Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Seminar Yesterday

Yesterday, I attended a "Bully-Free" Seminar, Handling Bullying: Intervention Strategies for Schools by Dr Kenneth Rigby.

In case anyone reading this blog might be interested, here are a few useful web resources that you can check out:

http://www.education.unisa.edu.au/bullying/
http://www.readymade.com.au/method/


Image credits: http://bullyfreecampaign.sg/forward.html

Monday, July 30, 2007

Still life by Georgette Chen

What makes the following piece of art interesting to yours truly?


Georgette Chen
Tropical Fruits
c.1969, Singapore
P-0811
NHB Collections
Donated by Georgette Chen
Singapore Art Museum
Image taken from Singapore Collections Online


To find out more, please visit Yesterday.sg to read Georgette Chen's Tropical Fruits, written by yours truly.

**
If you are between 7 and 18 years old and you are interested in heritage, you may wish to participate in the National Heritage Board’s (NHB) first national blogging competition – New Kids On The Blog.

I'm On New Kids On The Blog!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The start of a new week

I don't know about others, but for me, Sunday shall be the first day of the week. Today is the start of week 31 of the year 2007.

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I was at Bugis Junction this morning. It was a pleasant surprise when I saw a heritage exhibition at a corner of Bugis Junction. It was an exhibition that featured the wedding ceremonies of the Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians.

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As I had some time on hand, I walked to Bugis Village to see what was available there. It was about 9.20 a.m. when I was there and most of the shops there were not opened yet. Anyway, the scene below caught my eye, so I took a photo:

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Afterwhich, I found my way back to Bugis Junction. In case you are wondering why I had went to Bugis Junction early on a Sunday morning, I was there to have breakfast.

A good breakfast starts the day on a good note. Furthermore, breakfast is the favourite meal of the day of yours truly. I was privileged this morning to have the company of Carcar. We have had a delightful breakfast at The Coffee Connoisseur at Bugis Junction. The cafe has a cosy and welcoming ambience. I like its fairly spacious space.

If it is quiz-time now, I shall ask my readers what you see in this photo:

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Obviously, the answer cannot be a superficial one. My model answer shall only be revealed when I get 30 comments for this post. I beg your pardon that no clue shall be given.

Anyway, back to the food, I recommend breakfast at The Coffee Connoisseur for I think the breakfast sets are generally value-for-money for the taste, the serving, and the ambience of the cafe.

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Orange juice was served with the American Breakfast that I had ordered. Maybe my mind was too focused on enjoying my breakfast, the photo below that I had taken did not seem to do the food enough justice, didn't it?

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Over breakfast, Carcar and myself engaged ourselves in conversation. I realised that both of us shared a common trait: We were both eager to take photographs of the food when the food was served!

I have managed to capture Carcar in action using my digital camera.

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***
After breakfast, Carcar demonstrated to me how one can buy durians from one of the nearby durian stalls. She looked like an expert at this. I stood beside her wondering when I would master the art of doing so.

By that time, the wind started to blow very strongly. There wasn't anything special about the wind. However, it was quite a pleasant treat to the eyes to see purple-coloured petals falling onto the ground because of the forces of the wind. Some poetic moments can help make life a little more bearable.

Soon, the rain started but it did not seem to dampen anyone's spirit. We travelled and found our way to Eastcoastlife's home.

Eastcoastlife and her husband have been very good hosts and they make good company. If not for the fact that I had an important mission of keeping time for Carcar, I might not have realised how fast time can simply fly.

Many thanks to Eastcoastlife and her family for their hospitality. They treated Carcar and myself to some good food, including the famous Katong Laksa.

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The food wasn't the key part of what has made the day a good start for a new week. I would think that it was the company that had mattered. Thank you Carcar, Eastcoastlife and family for the company today.

Last but not the least, may Eastcoastlife's foot heal soon, in the pain-free way.

**
For a few more photos, please click here.

Week 30 of year 2007 on the double bass

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22 Jul 2007, Sun: A Sunday is well-spent practising with a good friend. Before meeting my friend, J, to practise, I spent some time in the morning working on Marcello's Sonata in G major.

When I met up with dear J, we rehearsed Keyper's Romance and Rondo. J said that I can just play the Romance movement with lots of feelings put in, and I don't necessary have to imagine myself loving someone. Keyper's Romance and Rondo is a very interesting piece of composition. I am quite delighted to realise that Keyper, a double bassist, has done a very commendable job in writing this work. The harmonies are very interesting. I've enjoyed myself playing it.

