Angela Wang is a composer, pianist, singer-songwriter, music producer and music educator. She recently relocated from New York City to Taipei in December 2016.
Angela Wang was born in Taipei, Taiwan. She went to Berklee College of Music in Boston, United States, in 2005. During 2005-2007, she double majored in "Jazz Performance" and "Contemporary Writing and Production" in Berklee. After she graduated from Berklee, she continued her graduate study in Steinhardt, New York University, focusing on "Composition for Film."
COMPOSITION FOR FILM
After Angela got Master of Music from NYU in 2010, her music career has bloomed in New York City. Besides recorded several concert pieces with NYU orchestra, she has composed for several short films over the years. Amongst all the films Angela composed original soundtracks for, “The Final Shutter,” which was directed by Korean director Hynsook Oh, was screened in Cannes International Film Festival on May 17th 2013. Besides, Angela’s underscore for Morinaga Tofu commercial, which applied many eastern traditional instruments, was broadcasted on local television in New York City during year of 2012.
MUSIC PRODUCTION AND PERFORMANCES
Other than being a successful music composer, Angela is also an accomplished singer-songwriter and pianist. In 2008, Angela was the featured singer in concert “One Night Jazz on Love River” (愛河爵士夜) at the Outdoor Concert Square at City Music Hall in Kaohsiung City in Taiwan. In September 2010, Angela released her first self-produced CD “Love Is”, it included nine of her original songs, which were a mixture of both jazz and classical music.
In this project, Angela produced the CD on her own. She wrote all the songs, and then arranged them for a jazz band a string quartet. She selected the best musicians from NYC to record the CD, also performed all voice and piano tracks herself. She participated closely in the mixing sessions with engineer Matt Craig, in order to achieve the image of sound she had in her mind.
After the release of “ Love Is,” Gaetano Lattanzi, the founder and CEO of Caelum Music Production reviewed:
"A rich tapestry of beautifully composed music. It captures the soul and refreshes the heart. Angela Wang is a cultural treasure for the city of New York and I look forward to hearing any future work by this fantastic artist (2011).”
Angela held a series of CD release concerts for CD "Love Is' first in New York City, then in Taipei and Kaohsiung City in Taiwan. Angela believes that music connects people from all parts of the world, it can eliminate the boundary of races, places and time. She devotes herself in connecting both side of the Pacific Ocean.
VISUAL ART AND MUSIC - "JOURNEY" PROJECT
In May 2012, Angela started her second project "Journey." Based on her first College degree in Architecture and a year working in the design company, Angela has a sharp sense toward visual elements. In this project, Angela not only produced music, but also further explored the possibility to combine the visual elements, such as: stage design, costume, photography, painting and film.
“Journey” included five original songs in different styles: progressive rock, alternative, ballad, Japanese rock and folk rock. The five songs told separated stories but all happened in a life journey. "Dance with the Strings" is the struggle of finding one's purpose and fighting against the world's definition; "Confliction" is the conflicts between one's left and right brain (passions and logic); "Dream" is about love and realty; "A Drop of Tear" is about the journey of achieving; finally, the song "Journey" is about the findings and answers after all.
In this project, Angela started with a lyrical beginning: a story of a life journey, she then transformed it into music and visual design. She oil-painted the conceptual images, the image of kites flying in a blue sky reflected on a single eye, the eye was surrounded by a ocean of deep purple in the painting. In this painting, Angela wanted to express that our soul is free and full of possibilities, just like the kite flies freely in the sky, however sometimes life is clouded by our surroundings. In "Journey" project, Angela wanted to express one's struggle and the road he or she has to take, in order to find the purpose of life. Angela also designed two stage costumes for the project: one was a doll-like ballerina dressed in a deep-red skirt, with her arms and legs tied in thick chains and red strings. The red skirt color represented the desire and passion within the artist, the red strings attached to her arms and legs represented the vessels that are connected to the world around her; the other costume responded to the ballerina's costume with black and white colors, with the details of the chain as decorations.
After the concept and music were formed, Angela collaborated with choreographer Sylvana Tapia, who is an extremely creative and characteristic dancer living in New York City, to put together an interactive show. The collaboration with a dancer completed the image Angela had in mind while composing the music, also sparkled the infinite possibilities between two arts.
Angela started producing “Journey” CD in November 2012 in New York City, and it was released in June 2013. Angela showed her creativity and talent from the music production, such as: compositions, arranging, production, recording, mixing to the visual parts such as: CD cover design, costume design to video productions. When the show was on live, Angela based on her understanding for film and visual art, collaborated with accomplished photographer and cinematographer Yusuke Suzuki, created three concept videos: “Confliction,” “Dance with the Strings” and “Journey.” After that, Angela produced the music video “Dream” with a collage of her photographs: 4 Season of New York City on her own.
