Saturday, June 15, 2013

Mosaic Music Festival 2012 & 2013

Where do you go if you want to discover new and amazing talents from Singapore and worldwide? The Mosaic Music Festival can help you with that. Mosaic Music Festival is a music festival whereby independent artistes and musicians from all around the world come to the Esplanade to perform. The festival is of course held at the Esplanade Theatres and it usually runs for about 10 days in the month of March. There are some paid performances which you can attend by getting the tickets from the Esplanade Box Office. Otherwise, if you want to save a little bit of money, you can watch the free performances which are held in the Concourse, the Outdoor Theatre and the Esplanade Library. Do note that this article will feature my visits in both 2012 and 2013. This music festival is a great way to discover new independent music and it's also a great event for families to attend. Scroll down to find out more.

Part One: Mosaic Music Festival 2013

1) Alicia Soh (Mosaic Living Room AKA Esplanade Concourse)

This was the first performance that I attended on the first day of the music festival. Her name's Alicia Soh. I'm not entirely sure if she was the first performer for the Mosaic festival but who cares? She was awesome as she played soulful and melodic songs on her piano and everybody watching was enjoying her music. What's unique about her performance was that instead of placing a regular book with musical notes on the piano, she used an iPad. Modern technology has made lives of musicians even easier. The accompanying people who provided some background music (which you can see on the right side on the stage) were all having fun. I could see the smiles on their faces and the smiles on the audiences' faces. This performance by Alicia Soh was totally awesome and everybody had a great time.

2) Grayson Gilmour (Mosaic Living Room AKA Esplanade Concourse)

After Alicia Soh's performance, I finally got a seat. The seat that I took was certainly worth it. The next performer that I witnessed was this guy, Grayson Gilmour. According to the Mosaic's official website, he's from New Zealand and he's a multi-talented artist. He's a solo artist, band member and film composer all rolled into one and he was also the opening act for several indie artistes. His performances were great. He played the piano and he had a really good voice as he can hit the high notes. It gave me goosebumps while watching him perform. Grayson even talked to the audience and told some hilarious jokes too like the hot weather in Singapore. Overall, Grayson is a totally talented singer. One thing that I want to say is that I didn't exactly watched the whole performance unfortunately. I did not watch his last act because I had to leave to watch a performance at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre.

3) Rupa & the April Fishes (Mosaic Music Station AKA Esplanade Outdoor Theatre)

Now here's an independent band that comes straight from the USA. They're called Rupa & the April Fishes and they were an excellent band who performed fun and catchy music. According to their official description in the Mosaic Festival's website, the band members hailed from all over the world. Not only that, they even performed genres that you probably have never heard before such as duduk melodies, reggae, rockabolly, chanson and so much more. Some of the songs they performed were not in English but that did not stop the audience from enjoying and singing along to their songs.

Some of the musical instruments that they performed with were also unique. There was even this recycled water dispenser tank (the kind that you probably have in your office) filled with some water and some small items like rocks (maybe?) and all the band member has to do is to just shake the tank following the rhythm of the music. I think that's just awesome and creative. Other than that, there was also one point of time during the performance, where they asked the audience to repeat what they said so that we can sing along to their song which I think was really cool.

Part Two: Mosaic Music Festival 2012

4) Wayne Sandz (HTC Living Room AKA Esplanade Concourse)

Did you know that I also went for the 2012 edition of the wonderful Mosaic Music Festival? Last year's visit to the music festival was the first time that I attended. This was my very first performance that I watched during the Mosaic Music Festival and all I can say is 'Wow'! The artist is called Wayne Sandz and he's born in sunny Singapore. In the description, he's a singer-songwriter, composer and pianist since he was 14 and he has even performed in London along with other famous bands like Fool's Garden. He even has his own personal music mantra which is 'Be Happy'.