Afterwhich, we went through Marcello's Sonata in G major. It was quite physically demanding to play two pieces, one after another. I wondered if I should sit on a high stool to play for the exams.

The last piece that we worked on was Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro. I felt very grateful to have J as an accompanist. I can sense that she was listening and doing her best to follow me. It was quite a challenge to rehearse Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro, yet it was rewarding too. It created a necessary opportunity for my ears to listen out for what the piano part was playing. There are some interesting harmonies.

Many thanks to J.

23 Jul 2007, Mon: Feeling that I needed a change, I took time to read Dragonetti's Solo in e minor. I could still kind of manage playing the first three pages from the double bass parts but anything beyond that was a challenge. I wonder if it ws due to unfamiliarity, lack of skills or merely that my eyes were too tired from the night?

25 Jul 2007, Wed: The initial plan for the day was to have sectional to rehearse double bass ensemble music.



As the rest of my section-mates were not available for sectional, I had the privilege to be have individual lesson with Mr GM.

I have a liking for Rachmaninov's Vocalise, so time was spent working on it. I learnt that it helps by counting this work in eight. Mr GM also guided me on how to do a vibrato rhythmically. On my side, I need to practise the vibrato technique.

After lesson, in hope to practise for sight-reading, I kind of sight-read Capuzzi's the 1st and 3rd movement of Concerto in D major. In addition, I sight-read 4th movement of Vivaldi's Sonata no. 1 in Bn (RV 47). I did these sight-reading before the start of the orchestra rehearsal, during the rehearsal-break, and after the reheasal. A rewarding evening where sight-reading is concern.

For orchestra rehearsal, Mr L. conducted for the week. We rehearsed the third and fourth Mahler's First Symphony. Maybe I shall not attempt to make the double bass be heard? I felt had rather odd sounding fairly loud when no one else was playing.

26 Jul 2007, Thu: It's double bass lesson day. I worked on Faure's Sicilienne and the rendition did not sound as great. Perhaps my mind was not focused. My homework would be to practise Faure's Sicilienne such that I can play from memory.

I also practised Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro. It was a challenge to remember the rhythm.

28 Jul 2007, Sat: I played selected sections from the first and the third movements of Capuzzi's Concerto in D major. In addition, I played the fourth movement from Marcello's Sonata in G major and selected passages from the first movement of Keyper's Romance and Rondo. My double bass has been sounding muted of late, I wonder if it is an indicator that it is time to change the strings?

**
Results of the week: I've managed to reach the target.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Bully-Free Campaign


Image credits: http://bullyfreecampaign.sg/forward.html

Do you know?
"Young people who are bullied still feel the effects years later".
(Source: http://bullyfreecampaign.sg)


The issue of school bullying is a long misunderstood and neglected societal problem. Learn more about it here: http://bullyfreecampaign.sg

If you would like to support the campaign, spread the message around.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Moving the rock mountain

I have been needing to humming aloud for the past few days. Music is a medium which I can express myself to a greater extent than language.

If you were on the roads, in the MRT train, walking on the streets, in my office, and you were to hear someone humming loud and clear, please bear with the person. She may be me. Humming is my way to keep my sanity. The outside world can be simply overwhelming at times.

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This evening, I was lucky enough to be able to invite my good friend, Mystic, out for dinner. It has been quite a challenging task to ask Mystic out of late given her commitments and tight schedules. It is as if I have managed to get a rock mountain to make some slight shifts in its position.

Mystic surprised me pleasantly when we met by presenting me with two egg tarts from a famous pastry shop near her work place. While the egg tart was cold and far from being fresh from the oven, eating it warmed my heart. It was the warm thoughts that count.

We had dinner at Shanghai Hao Chi Lai Restaurant at 13 Purvis Street. About two months ago, I had dinner at the same restaurant with Emily and XM. Many thanks to Mystic for her great company and generous treat.

We ordered the award-winning carrot puff, the sheng jian bao, xiao long bao, pine nuts with corn and fried rice cake (chao nian gao). The carrot puff and the sheng jian bao were our favourites.

As for the pine nuts with corn, Mystic did not fancy the dish as she felt the pine nuts were not that good. I would prefer the corn to be softer. The fried rice cake was average, and Mystic was pretty concern that eating too much rice cake may not be good for digestion. The xiao long bao could be warmer, and I would prefer a more generous serving of crunchy ginger. We had to ask for ginger on two different occasions. Mystic commented that the xiao long bao from the restaurant was a little too sweet for her taste.

