Fellow-to-Fellow: Ng Chor Guan x Youmna Saba

Ng Chor Guan (OneBeat 2015) is a composer and theremin player, and one of Malaysia’s most sought-after sound designers. Youmna Saba (OneBeat 2012) is a Beirut-based oud player, vocalist, and scholar. Fellow-to-Fellow is an ongoing interview series featuring in-depth discussions between OneBeat alumni.


Youmna Saba: Why do you think it’s important for people from different cultures to share an experience through music?

Ng Chor Guan: Music is universal language. We communicate through music much more easily without barrier. music moves people, music brings people together, music conveys messages, music inspires and leads our emotions. the multiple roles that music plays in one’s life is unpredictable.

YS: What drives your own music-making? Why or how is collaboration important for you art?

NCG: I hear music when I see things. composing is the path for me to translate my ideas and think into reality and convey the message to wider public.

collaboration is important as I see it as a way to expand the multi-facade of music, also, to engage people of various background in one.

YS: What is your favorite or most meaningful memory from OneBeat?

NCG: the most meaningful thing about onebeat is that we share not only music but also passion, love, culture, attitude, aim. After it all, we just want to make the world peaceful with wonderful moments.

** The final three questions are accompanied by the following audio track. **

Aria, the goddess of time, by Ng Chor Guan

YS: What shape would you use to draw time?

NCG: Time is fluid like liquid. Sometimes you may stop it in a moment in space. but sometime you need to flow with it.
YS: If you were to leave behind a time capsule for future archeologists to learn about our time and era, what would you leave?

NCG: my thoughts and the noise i made

YS: Does technology limit or enhance creativity? And why?

NCG: both. creativity at the core, technology is the tools to convey.

NCG: Time is fluid. there isn’t any fixed shape to it, but it is flexible and ever changing. we travel through time, meeting expected and unexpected. we move forward, as if we never move backwards. we move backwards, hoping we can move forward.

past- present – future

future – past – present

present – future – past

they are connected. they are detached.

they influenced.

they interfered.

they intertwined.

both reality and imagined.