When I first listened to his performance, it struck to me how amazing his voice was. He performed cool enjoyable songs which encourages listeners to stop and smell the flowers and coffee. Not only that, he can also sing in high notes which I think is rather impressive. Seriously, his songs did make me feel a bit more happier. I'm not entirely sure whether or not I should be comparing but he kinda reminds of American singer, Bruno Mars. Overall, his performances were just wonderful and it did encourage me to be much happier.

5) Tokyo Blue (Mosaic Music Station AKA Esplanade Outdoor Theatre)

After enjoying the songs performed by talented local singer, Wayne Sandz, it was time for me to head to the outdoor theatre and enjoy another performance by Tokyo Blue. Tokyo Blue is a group which consists of three people from various parts of the world and they usually perform music genres like fusion, jazz and latino. Although they come from different countries, their group gives me the message that no matter where you are from, music can unite people. That's the power of music.

The songs that they performed were pretty relaxing and I could really hear elements of fusion and jazz in their songs. The songs were perfect for anyone who's looking to relax and take a breather from work. The audiences were pretty engaged and despite the music being much more softer than the other performances that I watched during the Mosaic Festival, they still proved that they were indeed very talented.

The HTC Living Room

During the 2012 iteration of the Mosaic Music Festival, the smartphone maker, HTC sponsored the event at the Esplanade Concourse. Usually, the Esplanade Concourse has comfortable soft benches that enable audiences to sit down and enjoy the concert comfortably. However, when HTC sponsored the venue during last year's festival, the benches were temporarily replaced by white bean bag chairs which offer the audience members a much better degree of comfort. The bean bag chairs were very popular among children. Unfortunately, I did not get to sit down on any of the bean bag chairs but it doesn't really bother me that much anyway. I came for the music not for the bean bag chairs. Another great thing about HTC sponsoring the venue was that passers by and even audience members can play with HTC smartphones which were located along the sides. I'm not sure if they can buy them right at the Esplanade's concourse but it's definitely a great way to market new smartphones to people.

Cool Light Installations

Also during the Mosaic Music Festival 2012, there were plenty of these cool light installations. Unfortunately, they did not provide any description on each installation unlike art sculptures. Anyway, I think they did this to commemorate the Mosaic Music Festival and to lighten the mood right here at the Esplanade Theatres. As you can see, the light installations each show a stick figure playing a musical instrument like the guitar, piano and so on and so forth. Not only that, some of them had paper cranes fixed onto the installation too. It's mainly because during the 2012 edition, the theme was paper cranes. Why? I have no idea. You can check out the Mosaic Music Festival 2012 website if you want to find out more about the paper cranes and the festival itself.

More Paper Cranes

Here are some more paper cranes found on the ceiling of the Esplanade's shopping mall also known as Esplanade Mall. I'm not sure who folded all these or whether or not they were made out of paper. All I know was that they were totally cool and they definitely lightened up the mood of the Esplanade. Not only that, these paper cranes made great decorations for the Esplanade Mall. I just wished they were permanent.

Overall Thoughts

My overall thoughts of both the 2012 and the 2013 editions of the Mosaic Music Festival along with the performances that I witnessed can be summed up to three words. Awesome, talented and enjoyable. The Mosaic Music Festival is seriously a great place to find new talented and independent musicians. There's like a mix of musicians who perform various different genres like rock, pop, R&B and even genres that you have never even heard before. In this post, I have only written articles on the free performances that I have personally watched.

If you want to, there are even performances in which you can pay to enjoy their music at venues like the Esplanade Concert Hall during the Mosaic Music Festival. You should definitely head to the Festival which is held every year in the middle of March. You can even bring your friends and family along to enjoy wonderful music together. If you have missed out on the event, don't worry as there are plenty more festivals coming soon to the Esplanade such as the Baybeats Music Festival in late June in which I will definitely attend.

More Information

Esplanade Website:

Mosaic Music Festival 2012 Website:

Mosaic Music Festival 2013 Website:

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