Shirley Ly is a self-taught contemporary classical music composer from Greenwich in London, United Kingdom, with Chinese and Vietnamese heritage. She has produced three albums, which feature c. 30 pieces composed for solo piano / violin / cello, duets, trios, and quartets: Paradise (2023), Blossom (2021), and Impetus (2018). Her music has been played around a million times across more than 100 countries around the world spanning six continents, including by BBC radio, and is described to be a bridge between classical, romantic, and minimalist music with Eastern and jazz elements. She has performed her music across a variety of venues, including churches in London, and the Palace of Westminster, and will be performing in many more venues going forward.
The pieces in her albums aim to capture her reflections on life experiences relating to nature (i.e., swallows' journeys to their nests, the seasons, swans), living in London, dance, relationships with family and other loved ones, travel (i.e. to Berlin, Amsterdam), and dreams. Paradise (2023) in particular is inspired by her experiences of swimming, diving, sailing, and surfing in the ocean, and she hopes that her music can further emphasise its importance. Shirley plays the piano in all of her pieces.
She is working on her fourth album, 9 Pieces About Cats to be completed in 2023, inspired by her five mischievous cats in London. She is also working on classical and electronic music works inspired by her travels in Southeast Asia.
For Shirley, composing music helps with the discovery of self as it allows reflections to be expressed freely. She considers music to be very powerful as it can be shared, not only in a physical way where people can listen to it but in the sense that it evokes emotions, triggers memories, and makes the mind wander into an abyss of imagination. She sincerely hopes that her work shares in this sense with you.
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