It was not the first time that I have listened to this work. I had first heard this work when I visited the Singapore History Gallery located in the National Museum of Singapore sometime in Dec 2006. When I visited the museum with one of my friends, Mystic, several weeks ago, I took down the title of the work so that I could try to get a recording of this work for Mystic.
The Glass Rotunda, National Museum of Singapore. The Glass Rotunda is a modern interpretation of the museum's old Rotunda Dome. As one enters the interior of the smaller drum of the Glass Rotunda, one gets treated to 360 degress of projected images. Right now at least, one can also get to hear part of Vladimir Martynov's SINGAPORE. A Geopolitical Utopia as one views the projected images.
Prior to attending the concert, Emily was kind to be my delightful company for dinner. We had dinner at Simply Peranakan Cuisine. For the better-than-average quality of the food, I think this restaurant deserves more patronage and sales.
Emily was singing praises of the Archar appetiser that was served to us. It went well with the Koropok.
We ordered Chap Chye and Buah Keluak to share. The Buah Keluak proved to be an interesting dish. We learnt from one of the waitress that chicken meat was stuffed and cooked in this black-colour looking nut/fruit. The gravy has a nice and interesting taste.
Please pardon me, I was too focused on eating that I only started taking photos when we have finished about half of the food.
During dinner, I shared briefly about what little things I know about the Peranakan and their culture. I am not a Peranakan, and whatever I know about the Peranakan came from my visits to the various museums in Singapore, particularly the Asian Civilisation Museum (Armenian Street). The restaurant's website actually has a short write-up on the Perankan: http://www.simplyperanakan.com/history.html
Since Emily and myself wanted to end the meal with a sweet item, dessert became a must to have. I vote for the Ubikayu as a dessert to try. It has a nice texture to chew on, and the core of it is pleasantly warm when one chews on it. We also ordered a bowl of Sago. The sago went well with Ubikaya, but I think Ubikayu stole the show. The grated coconut on the Ubikaya tasted fresh, yummy and crunchy.
After our dinner, we hurried to the Concert Hall. Security was very tight. The President, S R Nathan, Minister Mentor, and several Members of Parliament were present for the concert. This is one of the few concerts that I have attended whereby there are so many very important people in the audience seats.
Vladimir Martynov's SINGAPORE. A Geopolitical Utopia is an interesting work to listen to. I quite like the minimalist first movement of the work whereby the word "SIN-GA-POR" was repeatedly chanted. I also like one of the segment of the work whereby there was quite a bit of unresolved chords. It sounded dark, and I like music that sounds dark.
The Russian Orthodox Church chorus reciting the words of the Tao De Jing was quite a interesting part to listen to. My ears told me that there was something interesting going on in the music, but I just don't know what and why.
After the concert, I was quite pleased that I managed to purchase a copy of a CD recording of SINGAPORE. A Geopolitical Utopia as a gift for my friend, Mystic.
Emily has a nice account of the concert here: Martynov's SINGAPORE. Do check it out.
Added to this post on 15 April 2007:
Also see: Some thoughts about Vladimir Martynov's SINGAPORE. A Geopolitical Utopia by Chang Tou Liang.