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It has been more than two months since our last meeting. Mystic also shared that she finds me less uptight. I suppose she meant it as a compliment.

In conclusion, I have moved the rock in Mystic today. Maybe like Mystic has suggested, it is time for me to move too, to move on.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

It Girl test

I am too tired from work to blog much, and I ended up doing the folllowing test:

You Are an "It Girl"

You're outgoing, friendly, and charismatic.
You are aware of your image, and you are constantly improving yourself.
You're definitely the type of girl people love to be around!

Veron's posts: Singapore HeritageFest 2007



Experience the past, recall one's heritage. The Singapore HeritageFest is being held from 18 to 29 July 2007.

Veron of http://sparklette.net has two interesting posts on her visit to the Singapore HeritageFest's Anchor Exhibition Unique Memories, Unique Stories at Suntec City Mall.

Check her posts out here:
Singapore HeritageFest 2007 (Part 1): Household Things
Singapore HeritageFest 2007 (Part 2): Childhood Memories




Photo credits: All photos in this post were taken from http://sparklette.net. Courtesy of Veron.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Recalling the memories



Memories
Rather strange things
As I passed by a particular place
I start to recall
Certain people
Certain events
Certain experiences
The moments that have been shared

Then I realise
This feeling of nostalgia
Connects my present
With my past

I love breakfast

You Are Fruit

Healthy and sweet, you can appreciate a simple quality breakfast like fruit.
You don't need to put a lot of processed junk in your body... you're happy with what nature provides.
People have probably accused you of being a health nut, but you just like the best simple foods.
You care about what you put in your body. And it shows!


Breakfast is one of my favourite meals of the day, but with me not liking the preparation of food, I usually end up having bread and butter for breakfast.

Anyway, a delightful breakfast can make yours truly smile for the rest of the day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Inner Muse

I feel as if I am at the verge of screaming out aloud, though I have decided that singing would be a much better choice.

Here's a test I have done recently.

Your Inner Muse is Euterpe

You are most like this muse of music.
While you may or may not be musical...
You love music and set life to your own personal soundtrack.
And you are good at making anyone's heart sing!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Untitled

There is some sadness
Hard to speak
Stuck itself at the throat
And now I just feel like
...Singing
Yet choking

New Kids on the Blog!



Calling all blogging enthusiasts and heritage buffs between 7 and 18 years old! Blog and win attractive prizes with the National Heritage Board’s (NHB) first national blogging competition – New Kids On The Blog.

To find out more, please visit: http://www.yesterday.sg/sgcool

Also see: http://yesterday.sg/detail/new_kids_on_the_blog/

**

How I wish I was younger. You probably could have guessed my age.

Pinkie, would any of your children like to try this?

Tigerfish, the Thinking Blogger



Congratulatons to Tigerfish of teczcape-an escape to Food - recipes, cooking, reviews for being awarded the Thinking Blogger award by Eastcoastlife.

I take my hats over Tigerfish for her creativity in coming up with so many recipes so regularly. What's more, the dishes that she came up with look yummy!

For the folks who love cooking based on a recipe, or if you simply love food, please do check out Tigerfish's blog.

(Up on my mind, I would like to recommend JY and Emily to check out Tigerfish's blog.)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

On the radio just now

About 20 minutes ago, the radio was playing 风雨无阻 (Feng Yu Wu Zu) by Emil Chow. I recall that this song was a popular song during the days when I was just 16 years old.

Nowadays, I usually do not tune to Chinese music station. However, my father has a liking to listen to Chinese music station when he is at home, and he does not switch off the radio even if he were to go out of the flat for a period of time.

Here's a link to the lyrics and music: http://liguanzhou.imeem.com/music/XmnCabqU/feng_yu_wu_zu/

Anyway, I am aware that some songs can trigger the good memories. May this song trigger some nice memories in you too.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Week 29 of year 2007 on the double bass

15 Jul 2007, Sun: In the morning, I practised a few harmonic minor scales and a short study. Afterwhich, time was spent practising Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro religiously against the clicking metronome.

In the afternoon, I have had the pleasure to work with my friend, J.. She accompanied me on the piano, and we practised the first 41 bars of Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro and Marcello's Sonata in G major. The latter is taking shape, and now my job is to practise it at a slower speed. The faster movements sounded clearer when I play them at moderate tempo.

17 Jul 2007, Tue: I spent some 30 minutes working on Pachelbel's Canon arranged by David Heyes. I focused on getting the intonation as accurate as possible.

