First-prize winner of The Association of English Singers & Speakers (AESS) Song Writing Competition for Composers 2019

Winner of Arcubus Ensemble Call for Scores 2020

 

© 2019 by OWEN HO | Composer | Conductor | Email

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How it Began

February 24, 2017

Finally, for more than a year ever since such thought budded and thereafter a long intensive search, I found my sailboat – a 25-foot catamaran which I have eventually decided to name it Sound Atlas. That was when the dream of sailing came true.

 

Over 100 emails sent, enquiring more than 100 sailboats from all around the world: England, the rest of Europe, the US, countries around the Central America… Most of which I have forgotten, but I still remember my first and perhaps overly-genuine email – rather unabashedly expressing my wish to go sailing and write music inspired by the sea, hoping that somebody would offer me a good deal for this reason – was greeted as such by the stranger:

 

Find a proper job, mate, save some money, and listen to your own shit on your own boat!

 

That could be true, but I did not stop sending the second email enquiring the next boat, and the third, the fourth… The more I sent, the more polished my blatant message was, though that brought no success either. A typical email as such would look like this:

 

Hi,

 

I'm interested in your listed sailboat, are there any more details about her? I’m a university music composition student currently studying in Manchester, and I wish to realise my sailing dream this summer. My ultimate plan would be to sail back to my homeland Hong Kong in separate journeys and write some music inspired by the sea along the voyage. For this reason, I hope you wouldn’t mind telling me more about the sailboat beyond her current state as well, like her passage and maintenance history.

 

Please do send me more photos and the latest survey too if you have, I would be very grateful to this and I can't wait to hear from you soon.

 

On a side note, if you wish to know about me as a composer, you’re most welcome to click around my website too.

 

With anticipation,

Owen

 

And so the search lasted about a year, responded by some typical lines like “I can understand your problem and this is money… but one has to have patience and try to save,” “not sure what you want except for someone to give away their vessel! Not going to happen I’m afraid,” “you will not want to sail around the world in a £10,000 boat... it won't be safe,” “I'm sorry but the demand for the boat is very very high,” “I'm sure you will able to find a boat which cost the money you have got…”

 

Not one sensible being would likely put forward their faith. And yes, money is the thing; of course, one could wait and save but there was that urge coming out from nowhere, so think me naïve – I simply wish not to lose all the youthful years that could have been used to do something more adventurous! Time, gone is gone.

 

 

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