After “Journey” was on stages in NYC, she then had the tours oversea in Taiwan. She collaborated with accomplished choreographer and educator Duo Kosaciec in Taiwan. Duo applied eastern choreographic concepts and moves into “Journey” project, and infused her own style into the dance for Angela’s music. An experience of dance and contemporary music interactive live show was brought to Taiwan during December 2013 and January 2014. Angela performed with great musician friends in Taiwan, include: guitarist and music engineer Juin Wei (魏駿)，bassist Jack Ko and drummer Atama Hu (胡士國).
“Journey” project showed Angela’s sensitivity in both musical and visual contents. Her background in architecture derived her abilities of developing her concert into different art forms and collaborating with other artists; while her music training allowed her to express herself with different style of music. There is a clear weight of spiritual and philosophical sense in her works, which came from her cultural background and personal experiences of life.
Since 2010, Angela has also devoted herself in music education. She has become a popular music educator in New York City. “Angela Wang’s Music Studio” has helped many young kids and adults in New York City, who wish to play in different genres: from classical, blues, pop, rock to swing and bebop. Angela also offers composition theory lessons to help songwriters to improve their musical skills. Angela helped her students to play with a professional ensemble annually. Her students would have their private weekly lessons, and have the chance to work and perform with professional musicians in their annual concerts.
Angela has been invited to be a “Steinway Educational Partner” in 2015. She was also a senior faculty in Lx Music School, where she had taught from 2010 to 2016. She led a Pop Music Camp in Lx Music School in March 2013. In this camp, she designed many classes, such as: Voice and Keyboard Skills in Pop and Rock Music, Rehearsing with a Band, The Form of Pop Music and Preparation for Recording Sessions. During her time in LX Music School, her students had won many prices, besides passing the ABRSM grades each year, her long-time student Edmund Chin won the 3rd price in the International Piano Festival in 2016, and the 4th places in 2015 along with 2 of Angela’s students Leo Ni and Vivian Liu. Through LX Music School, Angela collaborated with “Young Musician’s Festival”, Steinhardt, New York University in 2015 and 2016. Her students were selected to perform and record new compositions by outstanding NYU young composers.
Amongst all of Angela’s achievements, her proudest one is to be able to pass on her love for music to more people, to cultivate everyday life of many with music, and bring more joy, beauty and love through music and deliver the world!
CONNECTIONS AND PROSPECTS
Been a successful musician, who has a special background of architecture design, Angela has a sharp sense to both visual and aural arts. She has worked with choreographers, film directors, photographers, and graphic-designers. She has composed for many films. She has toured between NYC and Taiwan regularly and performed with many top musicians around the globe. Angela’s original band was featured as the headline in Spring Roll Music Festival in New York City in May 2014. During her time living in New York City, she had been a go-to concert keyboardist/ accompanist for many singers in New York City, included pop singer Cathia from American TV show "the Voice," singer-songwriter Elizabeth Sullivan and Anna He. With the privilege of being in one of the world's cultural center for almost a decade, she has built a strong network with the world’s top musicians and artists.
In the end of 2016, Angela decided to relocate back to her hometown: Taipei, Taiwan. Not only to spend more time with her family and friends in Taiwan, but also with a hope to contribute her experiences, connections, and understanding of both cultures and musical attributes to her home country. She wishes to continue her cross-art projects with artists around the world, and to contribute her talents and skills through music education.
EARLY YEARS AND MUSIC EDUCATION
Angela started classical piano training at age of 5. Her piano teacher recognized her talent for music right away. She was also an all-time choir member from elementary school to high school, where she received vocal trainings. When she was 15, she was chosen to be the accompanist of the worship team in “Bread of Life,” the largest church in Taipei. During over 10 years of service in the worship team in Bread of Life Church, she had become the band leader for the worship team, and had arranged, rehearsed and led worship for countless times. The experiences gave her understandings of songwriting, arranging for a modern band and different instruments. She was able to compose, arrange and play in different music styles, such as: soul, funk, rock, gospel, jazz...etc. It also deepened her passion in music. Although she didn’t know it was her calling for life at the time, she often spent hours a day practicing music.
