Home 9 Composers 9 NICHOLAS MA

Nicholas Ma (b. 2001) is a pianist-composer whose music often has a sense of rhythmic vitality and energy, with occasional humor and wit juxtaposing passages that contain more contemplative or deeper meanings. Some of his recent accolades include a 2022 SOCAN Young Composer Award in the Under 21 Choral Category, a student composer-in-residence position with McGill’s 2023/24 Schulich Singers, and a commission from the Coalition for Music Education in Canada to compose a celebratory song for 2022/23 as a part of the Music Monday program, a yearly event where a song of celebration is sung by hundreds of thousands of children and youth in schools and communities across Canada. Nicholas is completing a double major in Piano Performance and Composition in addition to a Minor in Music Theory at McGill University, where he was the recipient of awards such as the Luba Zuk Piano Duo Composition Competition Prize, Luba Zuk Scholarship in Piano Performance, the Frank Mills Scholarship, and the Paul-Marcel Gélinas et Verna-Marie Parr Gélinas Piano Award. Nicholas has also served as the 2022/23 Vice-President for the McGill Association of Student Composers.

Human Touch

by Nicholas Ma

SATB with piano– CP 2343 – duration 5:15

This is a thought-provoking piece that tackles difficult questions on A.I. in art and what it means to be a human in this technological age. Taking an ironic twist by using a fragmented poem generated by ChatGPT, the composer invites listeners to question if art will forever lose the human touch at this rate of advancement.

The haunting climax has the music—representing technology—advance with such speed that words shatter into French, Latin, Italian, and German, to highlight the impact on our interconnected world, while questioning whether we are echoing the ancient fable of the Tower of Babel.