May Chi is a Hong Kong-born songwriter, composer and visual artist currently based in the East Midlands, UK.
A defier of genre boundaries, May's songwriting blends Alternative Rock, Indie Folk and Ambient elements to create uniquely ethereal and rustic soundscapes. Her introspective and vulnerable penmanship evokes the feelings of saudade (nostalgic yearning) and catharsis in her lyricism. She self produced her first two EPs, Blue and Wayfaring, over the course of 2018 and 2019, and is currently working on her debut album Suspension, which was the recipient of the Sound and Music COVID 19 Composer Awards. Her songs have been featured on BBC Introducing and AmazingRadio, and she has performed at events such as RBC’s International Women’s Day Festival in 2020 and Leon Trimble’s 2021 Stryx Gallery Residency.
May’s compositional works draw from her intrinsic connection with nature, saudade and catharsis. Her works explores various aspects of electroacoustic and ambient music production, and plays around with the limitations offered by traditional instruments and ensembles to create and mould various sounds, timbres and ambiences. She has composed for the Bristol University Music Society (BUMS), Flauguissimo Duo, Quatuor Bozzini, Fidelio Trio, Thallein Ensemble and Tresonant. May was recently commissioned to compose the soundtrack for Pilot Theatre's virtual reality production 'Monoliths'.
She recently completed a Composition MMus at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, for which she was awarded a Distinction, and was the recipient of a scholarship for the duration of her degree. She has studied with composers including Sean Clancy, Amber Priestley, John Pickard, Neil Farwell, Neil Stemp, Ed Bennett and James Dooley.
A keen artist, her visual mindedness is evident within her large musical body of works often drawing from nature. Additionally, she has created illustrations, graphic designs and short videos in accompaniment of her music and for a variety of clients including Collector Land and Young Composers Project, as well as experimenting with film photography. With future artistic endeavours, she is looking to narrow the gap between her art and music practises.
Issue 2.1: Coming of Age (Interview) - Retrograde Magazine