In addition to Charlie Chan's proficiency on a diverse range of musical instruments, and her natural business and entrepreneurial flair, Chan leads a highly technical life when it comes to music and computer technology.
Global Orchestra FOundation
In 2012, Charlie co-founded the Global Orchestra Foundation with friends, Nathan Waks & Justin Baird.
The Global Orchestra is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to bring people together through the act of playing music, to mark our global commitment to finding a sustainable future for our planet.
During Earth Hour 2015 the Global Orchestra with the support of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra facilitated the Concert for the Planet. This was a mass participation, multi location, simultaneous performance of Holst’s “The Planets”. On the count down to Earth Hour, direct from the stage of the Sydney Opera House, a live stream of chief conductor David Robertson was beamed out into the atmosphere.
Everyone, anywhere on the planet was playing along to the stellar sounds of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra with the help of Conductor-Cam.
In 2015 the Global Orchestra achieved its goal is to have 100,000 participants across more than 200 locations in Australia and abroad playing together in sync as the soundtrack during Earth Hour. Coming together to play music requires collaboration, listening, creativity and playing your part.
MUSIC TECHNOLOGY & DIGITAL INNOVATION
Working first with Yamaha as a new product demonstrator put Chan in front of much new music technology. She became proficient on the Yamaha DX7 – the first commercially successful digital synthesizer. She also took to the Minimoog – a monophonic analog synthesizer released in the early 1970s. This led to further experimentation with keyboards, sequencing software and electronic sampling – something Chan embraced at the very beginning of her career and has continued to incorporate into her ongoing work with original albums as well as for stage and screen scores.
Chan was among the first group of female Australian musician/composers to embrace technology in her work. As noted by journalist Bridget McManus, "Buzzing with creative energy and driven by an insatiable desire to learn, this composer, performer and cyber-chick is tuned in and logged on". The sentiment was also echoed by Cal Clugston writing for Revolver magazine: "As well as being known for her forays into sampling and electronica, this cutting-edge pianist and songwriter has an association with multimedia (and) the internet."
In the early to mid 2000s, Chan expanded her own label, Martian Music, into a successful independent online music service for herself and other artists in Australia and around the world. Its Internet based sales and distribution mechanism pioneered digital downloads and music ecommerce in Australia. Chan has since moved on into the field of application development, partnering with several technology firms to develop new music distribution models.