Evelyn Glennie in Singapore 2015

Three years ago I watched Evelyn Glennie in Singapore. Back then, I’d only played with a Symphonic Band/Orchestra (just every Sunday, non-professionally).

Fast forward 3 years on, I’m taking a break from my Symphonic Band practice, and I’ve explored and played with different people and bands the past year; I’d auditioned and failed in about 3 bands, but also had the opportunity to play in different bands for their performances. Still, I lack self-confidence most of the time, and struggle regularly on whether I should continue playing or give it up, as I know that as compared to professionals, I can be nowhere as good as them.

I envy professional musicians – they get to hone their skills everyday and do what I wish I was good at. Some of my friends (both professionals and non-professionals) know that I’m going through this and they told me not to compare this way.

When Parvin told us that she was able to meet Evelyn Glennie and ask her questions if any, the first question that I had was again the above – What would she advice a non-professional percussionist who knows that she isn’t as good as a professional even though she does her best to work on her skills as best that she can?
Evelyn’s answer (as conveyed by Parvin) was this: There’s no such thing as non-professional percussionists. We are all the same and equal whether we are professionals or not. The most important thing is that we need to explore and understand people’s feelings and try to understand what life is all about. We are here to share our beautiful stories of life through our performances to the audience. Even the audience has some stories to share.

I think this was the best answer that I’d received. I was reminded previously about how we should connect with the audience through our performance but this was the best reminder. I’m really thankful for Parvin to ask my question too! 🙂

This time, I attended Evelyn’s performance with Carol and Parvin – 2 brilliant percussionists that I get to play with. It was Carol’s first time watching the SCO (my 2nd time) and just like my first time watching them previously, she was in awe. There were 2 other soloists – Yu Hong Mei who plays the Er Hu (her music accolades are really amazing), and Han Lei who plays the Guan Zi. I’m intrigued by the sound of the Guan Zi – the lower one with elements that makes it sound like the clarinet, and the higher one which sounds a little like the saxophone.
Pretty much was a good reminder to myself about music.

And we finally finally got a picture with Evelyn Glennie herself!!!
She’s really really nice 🙂

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Thank you for inspiring all musicians as always!

I really really love playing music. This is why I haven’t given up yet.

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Changing of the Seasons

*There’s a part of the video where I keep hearing frequency sounds.

Sometimes I don’t really know what I am doing. Especially when editing photos.

I seriously need someone to guide me along. Zzz

Since the last post, I jammed with 2 other bands: One was almost a professional band, and another were made up of teens (they had a good bassist though).

Anyway, I did badly for the professional band due to nerves, PMS, etc so I shan’t post the songs that we did.

Set list:
1) Slither – Velvet Revolver
2) Still into You – Paramore
3) You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi
4) Animals – Neon Trees
5) Time is Running out – Muse
6) I Knew You Were Trouble – Taylor Swift

To be honest, the songs here were the stuff that I’m most comfortable playing with.
I’m someone who gets better the more I work on songs, so basically I screwed up song number 1. HAHA but afterwards was okay.

The bassist of this band was quite good. When the rest of them went for a smoking break, I tried free jamming with him. I finally understood what my bf meant about trying to push to change a style but it wasn’t easy I felt. Anyways, I think this was a band that had potential if they listened out more. They were way better than the first band that i went to try out for.

Not sure if I got in to be honest. They’re trying out another drummer this week. OH wells.

TBH I can’t wait to jam with my colleagues again.

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Baybeats 2013 (Review + Photographs)

So, for the past many years, I would happen to stumble by Baybeats while walking by Esplanade.

This year was the first time that I had made arrangements just to go down and watch.

Eugene’s band wyd:syd went for the auditions too but unfortunately didn’t get in (they went on to win the SIM-UOL MusicFest, and got into Noise TMM). I still remember how when we first knew each other, he didn’t expect me to know what Baybeats was.

Sadly, the few months before Baybeats, I noticed that at the line-up, GSE wasn’t included. I really wanted to watch them live.

Nevertheless, went down on Day 1 to check out Force Vomit, where Eugene’s mentor for Noise is in it.
I didn’t know what sort of genre they play, but they reminds me of Indonesia Pop music.

Do note that all my music perspective are from a very generic symphonic band perspective.

But before that, we checked out this post-rock band withyouathome. Very awesome band with very very good band spirit.

We went down on the 3rd day with my camera so that I could try and learn taking some music related/performance shots. And also check out the bands of course.

Esther Lowless (and her acoustic band)

Read so much about her recently online as well as on the papers. Didn’t really hear how she sounds like until at Baybeats itself. Pretty interesting mix of genres for her different songs. Her drummer for the acoustic line-up is the same as the Tall Mountains drummer if not wrong. Pretty excited to see a cello in the arrangement.
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I didn’t really expect her music to be how it was to be. As all the articles and interviews of her seemed pretty, erm, emo. But her music doesn’t feel emo at all. In fact, I think it’s something most people would enjoy listening to, whether on the drive home, or some good music you hear when sitting at cafes.