19 Jul 2007, Wed: It was the day for double bass sectional and orchestra rehearsal. We rehearsed Bizet's Carmen Suite No. 1 and Gounod's Faust. In addition, we also sight-read music from Phantom of the Opera and The King and I arranged for the Symphony Orchestra.

The orchestra will be staging a free performance on 15 Sep 2007, at the Central Lending Library, NLB Plaza. Details shall be released at a later date, and we will be playing some of these works.

20 Jul 2007, Thu: Double bass lesson was rescheduled to another date. As such, I practised on my own. I practised selected sections from Marcello's Sonata in G major to improve the clarity of my tone.

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21 Jul 2007, Sat: An exciting day. In the morning, I met my friend, J, to practise together. She plays the piano and she will accompany me for the DipABRSM.

We rehearsed Marcello's Sonata in G major and Keyper's Romance and Rondo. J's husband gave me some useful feedback on my double bass sound.

My dear tutor, MJ, came at about 11 a.m. to offer me guidance on the kind of sound that would be more appropriate for the music. He helped to listen. give feedback and demonstration.

Playing music from the Baroque period and Classical period is an art, the sound matters, not just the technique. It was heartening to realise that my double bass sound sounded better after the end of the session. It is very helpful to have people to listen and give constructive feedback. I still need to work on keeping time.

In the evening, I spent time practising selected passages from Keyper's Romance and Rondo, so as to help my body remember how to achieve the sounds that I am striving for.

MJ said that when I play Romance, I can think about how it would feel to love a person and to communicate to the person. It makes me want to ask my readers here:
1) Could you please share how you would feel if you love a person?
2) How would you communicate to this person that you love him/ her?

Your comments would be appreciated as I shall consider them when I play this piece of music.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Challenging Death Valley

This piece of news has been mentioned on local newspapers and media:

From the 18th to the 20th of July 2007, two of Singapore's ultra-marathon runners, Mr Lim Nghee Huat (Chairman of Mountbatten CCC and MediaCorp Editor, Current Affairs) and Mr Yong Yuen Cheng (Vice- Chairman of Mountbatten CSC and National Junior College Teacher) will embark on a 217km run across Death Valley, through extreme temperatures of up to 55 degrees Celsius and a vertical elevation of 4000m, to raise funds for Mountbatten CCC and National Junior College respectively.


More information on this can be available here:

http://www.njc.edu.sg/index.php?option=news&task=article&id=81
http://www.asiatracks.org/Asiatrack/dvrun.htm
http://www.singaporebookofrecords.com/events.php?id=ODAwMDAwMDA1NQ==


I had spent two years of my life as a student of National Junior College, and I suppose I could do my part by plugging the event here. For those who would like to donate to National Junior College's Student Development Programme and/or to contribute towards the Sports Hall, please refer to the first link found above.

Eastcoastlife has a related post with her posing with these two commendable gentlemen. Please read her post: Singaporeans in 217 km Death Valley Challenge

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Singapore HeritageFest 2007



Learning about Singapore's Heritage can be fun and interesting.

Singapore HeritageFest 2007 is an annual signature event organised by the National Heritage Board's Public Education Division. This year, it is held between 18th and 29th July 2007.

Being someone who loves to travel on foot, I am particular interested in the Expedition 'H' activities. I would have registered for at least one of the trails if time would be on my side.

I was also recommended to check out Culture 101.

Meantime, please enjoy the following related posts:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Jason Heath's accounts of travelling with a double bass


Image from Jason's blog.


Jason Heath
shares on his blog about the challenges of travelling about with a double bass:

Basses, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Part 1 - Cabs

Basses, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Part 2 - Trains

I've travelled about with my double bass using taxi, bus and MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) as my mode of transport. If I ever have to use bus or MRT, I will avoid doing so during the peak hours. I hope that all rides with the double bass would be a smooth one. Wish me a safe journey with the double bass. And I shall be thankful for each and every safe ride with the double bass.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Some food to feast your eyes with

Here are photos of food that I have taken some time ago. May these feast your eyes.

Botak Jones


Cajun Chicken Set

Here are the branches that I have visited so far:

Yue Hua Food Place
Block 608 Ang Mo Kio Ave. 5
Phone / Fax: 6755-1-225
Tuesday - Sunday noon till 10.00 pm
Closed on Mondays

Hours and location for Botak Jones Clementi
Block 325 Clementi Ave 5 (Kopitiam) #01- 129 Singapore 120325
Phone / Fax: 677-41-225
Tuesday - Sunday noon till 10.00 pm
Closed on Mondays

**
Organic brown rice set



The healthier choice. Even the vegetables are organic, I heard. This set comes with a compimentary bowl of soup. It was yummy and healthy.

