In 2018, Singaporean ambient music composer and producer Kin Leonn released his staggeringly beautiful debut album, Commune. And last Friday, Leonn hosted the album's launch at the Esplanade Recital Studio, supported by like-minded electronic voyager Yeule.
Yeule kicked things off with a short but riveting set, establishing the tone for the rest of the night, as she used with her compressors and gear onstage to alter her voice and warp our minds. Shortly after her set, an intermission was announced, allowing the stage crew to make way for Leonn's barrage of equipment.
As the lights dimmed at the packed out Recital Studio, Leonn walked onto stage to deafening applause from the crowd. Before he began his performance, Leonn thanked the crowd and urged them to approach the rest of the night with an open mind, allowing the music to resonate with their souls and amplify their feelings.
Much like his music, Leonn’s performance was deeply personal and isolated. Throughout the evening, a sole spotlight shone down on him. A brief glimpse around the concert hall bore a bevy of different reactions and consumption methods of the audience. Some had their eyes shut, swaying and nodding gently along to the music. Some were sat upright, dissecting every move Leonn was making, almost as if they were hoping to recreate the magic they were witnessing.
As the night progressed, those in attendance allowed his work to slip into their stream of consciousness, transporting them to an ethereal realm, where they could navigate their deepest and most secluded emotions.
Over the year since the release of Commune, Kin’s sonic inclinations have matured and grown exponentially, and he reflected that during his performance, with subtle tweaks and changes to his tracks, that added surreal textures to it, further magnifying their effect.
The last time he played, he performed to a sold out crowd at The Projector, last year. So it came as no surprise that he was playing to yet another sold out crowd. This time, however, we weren’t seeing the same Kin Leonn as a year ago.
The Kin Leonn that showed up at the Esplanade Recital Studio was one who was more confident in himself and his music. Sure, he was still sheepish when he was talking to the crowd, but once he began playing, he came into his own, exuding confidence and pride in his work.
Kin Leonn’s Commune launch was a glimpse into the future for the talented musician. With the strides he has made so far, it’ll be interesting to see how his sound evolves on his next project.
Special thanks to the Esplanade for the invite.