Electrico
We caught Electrico as well. Didn’t take any pictures because I was sitting from a pretty awkward view. Too many people! I think there were at least 500 people who turned up to watch them. Most of their songs were new songs, and it was quite obvious that they’re heading in a new direction with regards to their music. Can’t wait to hear more of their new stuff!

Sloppy Joe (JP)

We caught the last band at the Arena. Sloppy Joe. They’re a 5 person band from Japan, playing 1980s British kind of music. Happy sort of music. They were pretty good, but just that after a while, everything sounds kind of similar. But well, most of the bands I listen to gives me such a feeling. Sloppy Joe makes you feel happy though. And their drummer, wow. He looks happy most of the time, enjoying himself at his throne. haha. I wish I could play happy too 🙂

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That wraps up my short post on Baybeats 2013. Hopefully more good bands next year! And maybe wyd:syd too 🙂

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Jamming session 27 May 2013.

Thought I should blog my thoughts since I seldom get to jam.
If I had my way, I would be jamming at least once a month.
But unfortunately things aren’t that easy.

Cover List:
1) The Remedy – Jason Mraz
2) When You Were Young – The Killers
3) What You Know – Two Door Cinema Club
4) Jenny – Walk The Moon
5) It’s Time – Imagine Dragons

People:
1) Eugene – Guitar
2) Jing – Guitar
3) Phonse – Bass
4) PW – Keys/Vocals
5) Me – Drums

First time jamming with Phonse. Played with Jing at a competition back then. That was my first time in such an arrangement. Seems like a while ago but not really.

As you can see, the songs were generally rather indie rock, something that I’m not very familiar, with regards to playing. It was quite a challenge, and I learnt a lot too.

Not sure if it was coz of the run I had the previous week, but I realised that I couldn’t play the open-close hi-hat bits the whole of “Jenny” my usual way. I had to switch method of playing halfway throughout or risk not continuing the song.

Another thing after getting feedback from Eugene is that I seldom use toms. This I admit it’s true. If I first play a new song, I will usually get the basic stuff first before adding in the toms and fill-ins. This is my way of working I guess.

We did about almost an hour of random jamming (I was staring at the clock and playing on instinct/feel/gut – whatever you call it) which I thought was pretty good for most bits. Think I could do nicer for the hi-hats. And as always, not much of the toms.

Overall it was pretty okay for me, save the fact that it was awkward as I felt that I was trying to enter/join a new clique. Things can be improved definitely, and some things are more difficult than others, but I guess perhaps everything is a good experience.

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Music – my journey.

Was digging out some of the old stuff from my hard disk to send to a new friend of mine. Someone who I’d known recently and would say that I’m glad to know! 🙂 Basically just trading music with him. So what happened is that I’ve been telling him about all the symphonic band stuff, and he told me to just send him a few to try. So that’s what I’m doing now, and so I decided to listen to them as well.

How much time flies! When I first stepped into band in 2003 (I joined only in sec 3). I used to listen to whatever that was on the radio, and I couldn’t accept many things at first, like rock, rap, and I can’t remember what else. They were either too noisy, or too boring. Used to listen to a lot of pop and alt rock (when I was 11 haha) but slowly started to accept different things, and different music.

Now that I’m stepping into Crayon Parade, these things are a whole new experience for me. To be honest, I can listen and accept new genre of music rather easily now, but still can’t tell the whole layering thing, or anything else. Still learning, and basically having fun. Hopefully someday I will be able to understand just like what I did for Symphonic band stuff. 🙂

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“Marry You” Percussion Ensemble arrangement

I wanted to write my thoughts with regards to an arrangement I did for “Marry You”, based on Glee’s version of it, originally by Bruno Mars.

I really wanted to arrange something for SNCO’s percussion to try out, more because most of the other percussion ensemble pieces are to be honest super boring or nothing most of us can relate to. I wanted to try something different, and also to try out arranging music. “Marry You” is actually the 2nd arrangement that I worked on (the first being “21 Guns” by Greenday but that is still WIP).

Anyway, I don’t intend to sell this, or gain any profits from it, so I do hope that I won’t incur any copyright issues. o.o

Okay. About my thoughts.

I chose to arrange this piece many many months back when I was feeling really happy while in a relationship, and then this Glee version came out. I checked out the Bruno Mars version but still prefer this version to be honest (because of the different voices etc). It took me about 1 month to complete this. The process wasn’t easy, as I am not good at harmonies despite a grade 5 in theory (theory and practical are always 2 different things). Plus I consider my primary instrument(s) to be the percussion and not the piano, or any other instruments. Basically, I am not a notes person. Perhaps this is why I want to learn the cello. 🙂

I wanted to dedicate this song to my then boyfriend. But I am not sure if this is appropriate now. So I shall just keep it for myself or my future husband.

