The Millennial Orchestra’s Eric Wong takes on a teaching stint with the Asean International Film Festival and Awards.
Some may know him as the conductor for The Millennial Orchestra, City Harvest Church’s musical ensemble but beyond church ministry, 35-year-old Eric Wong is also the music director of his production company, United Records.
He oversees the entire creative process of music production, from composition to arrangement and mixing of music. Recently, Wong also taught at the Asean International Film Festival and Awards 2013 held in Kuching, Malaysia from March 28 to 30. City News speaks to the music producer about the experience of teaching on an international stage and why he is a Star Wars fan.
Could you share with us more about the AIFFA 2013 (Asean International Film Festival and Awards)?
It is an inaugural event, bringing together film makers from all over the Asean region to foster a deeper relationship among each other. It also showcases and recognizes contributions to the film industry.
How did your teaching assignment come about?
A couple of months before the event, I casually asked my friend Kelvin Sng if I could tag along to gain more exposure. He’s the director of the local film Taxi Taxi which was Singapore’s entry to the festival. He agreed and I was elated. It was only much later that he told me I was expected to teach at the event!
What did you teach?
I taught the participants about applying more ethnic music in their films to create a deeper awareness of Asian culture. After all, as the quality of our Asian films continue to improve, it would be strange if we hear Hollywood music in our Asian films. So I encouraged the 50-odd participants attending my session to explore the usage of ethnic music.
How was the experience like?
Unforgettable. I was able to share my experiences and work at an international stage and it also gave me an opportunity to get to know more producers and directors. I made many good friends on the trip and also met some of my idols like Malaysian singer Namewee and international actress Michelle Yeoh.
When were you first exposed to music and how did you decide to pursue music as a career?
I started learning to play the piano at 7 but gave it up, only to pick it up again at 15. Later on, I decided to pursue MEP (Music Elective Programme).
I was going to enroll in university to study music but God had other plans for me. I attended the School Of Theology at CHC instead and read psychology at university. Going to SOT gave me a foundation of faith to build my life upon. I never really intended to pursue music as a career but God continually opened doors at every turn.
What is your proudest achievement in life?
My two children are my proudest achievement. Jordan is 5 and Megan is 1. They bring so much joy to my life and my family.
If you could pick any artiste/musician to work with, who would it be?
It’d be John Williams, the film composer for Star Wars. He is actually the reason why I’m a huge Star Wars fan and I would love to have an opportunity to learn from a master of the craft.
Any upcoming plans in your journey as a musician?
I want to gain more exposure and continue to grow in my knowledge and understanding of music. I also hope to produce music for films and to eventually produce some of my own films. In fact, I’m working with Kelvin Sng on two of his upcoming films and co-producing one of them with him.