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Second SFCM TACtok Winner Selected

Chloe Liao’s composition won the second SFCM TACtok contest in which students were challenged to create a soundtrack for SFCM’s TikTok channel.

March 22, 2023 by Mark Taylor

From classical, to electronic, to pop music, for Chloe Liao, she finds it all inspiring. “I once had a test where no matter what music I heard, my heart rate went up,” she said.

The Technology and Applied Composition (TAC) student’s composition Let’s get funky was selected as the winner of the second TACtok contest, for which SFCM looked to TAC students to craft a genre-bending soundtrack to be featured on the Conservatory’s TikTok channel as a project for a TAC course. Students were challenged to create soundscapes that were bold, exuberant, joyful, and viewed through the lens of innovation and inclusivity. 

For her winning composition, Liao leaned into creating something that felt uplifting and in the spirit of moving forward: “In my opinion, we should all be vigorous, sunny and positive when we are students. Because we have a lot of energy, so we create our age,” she said. “I added my own vocals and the vocals of my classmate Ryan Camastral to represent what we are looking forward to in our lives.” Liao is a graduate student working with professor Daria Novoliantceva.

Though now composing all kinds of music, Liao’s relationship with music started as a four-year-old learning classical piano in China. By high school, though, her music tastes evolved to include electronic and pop music. “I love all music. Even if I don't play, even if I don't compose, I really need my ears to hear it,” she added.

Since its launch in November of 2021, SFCM’s TikTok channel has become one of the largest of any college or university in the country and has garnered millions of views, created a few TikTok stars, and grown to more than 218 thousand followers. 

As far as inspiration, when she composes music, Liao doesn’t look far, and relies on her own instincts. “When I compose, I put myself in a story, imagine what I see, and write about it,” Liao said. The music maker is also a big movie fan, specifically of the acclaimed Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki, whose film scores (by Joe Hisaishi) originally helped to inspire her to start composing in the first place. “I believe all music has that meaning," Liao said "Whether it is classical or pop music, I can often hear the soul of the composer in the music.” 

Check out Lets Get Funky on TikTok! 

Learn more about studying Technology and Applied Composition at SFCM.