All the mallet parts (other than the chimes) will get to play the main melody as well as the accompanying harmony. This is because I felt that sometimes some mallet instruments won’t get to shine or show in an ensemble. The Glee version kinda allows the different mallet instrument to sort of show through.

To be honest, I haven’t tried it out yet (or rather no one tried it out yet) so I am not sure how it sounds like. Hope it will be nice.

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R.I.P. Michael Jackson

I know I’m kinda late in putting this up, as MJ’s already gone for more than a week. I was super shocked when my sis SMSed me to ask me about it on the day itself and my mum turned on to CNA and it just confirmed the news.

I remembered reading about his comeback concerts and then he’s gone after that?

When I was a little girl, probably around 4 years old, I use to play with my hair a lot. And you know how MJ has some curly fringe in the past that will always come across his forehead a lot? Believe it or not, as a small kid, I used to purposely try to put a small clump of my fringe in front of my forehead and say that I’m “Michael Jackson”. I knew who he was already then.

I don’t really remember much of his songs and I have no idea how I learnt some of them.

Black or White‘s MV was rather memorable.

I remember being at my neighbour’s place when the face-morphing part of the video was on (she had cable; I don’t) and I was deeply mesmerised by it. Then at random times, Channel 5 would play it and I will watch it again and again.

I’m now watching it again and hey, isn’t the boy Macaulay Culkin?

Heal the World was a song that we would sing in schools during Racial Harmony Day every year. I applaud the person who came up with this idea. I heard the song on radio a few days ago and got pretty emo about it actually.

And A B C‘s like the song most kids around my age would know! 🙂 Was it from Sesame Street (my sis told me)? *smiles*

I don’t know how you feel about his death, but even though MJ’s someone I’ve never met in person, his music had touched me just as it did to so many worldwide.

R.I.P. MJ. No one will be able to replace you.

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How I practise the cello.

You may have already seen this if you have me as a friend on FB. But here it is anyway. How I practise the cello.

And no, the cello’s not mine. i borrowed it from Huzz 😛


This is the cupboard my sister and I share…

I sit in front of this cupboard when I practice… Why? Read on!


This is how I stop the cello from running away when I hug it…

No, you don’t need to buy a cello stopper. 🙂


This is the subject in question.

It’s a bit difficult to get the full picture when you’re holding the camera with your right hand and the cello with your left… haha


This is how I use the cupboard.

Notice the reflection? You can’t see it too clearly but I can see the reflection of the bow and know if I’m holding the bow correctly…

How do I get the reflection? See next…


I turn on the table lamp and position it this way to get a reflection on the cupboard. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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Jason Mraz in Singapore 2009 (5 March 09)


I have to confess, I did not buy the tickets on the first day the ticket sales opened. In fact, I’d only bought it after I returned from my Hong Kong Trip.

And I ended up buying the 2nd last $88 ticket. 😀

Not important, but anyway, I’ve been listening to Jason Mraz since 2002 when “The Remedy” first came out. In fact, I remember that I’d purposely memorised the lyrics to the rap of the song just so that I can sing it.

I was just a poor sec 2 kid then, so I didn’t buy his album (sadly).

He disappeared for a while after that, returning with Wordplay and also Geek in the Pink. In fact, I remember asking Hwa Swee once in the computer lab back in school who sang Geek in the Pink coz it was good and I hadn’t listened to the radio in a while at that point of time.

I missed his previous few performances in Singapore (Mosaic festival & SingFest) so this was a must go!

Enough about my story. Anyway, I’d reached SIS early that day, and bought a $45 tee shirt (so shoot me). Went to my seat early and started people watching and taking pictures.


Yea, I was pretty tired


One thing I don’t get is why so many people arrived after 8pm even though the concert was slated to start at 8. Grrr…

Anyway, if you want to know how a full house SIS looks like…

I didn’t take much pictures, coz it was pretty dark. I took a few videos though, and will embed them here when Facebook finish processing them.

Jason Mraz was amazing!!! It’s what I’d expected and MORE!!! He interacted with the audience, he danced, he even SANG OPERA!

Anyway, I was standing and dancing almost throughout the concert. The whole indoor stadium was doing so too! It’s a waste if you were there sitting and watching only. It was like one big party!! 😀

He also mimicked the saxophone.

Check out the video below (someone uploaded it on YouTube). I almost fainted when he sang OPERA!!!!

I just wished they’d planned up an encore. That was the only downside to the concert. I just wanted more songs!!

Songs I want to listen to him live: Love for a Child & Please Don’t Tell Her
The set list:

1. Dynamo of Volition
2. Geek in the Pink

3. (not sure)
4. You and I Both
5. Who Needs Shelter
6. Live High
7. Only Human
8. Beautiful mess
9. Make it Mine
10. I’m Yours
11. Three little Birds
12. Mr. Curiosity
13. The Remedy & Wonderwall
14. No Stopping Us
15. Butterfly

I want to go to a Jason Mraz concert again!!

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