Where did I get this dish from?

Here:
Fortune Centre
190 Middle Road
#04-22
Singapore 188979
Tel: 63368755
Tuesday - Sunday: 11.30 a.m. - 8.00 p.m,
Closed on Mondays

**
Thai food





I ate the above pineapple rice set, that came with mango salad and a bowl of tom yam soup, when I was at the food court at Central. The stall seems related to Lotus Thai Restaurant.

**
Bao Today





Location: Marina Square
#02-234 - 236

I have had the pleasure to have supper with Carcar after watching At the Concourse: Superstring presented by Les Six du Singapour.

The good company has made the food taste nice. I am not sure if the food would taste as good without the company. Anyway, I like the black sesame buns. It has thick black fillings.

**
Now it's your turn to decide which food you think looks nice and tastes nice.

So near yet so far away

I wish to be
In a quiet place
Without the noises
Just a world
Peaceful and with music

I wish to be
In a world
With tender loving care
Away from the ills
Of the world

And now
So near
Yet so far away
Distancing oneself away
For I can't seem to find yet
My dream world
In this world I'm faced with

Tired
Drained
Would I even have the energy
To care if I have appeared
Cold and distant?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Writing programme notes

I have spent quite sometime last evening and this evening writing programme notes for the upcoming DipABRSM exams.

Actually, I have started writing a few drafts and working on the initial research since a few months ago. However, it has been quite a challenge to find certain information that I had wanted from the libraries. I think I would soon need to get help from the librarians from the library@esplanade.

Here are some online sources that I shall take time to browse through at this stage of drafting the programme notes.

http://www.abrsm.org/resources/writingProgNotesApr05.pdf
Lennox Berkeley

I wonder if there is a strategy to do research on music-related topics? I seem to be needing some help now. It has been such a challenge to find information related to Franz Keyper (1756 to 1815). The authoritative The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2001 edition) did not have an entry on Keyper. I shall keep my fingers crossed that future editions would have the entry.

In addition, I can't even seem to find recordings of Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro. This is either a sign that I have to be more patient in my search, or that I need to learn how to be more effective in searching for the relevant sources. I would like to learn more about the works that I will be playing.

Anyway, at least I have written something.

It's week 29, of year 2007

For the very fact that I consider Sunday as the first day of the week, it is now the 29th week of year 2007.

There are 52 weeks in a year, and more than half of this year has passed by.

**
Music Life

Today, my friend and I practised together in preparation for my DipABRSM exams (performance, in double bass). I now have a better idea how Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro would sound. Many thanks to my friend, J. for her help.

I realised that I need to set aside time to look for recordings of music written by Lennox Berkeley and Franz Keyper. I don't seem to be able to find anything on Franz Keyper from the National Library Board's online catalogue. I looks like I have to ask ASK! for help with where I can find the sources that can answer my various questions on these composers.

**
New Publication in the market



For the folks who love stamps or are involved in stamp collection, you may be interested to know that Horse-powered & Man-powered Transport: a philatelic excursion has been published. This publication is authored by Dr Tan Wee Kiat, Victor Koo, and Noel.

I have had the privilege of reading the final draft of this publication, and I can share that it is quite a witty and humorous read. Even though it is written for children, I believe adults will enjoy it too.

More about the publication can be found here:
http://victorkoo.blogspot.com/2007/07/my-first-book.html
http://blog.sivasothi.com
the flu that became a bad flu...by Noel (Updated on 21 Jul 2007)
6 reasons to buy this book by Cool Insider (Updated on 21 Jul 2007)

I was told that you may find copies of this publication available from the Singapore Philatelic Museum, if not now, at least in the near future.

**
Week 29, of year 2007.
What will be install for me to learn, to remember?

Have a good week ahead.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Week 28 of year 2007 on the double bass

New post at:


**
8 Jul 2007, Sun: I practised selected passages from Keyper's Romance and Rondo and Faure's Sicilienne. I think I shall have to set aside time to practise sight-reading and scales.

9 Jul 2007, Mon: I spent about 30 minutes playing a few studies from Bottesini's 24 Exercises for Double Bass, edited by H Samuel Sterling.

