31 Aug 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
“How many Christian artistes do we know have maintained their Christian identity consistently? We are talking about people who are really setting an example in the industry by doing high-quality performing arts work and yet still maintain their Christian identity,” said Charity Lee, Music Director of TAPESTRY.
A homegrown vocal group, TAPESTRY was born out of a group of friends who were passionate about representing the identity of Christ in the music industry. The name TAPESTRY represents the different people, voices, and gifts amalgamating to form a vocal tapestry.
Inspired by radio, television, onscreen films and theatrical production, TAPESTRY prides themselves as more than an a cappella group that performs a variety of music ranging from pop songs to rock, jazz, music theatre, and doo wop.
In 2012, they started with an informal and casual Christmas Tapestry production at Enfiniti Academy. And in year 2013, their efforts snowballed into a sold-out 650-strong crowd for Stereo & Popcorn at the Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPAC) over four consecutive shows. This year, the 13-member team is opting for the larger 1100-seat theatre in DPAC for their upcoming show, Human After All, scheduled for October.
“So, we make it very interactive. We think of ways where the audience can get involved in the show. And the kind of message we want to bring across.
“It’s not so much about shoving Jesus down their throats, but as subtly as we can, we want to share a Christian message as well,” said Charity Lee.
One of her most memorable comments was from a non-Christian who said of a previous show: “You know a thing I like about your show is that when I look at all of you, I know you are Christians, but you do not force this ‘Jesus thing’ down my throat. You are like me, are not too serious, and know how to have fun!”
For Charity, the production should speak to the audience at the end of the day. But sometimes, we are so trapped in our ‘holy huddle’ that non-believers find it hard to connect.
“We try to find themes that people can relate to. Many times, the struggles that people go through are not necessarily unique to whether they are Christians or not. As such, we want to share our stories about how God helped us in particular situations to encourage others,” said Charity.
That is why TAPESTRY positions themselves in the public space rather than focus solely on church. If they were to only perform in church with a church-centric mindset, their influence would be confined within the church walls.
“So, for me… thinking beyond the church, we need to engage more people in conversations and dialogue. At the very least, we need to get the ball rolling and put things into perspective.
“TAPESTRY is very much aware of the community we live in and sensitive to current issues. We love to sing and that’s an important aspect. But what drives the whole project is what we want to convey to our audience in light of what is happening today,” said Charity.
TAPESTRY believes that art and music is the best way to engage people because they offer a way to talk about everyday life in a creative manner. And creativity is accessible by everyone!
“The world we live in is so different now. If you’re going to apply the same methods to reach out to the people around us, it’s not going to be the same anymore. People don’t think and feel in the same way anymore, in the sense that they are always drifting and not constant.
“This is not going to change. So, how is the church going to tackle that? Creativity is an effective tool that can be used to connect and reach out to people in the present age,” said Charity.
Human After All examines the breakdown of relationships despite the constant connection between people who are feeling increasingly isolated and lonely.
Yet… in every problem lies a solution, and this is a journey that TAPESTRY hopes to take their audience along.
“For me personally, we should look at the life we have. Even if I don’t bring God into the picture, all we have if we’re fortunate is 70 years. So, what kind of legacy do we want to leave behind?
“We can acquire all the wealth that we want but if it only remains with us when we die, that is all it is, whether or not we are Christians. We only get one chance to live a life that is meaningful and more so when we’re Christians.
“What are you doing for God? How would you account for your life when you meet Him? So, actually, life is very short. I could be dead next week. I mean you don’t know right. If you live a life with a sense of your own mortality, things become urgent,” said Charity.
Having faith in the Lord, TAPESTRY is pushing the limits by doubling the overhead and cost of production this year, trusting that God will provide.
“I say to the team: If you’re brave enough, and having seen last year how faithful God is, let us continue to make God the focus and not divert from Him. As long as we commit our plans to Him, He will help us in all aspects,” said Charity.
TAPESTRY is set to push the boundaries of creative music production this year by including songs that are interlaced with narrative stories, dramatized vignettes, and direct interaction with the audience—under the direction of award-winning choreographer and director Michael Xavier Voon. Visuals, lighting, and live-processing vocal effects will also be used to bring forward a more engaging experience.
“The music field is really growing but I think due to globalization—the way the world is so connected and how things happening around are impacting us as well—I believe the Malaysian audience is ready to see things that have not been tried before,” said Charity Lee.
Audiences of all ages would find this music production enjoyable with a mix of songs from all eras, including classics from the 1960’s right up to what’s current in pop music today.
Ultimately, Charity shared that she hopes that Human After All would deliver the message that we are imperfect people and we need help. Like how Christ laid down his life for us, we ought to lay down our lives in love for other people as well.
Get tickets for Human After All at www.dpac.com.my.
Venue | Damansara Performing Arts Centre
Date | 23—26 OCT daily (Matinee show at 3 PM, only on 26 OCT)
Price | RM45 | RM55
Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/wearetapestry
Proceeds from ticket sales will be used to support SPICES (Support for Parents, Infants, and Children through Early Services) in their work among children with learning disabilities.
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