piece highlights our interest in juxtaposition between gritty and serene sounds, representing the frustration of not feeling your feet fully touch the ground, but at the same time, embracing the feeling of weightlessness.

Following, we transition right into a solo violin interlude titled “Falling.” This interlude will represent the point of the dream sequence when you fall off of the clouds, and accept what is happening. You don’t know where you are going but you are embracing the fall, while still hanging onto the weightless place you fell from.

In the next piece, titled “Gently Catapulted into Nothingness,” you have now fully embraced letting go, and the never ending feeling of falling. This piece is very neon; pinks, greens, yellows, oranges are the main colour inspirations. At this point in the dream, you cannot keep up with what is happening, and do not care to have control. This piece is our first time venturing into combining experimental electronic elements with popular music styles.

“Standing Still,” an electronics solo, is stand-still moment in the dream sequence, when everything slows down, and you become overwhelmed that not enough is happening.

The last piece is called “Seasick Velvet.” This is the end of the dream where things start to get weird before you wake up to reality. When you suddenly find yourself in a place completely unrelated to the rest of the dream’s storyline. This piece is inspired by eating red velvet cake on a rusty boat, being pushed and pulled by the waves as the sun sparkles on the water.

Cindy Kao & Aysha Dulong (Sapphire Haze). April 2022. Vancouver, BC.

Tickets & concert info: Emerge on Main 2022 – April 12, 2022 at Fox Cabaret.

Support for The Composer Essay Project is generously provided by SOCAN Foundation.