Practice today felt awkward because the bow that I had purchased two months ago had bow hairs that felt too sticky from the rosin that had melted on it. Anyway, I am glad that I had time to work on a few studies to improve my general pitching.

11 Jul 2007, Wed: It's the day of orchestra rehearsal. I was the only double bassist who had attended the rehearsal. It just felt quite lonely playing the double bass in the orchestra alone. I may have preferred to play solo instead.

For the rehearsal, the orchestra sight-read Bizet's Carmen Suite No. 1 and selected passages from Bizet's Carmen Suite No. 2. In addition, we also read Gounod's Faust - Ballet Music. Gounod's Faust has more interesting parts for the double bass. I heard that the orchestra will be giving a free concert on 15 Sep 2007. I wonder if I would be free to perform for the concert then?

12 Jul 2007, Thu: I had double bass lesson in the evening. This was my first lesson with MJ after a long one-month break. Time does fly.

For the lesson, I played Marcello's Sonata in G major and Keyper's Romance and Rondo. My rendition of the two works has improved. Now, I need to find out more about Keyper, the composer who compose Romance and Rondo. I have been searching several sources for information on him, but could not get much information on him. Any clues?

14 Jul 2007, Sat: I practised some parts from Marcello's Sonata in G major and Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro after working on a study.

**
I have managed to reach target I have set for myself.

Life has its ups and downs. Strangely, I feel rather out-of-place with the world today.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Zeng Fanzhi's Idealism

Sky No. 4 (2004)
(Taken with permission from Singapore Art Museum.)


This evening, I went to the Singapore Art Museum with one of my friends, SH. Both of us attended one of the museum's guided tours. I had joined the guided tour because I had wanted to find out more about Zeng Fanzhi's style of art. I have found the guided tour enlightening, and I urged that folks who are new to Zeng Fanzhi's art could set time aside to attend one of the guided tours. More information on the guided tours can be found here.

The exhibition Zeng Fanzhi - Idealism is a solo exhibition by internationally acclaimed Chinese contemporary artist, Zeng Fanzhi. The exhibition also features new works from the Untitled (Night) series that have never been exhibited.

Phyne has a post titled Up close and personal with stars. The post is a write-up on MediaCorp star, Qi Yuwu, who had played the guide to the exhibition, Zeng Fanzhi - Idealism some time ago. Do check this post out.

This exhibition will be held till 16 July 2007. If you are interested, please don't wait too long to find your way to the Singapore Art Museum.

Visitors' information can be found here.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Amazing Grace



A tired PY who is yearning for some support and care.
But if the external world does not provide,
Then I shall search deeper from within.

Meantime, I shall think of tunes that may soothe.
I came across a double bassist's rendition of Amazing Grace this evening while I was browsing for double bass videos posted on YouTube.

Wishing all good health and hope.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

May I sing?


Screams
Substituted by pitches
Cries
Replaced by tunes
Of melancholy

May I sing?
The spectrum of feelings
That occurs deep down
Those that words can never express

At times
Despair
At times
Anguish
Yet hidden within
A tinge of hope

This world
I can't fully understand
Its ups and downs
Its trials and tribulations
And yet what gives one
The force to propel forward?

I shall sing
Just so that
I can get in touch
With those feelings deep down

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Curbing Problem Gambling

Last week, I had the privilege to attend the Singapore Problem Gambling Conference.



During the course of the two days conference, I have learnt that gambling is a progressive problem. A person does not become a problem gambler overnight. Usually, one who does not gamble may start off with social gambling and if not well controlled, the gambling behaviour may progress to at-risk gambling behaviours to problem gambling and even pathological gambling behaviours.

It also alerted me to the rising trends of youth participating in gambling related activities. That reminded me of instances whereby I have heard of young people playing mahjong or cards (with some amount of money involved) during festive occasions. These may seem to be harmless recreational activities, but I've learnt that if youths are not taught appropriate skills to cope with life's stressors, and learn skills of self-control, they may be at higher risk of developing into problem gamblers much later in their lives.

With regards to the issue of Youth Gambling, I would like to point my readers to this site: http://www.youthgambling.com. It provides some useful information on why the issue of youth gambling deserves our attention. The site also provides resources related to curbing youth gambling.

For a serious read. I suppose.

Monday, July 09, 2007

My 51st post on Yesterday.sg

If you like the art of engraving, or if you like works like the one right below, please check out my 51st post on Yesterday.sg: Chalcography Collection of the Louvre Museum, a selection

I have visited this particular exhibition on four different occasions. It's worth a visit.



