Symphonic Electronica

Symphonic Electronica = Synergy of Music Ideology

Artist Statement

It is my life's dream to be able to work symphonic instruments together with electronic instruments. It's a simple idea really, and I expect that I should hear it somewhere soon, but I did not.

Contemporary classical music using electronic instruments are often very 'analytical,' and to me, they aim for dissonance and atonal but somehow loses its soul. I played a lot of piano music in Bartok, Rachmininoff and the like when I was a teenager, but deep down I much prefer Baroque.

On my path to broaden my musical taste, I came across Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians. It's contemporary classical but very listenable. On the booklet which comes with the CD, Steve recalled that his professor once advised himI can't find the exact quotethat if he wishes to make harmonized music, he should just write harmonized music. I took this to heart and started writing simple fugues, using counter-point techniques that I once learned in college for music composition.

On the electronic music front, there has been a few DJs, most notably William Orbit, who has attempted to redo baroque classics in electronic music—but in my opinion, they are no difference than sampling records in the 70s and claiming as their own by putting a few VST filters on them. Indeed, Pieces in a Modern Style is so disappointing that I question how it ever got out of the studio.

Then one day while I was listening to trance on Rhapsody — my pumping background music for work, I came across Hybrid's Finished Symphony. It was the first symphonic electronica piece that I responded to. It combines symphonic parts with electronic instruments and have a lot going for it. It is from there that I thought to myself that perhaps it is not such a bad idea to do something about it.

I started writing this piece in early 2006 as a way to fight depression. Music lets me free from my surroundings and allows me to go places where words and images cannot. But like most afflicted with NADD, I have trouble finishing it, and I was also too insecure to release this piece for fear of getting excruciatingly bad reviews that I probably would not be able to handle.

In the late summer of 2006, on my research to figure out how to construct better dance beats (since I'm a classically trained pianist, I naturally had no training in percussion and must somehow acquire that knowledge), I came across a fact that many DJ contests on the Web which gives out pristine vocal tracks for download to be remixed and uploaded. At that time, I was toying with Sony ACID Pro, so naturally I signed up with ACIDPlanet and began producing.

My intention was to do these mixes just as studies, to gain experience, in order to write my Symphonic Electronica piece. So I simply took the vocal tracks of all these songs, throw away everything, then start working on them.

My first remix is Madison Park's All about the Groove (original commercial release / my remix) To my surprise, I received many positive feedback, both from friends whom I know and from strangers who were kind enough to provide me with criticisms. The best comment came from Steven Hall, a friend of mine who is a music producer by profession. He noted that this was the first piece I have created that is actually good. I took that to heart, and so began a new hobby—mixing music from AcidPlanet.

One thing great about contests is that you get to learn a lot from other entries. It is from these entries that I discovered new ways of handling samples, and experimenting with different things. Coming across Ableton Live was also a blessing, which enables the programmer side of me to experiment with settings that are too challenging in a linear setup like Cubase.

After many months of remixing, I came back my Symphonic Electronica piece again. From my experience of the remixes, I identified my style and decisions. I decided to publish this piece and ask the world for my opinion. So here is one of many sketches of musical ideas:

Symphonic Electronica Opus 0.5.9 (04:14) / WMA / MP3
Copyright 2006-2007 See-ming Lee. All rights reserved.

What I am aiming for is a synergy of symphonic and electronic instruments, as a co-existing harmony, like a vanilla+chocolate twist you get on an ice cream truck on the street when you were a little boy / little girl.

Unlike my other music posted on AcidPlanet, it is 100% original material. I have learned much from other people's feedback and comments for my photographs on Flickr and my music on AcidPlanet. As such, if you are reading this post, I will highly appreciate your thoughts and comments, as I can only get better with constructive criticisms.

Music Background

Classically trained pianist. Baroque recorder soloist.

Focused on children's music education in early years: Hong Kong Children's Choir, Yip's Children's Choir (Hong Kong), Hong Kong Ballet Group, Jean M. Wong School of Ballet.

Professional = Design + Technology + Marketing Strategy


Symphonic Electronica, Progressive Electronica


Aphex Twins, Autechre, J.S. Bach, Bjork, BT, Café Del Mar, Chicane, Claude Debussy, Enigma, Jean-Michel Jarre, Maurice Ravel, Charles Camille Saint-Saëns, Plaid, Towa Tei, 王菲.



  • Shuttle XPC Barebones P4 2.8HT, 1G DDR400, WD Raptor, Seagate eSATA
  • Lexicon Omega 8x4x2
  • Swans M-200
  • AKG K701, AKG K601, Shure SE530
  • Novation Remote SL 25, M-Audio Axiom 49, Ozone, Studiologic SL-880, Yamaha AN1X
  • Sony MZ-M200


  • Ableton Live 6, Sony ACID Pro 6, Sound Forge 9, FL Studio, Cubase 4, Reason 3
  • Kontakt 2, Ableton Sampler, EIC, MSI
  • Absynth 4, FM8, Sytrus
  • iZotope Ozone, Spectron, Trash
  • DKS, Vokko

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