Psithaura is a musical work scored for a sixteen-part mixed chorus, featuring the human voice to create atmospheric soundscapes. The sculpting of an aurally satisfying experience requires far more than a glass of wine and the unexpected visit of the Muse. What research and theories lie beneath this twelve-minute emotionally sublime music? How does the newly developed voice science inform our understanding beyond the medical field, but also music compositions? How do various acoustic phenomenon affect how we listen and perceive sonorities? Brace yourselves as we dive into some fundamentals of music theory, a strange breed of academic study incorporating physics, mathematics, history, and aesthetics.
Jaco Wong, a Hong Kong native, is a Los Angeles-based composer and conductor. He serves as the choral director at Palisades Charter High School and Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church. He holds a Master's degrees in both Choral Music and Composition from University of Southern California, where he was the recipient of the Morten Lauridsen Endowed Composition Scholarship. Wong's compositions have been performed by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Hocket piano duo, Lang Lang, and the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has prepared the Esperanza Azteca Youth Chorus to perform with Placido Domingo and conducted the Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Orchestra. Wong remains an active singer of Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles, and has sung under conductors including Jeffrey Kahane and Helmuth Rilling.