**
Engraving the World: A Selection from the Chalcography Collection of the Louvre Museum is held at the Singapore Art Museum from 4 May – 22 July 2007.

The museum's opening hours are as follows:
Mondays to Sundays, 10.00 a.m. - 7.00 p.m. (Till 9.00 p.m. on Fridays)
For more information, please visit: http://www.singart.com

Sunday, July 08, 2007

What is a Slide Rule?



Do you know what a slide rule is?

If you don't have the answer and would like to know it, please read Chun See's post on Yesterday.sg: Slide Rule.

I was quite fascinated when Chun See gave a demonstration of how to use a slide rule when I was at his place for the recent Friends of yesterday.sg (FOYer) gathering. Cool and ingenious item.

070707

7 July 2007.
This day seems quite a special day. Many events happened on this day.

On the personal side:

- It's the one-month anniversary of the first child of one of my friends, WL.
Congratulations to baby Irfan!

- It was my first practice session with J in preparation for the DipABRSM (Performance in double bass). What's more, I visited her home for my very first time, and was pleasantly treated to good cooking. (More details can be found here.)

**
In addition, there were several other events that had happened on 7 July 2007:

- Ping.sg First Anniversary Party and Ping.sg First Blog Awards
Visit: http://pingsg.wordpress.com/ for more updates.
Eastcoastlife is a big winner bagging four awards. (Also read: And the Winner is ..........Eastcoastlife!)
Veron of sparklette.net won the best blog design and the best blog of the year.
Congratulations to the award winners.


- The Official Launch of Chek Jawa Wetlands
Members of the public can now visit the Chek Jawa boardwalk (Mangrove and Coastal Loops), the Jejawi tower, House No. 1 and a viewing jetty without a booking between 8.30am - 6.00pm any day.
Do read Habitatnews for the post on the oficial launch: Sat 07 Jul 2007: Champagne at Chek Jawa


- Live Earth
Live Earth is a 24-hour, 7-continent concert series taking place on 7/7/07 that brought together more than 100 music artists and 2 billion people to trigger a global movement to solve the climate crisis.

**
Next year, I wonder if the auspicious date would be 8 Aug 2008, i.e. 08/08/08?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Week 27 of year 2007 on the double bass

Taken during NUS Symphony Orchestra's concert held on 16 Mar 2007.
Photo credits: Jay


1 Jul 2007, Sun: I continued to practise Rachmaninov's Vocalise focusing on the rhythm, and improving on the intonation. It is sounding better.

After a break, I continued with Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro. It pleases me that I am getting better at playing this work.

Then I ended the practice session for the day by working on selected sections from Keyper's Romance and Rondo. I still need some work on Romance and Rondo.

3 Jul 2007, Tue: After a long day at work, I was pleased that I managed to take time out to practise on the double bass from 10.25 p.m. to 10.50 p.m. It was a short practice session, but I believe it would help. I worked on the third movement (Grave) from Marcello's Sonata in G major, being mindful of the rhythm and the intonation. I managed to fine-tune some rhythmic issues.

4 Jul 2007, Wed: It was orchestra rehearsal day. Mr F conducted the rehearsal and rehearsed both the 3rd and the 4th movements of Mahler's First Symphony. I heard that we won't be rehearsing Mahler's First Symphony for the next few rehearsals as the orchestra will be playing musicals related works for an upcoming performance.

7 Jul 2007, Sat: Yeah! I met up with my friend, J, today at her place. J has so kindly and generously agreed to accompany me on the piano for my upcoming DipABRSM exams.

We practised Keyper's Romance and Rondo and Marcello's Sonata in G major. It was a revelation for me to be able to listen to how the double bass and piano would fit together for these pieces. I realised that the piano parts for Keyper's Romance and Rondo sounded very nice, it felt so fun to play. I like the sounds of J's piano too. It has a warm and generally clear sound. Many thanks to J for accompanying me.

After our more than an hour session practising together, J's husband treated both of us to a delicious dinner. He did the cooking, and I can say confidently that he is competent at cooking. After dinner, I have had some time to catch up with my dear friend, J, and I had the privilege to look at her wedding photos. I am sure these photos will be invaluable records of some treasured moments.

Amazingly, some peaceful times with a good friend and a good session playing on the double bass can help relieve me from the feelings of being down. Cheers.

J and her husband have been very nice. They gave me and my double bass a lift all the way from their home to mine. Many thanks again to both of them.

