Suite from Laksa Cantata 
(2013/2018)

I. Laksa Aria performed at Orford Music Festival, Canada

II. Agree to disagree performed by Trio Oriens, Houston

Instrumentation: piano trio

violin, violoncello, piano

Duration: 9'


I. Laksa Aria 5'
II. Agree to Disagree 4'

This suite is adapted from the chamber opera Laksa Cantata, a Singaporean twist on J.S. Bach's Coffee Cantata. It was originally scored for soprano (LEAH), baritone (STEPHEN), violin, clarinet, violoncello and piano. In this instrumental suite for piano trio, the original vocal lines and textures are boiled down to the essence of their characters, spicy rhythms and savoury harmonies.

In Laksa Aria, the groom Stephen confesses about his indulgent love of laksa - and he really wants it to be served on their wedding banquet! He waxes lyrical about that steaming bowl of laksa, describing its velvety gravy as a 'sensuous brew', and how the flowing beehoon (thick rice noodles), the taupok (beancurd puff) and the hae (prawn) makes him swoon... After a sweet compromise, the couple launches into the dance-like duet Agree to Disagree. 

The suite version was first heard in 2013 at the Orford Music Festival (Canada), and subsequently performed by Phoenix Trio (Baltimore) in 2015, and the Trio Oriens (Houston) in 2018.

(See Laksa Cantata, chamber opera)