In 1994, Angela graduated from Taipei Frist Girls’ High School, and got into the architecture program in Tamkang University. She got the Bachelor of Architecture degree with honors in 1999 and started her first design job in Touchstone International Partners and Architects in 2000. She participated project in TIPA, included "Zoo Mall Taipei" project and several collective housing projects in China. After working in Touchstone for 6 months, she continued her design job in EHS International, Hsuyuan Kuo Architects & Associates. She worked as an interior designer and participated in projects for apartments design, demonstration unit for pre-sale apartment buildings and open spaces design for apartment buildings.
She stayed in EHS for another 6 months, until she realized her passion for music continued to grow. Although she enjoyed her designer’s job, she decided to let it go and switch her career to music. With the training in classical piano and her experiences leading the church band for a decade, she started to teach pop and classical music and right away. She formed a original metal band “Prophecy” and a Jazz band “Soul Steps" with her musician friends. She performed and taught around Taipei City, while she was preparing for her advanced music education by taking music composition classes and jazz piano lessons. During 2001-2004, Angela had built her career as a popular music teacher, Her metal band “Prophecy” was selected to perform in Spring Screen Music Festival 2004 in Taiwan. She also produced music for Children’s book, got a contract to write for pop singers and was an apprentice in “House Music Production and Recording Studios.”
After 3 years of experiences in music, Angela got in Berklee College of Music, so she moved to Boston, MA, United Stated for her second undergraduate study in music. She was so excited to study something she has so much passion for, she wanted to learn everything came across her way, so she decided to duo-major in Contemporary Writing And Music Production, plus Music performance. She completed all the required credits within 9 semesters and got her degrees in the end of 2007.
Berklee is one of the most prestigious jazz and contemporary music schools around the world nowadays. During three years in Berklee, Angela not only get to meet many accomplished musicians from around the world, she also met her first two music mentors, accomplished Hollywood movie composer, Bill Elliott, and jazz pianist/educator Ray Santisi. She was also equipped with the skill to be a great music producer by Michael Farquharson. With her hard work, she received a scholarship and "Contemporary Writing and Production Achievement Award" from Berklee College of Music on top of being on dean's list throughout all 9 semesters in Berklee during 2005-2007.
During her time in Boston, Angela formed an original punk rock band “PICURE” with her musician friends. She was the lead singer and keyboardist. They regularly performed in the local venues in Boston, during 2005-2007, and recorded a single CD with 5 of their original songs in summer 2007.
Followed her completion in Berklee College of Music, Angela continued her graduate study in Steinhardt, New York University in 2008. After her first year majored in Music Technology, Angela changed her major to Composition for Film after recognizing her greater interests in composition. Her mentor in NYU was Ira Newborn, an accomplished Hollywood film composer. During the time in New York University, she deepened her knowledge in classical music and contemporary music. She further study about orchestration and gained a great understanding about moving pictures by collaborating with film directors in New York City. Angela received her Master of Music degree from NYU in summer 2010.
After graduation, Angela has never stopped learning. She has studied under many music masters in New York City, included: Christina Arthur, a great concert vocalist and vocal instructor; Madeline Bruser, classical pianist, accomplished piano educator and the author of “The Art of Practicing;” Gary Fisher, concert jazz pianist base in New York City; and professor Irina Morozova, piano professor of Mannes School of Music and Special Music School at Kaufman Center. Besides the lessons, the blooming art and music scene of New York City has inspired Angela continuously to the grow with a never-ending possibility for her future endeavors.
"Ms. Angela Wang is exceptionally talented, established professional musician and artist in the fields of orchestration, arranging, playing and composing...Her sensitivity to her art and to that of the art she may collaborate with is superb." Ira Newborn (Hollywood studio guitarist, film composer)
"She has a fresh style of her own; her music doesn't sound like someone else's" Bill Elliot (Accomplished Disney movie/ TV/ Broadway musical/ pop music composer/ conductor/orchestrator)
"I was impressed with her singing and piano playing, her original compositions and her creative treatment of a variety of contemporary style using variable instrumental combination" Ray Santisi (Pianist and mentor of Jazz pianist/ composer Keith Jarett and Jazz singer/ pianist Diana Krall)
作曲家，管弦樂團編曲及指揮家Bill Elliot在好萊塢成就非凡，他曾為迪士尼電影，美國電視影集編曲。並且為百老匯，流行音樂作曲。他評論 ：『她（Angela） 有獨具一格的令人耳目一新的風格，她的音樂不和任何人的相仿。』
爵士鋼琴演奏家，教育家，著名爵士鋼琴手Keith Jarett與爵士鋼琴手兼歌手Diana Krall的心靈導師Ray Santisi則評論：『我對於她（Angela）歌唱及鋼琴的演出，作曲以及融合不同音樂曲風的創作力，使用多樣樂器組合的編曲能力都留下了非常深刻的印象。』