**
Another week of reaching my target of practising at least four days per week.

This week is special because I had a pretty good session working with J. I am beginning to realise that I prefer playing works where I get to play with others than those where I play all alone by myself. It's more fun and rewarding.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Thursday, July 05, 2007

One of Singapore Art Museum's first celebrity tours




Up on Yesterday.sg is a post written by phyne titled Up close and personal with stars.

The charismatic MediaCorp star, Qi Yuwu, played the guide to the Singapore Art Museum's current exhibition, Zeng Fanzhi - Idealism. Do check both the post and the exhibition out.

Details of Zeng Fanzhi - Idealism exhibition:

30 April - 16 July 2007
Singapore Art Museum
71 Bras Basah Road
Singapore 189555
Tel: (65) 6332 3222
Fax: (65) 6336 5361
Please click here for more visitor information.

Singing exhaustion

Exhausted.
If I sang it out
Would it help bring some relief?

Headaches
Yet again
If I were to cry deep down
Would the headache end?

Lost
Uncertain
If I ask for help
Where would help come from?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Food for thought: Swarm theory

While I was at JY's blog, I came across a link to an article titled Swarm Behaviour by Peter Miller, on NationalGeographic.com.

Here's the URL: http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0707/feature5/

A quote from the article:
A single ant or bee isn't smart, but their colonies are. The study of swarm intelligence is providing insights that can help humans manage complex systems, from truck routing to military robots.

It is quite a thoughtful read. I wonder how our everyday behaviours could contribute to the bigger picture? The world can be complex, but it seems possible to use simple strategies to deal with it. Alright, I better qualify that everyone has to do his/ her part for the grand plan of the swarm theory to really work. Now, the question is what are these strategies?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

By Jason Heath: An insider perspective on the psychology of performing musicians

Jason Heath has posted a recent post titled This Crazy Business - Part 1: Hard-wiring the musical mind, and like Jason has highlighted, the post provides an insider perspective on the psychology of performing musicians.

Do give it a read.

For myself, I realised I am increasing motivated to learn and to communicate on an affective level.

**
Meantime, a video of a young Colombian Doublebass player Juan Gregorio Baquero and the Bogotá´s Philarmonic Orquestra. Conducted by Irwin Hoffman.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYIpC27v22o

Kindness to be thankful for

The headache had struck yet again!

Thank goodness my colleagues have been kind to me this evening. During dinner time, one of them offered me Panadol Extra when I requested for one. Another was kind with me to help me open the door.

Pardon me, if I were to sing, loud and clear, it could be because I am trying to cope with headaches and pain. Take it that I am trying to express the pain from the headaches using musical language.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Gemstone

Did I bring some luck?

Your Gemstone is Emerald

Balanced, liberated, and peaceful.
You bring luck into any situation.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

An evening at Singapore Art Museum: 16th century French Chansons



Last evening, I have had the pleasure to have Emily's company to listen to 16th Century French Chansons performed by Ab Oriente. I am quite impressed by the kind of research that Ab Oriente has done to come up with the programme notes. I felt that the programme notes not only gave me insights to the works that were performed, but they also gave me insights to the historical context in which those works were being written.

Sadly, I realised this afternoon that I had lost my programme notes. I shall learn to do without it.

Anyway, the programme for last night's performance of 16th Century French Chansons can be found here: http://www.ab-oriente.com/cct_070630_FC_programme.htm



When I was in the auditorium of the Singapore Art Museum, I could not help but notice the air vents up in the ceiling. Look at the photo right below, can you see that to the top-left of the chandelier, there is this protruding object with holes in it. If my memory is correct, this object forms part of the building's air-ventilation system. In those days when the air-conditioner was not even invented, the air-ventilation system helped to keep the air in the building circulated and cooler.




I have a love for melancholic music last night, and my favourite item from the programme was Josquin des Prez's Mille regrets. If only I had been more careful not to lose my copy of the programme notes, I would have printed the English translation of the lyrics here.


Photo taken by Emily.


By the way, Ab Oriente has an upcoming performance Musica Transalpina selections held at the Concourse, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, on 9th & 10th July 2007, Monday & Tuesday, 7:15 - 7:45 p.m. and 8:15 - 8:45 p.m.

Last but not the least, you may read Emily's account of the performance and her visit to the Singapore Art Museum here: 16th century French Chansons

The Singapore Art Museum's auditorium is a lovely place with an intimate setting. I hope that one day, I would get an invitation to perform there.