Sunday, September 30, 2007


Last evening, I went to watch Ones to Watch: Rachel Barton Pine in Concert, a concert performed by Rachel Barton Pine, and I have been inspired by her marvellous rendition. Many thanks to Shaw Foundation for sponsoring the concert. I am glad that I had went for the concert even though it took me close to an hour to travel to the concert hall.

She played on the following repertoire on the violin:
-Sonata No. 1 in G Minor for unaccompanied violin (Bach)
-Sonata No. 1 in G Major (Brahms)
-Rush for unaccompanied violin, dedicated to Rachel Barton Pine (Augusta Read Thomas)
-Romance (Amy Beach)
-Deep River (Samuel Coleridge-Taylor)
-Blues: Deliver My Soul (David Baker)
-Carmen Fantasy (Sarasate)

I am not a violinist but as a double bassist and a string-player, I marvelled at the way that she could control the tone of her instrument with masterly. I was fascinated by the virtuosity that she played the harmonics on her violin. She simply played the harmonics effortlessly and so beautifully.

Not only was she technically competent, her sound was beautiful and it sang to the audience. I particularly like her rendition of Brahms' Sonata No. 1 in G major and A. Beach's Romance. All the other works she had performed were lovely too. My ears and eyes were focused on her playing on stage throughout the entire concert. I am sure that the rest of the members of the audience have enjoyed the concert as much as I did.

Rachel Barton Pine performs Nobody Knows the Trouble I See.

To listen to her playing the violin, you may check out Rachel Barton Pine's YouTube channel:

If you wish to own a piece of her recording, more information can be found here:

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Week 39 of year 2007 on the double bass

23 Sep 2007, Sun: In the afternoon, I practised the first movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor. Somehow, its melody appealed to me. I love it. In the night, there was an urge to practise the second movement, so I took out my double bass and managed to practise part of the second movement. To end the evening, I tried to play part of Faure's Sicilienne from memory.

I was using L'Opera: Jade (Double bass solo) rosin and I quite like the slightly more mellow and softer feel it gave when my bow was bowed across the double bass strings, as compared to the usual POPS rosin that I use.

26 Sep 2007, Wed: During the sectionals, our tutor, GM, gave me pointers on exercises that I could do to work on achieving a nice vibrato, especially when I play notes on the higher position. I love the pointers. What I need to follow-up with is to practise.

At the orchestra rehearsal, we rehearsed "Infernal dance of King Kashchei" from Stravinsky's Firebird. I felt that I was beginning to know how to better relate to this piece of music, and I could better make sense of the rhythms.

During the break and after the rehearsal, I played the first movement from Eccles' Sonata in g minor. Somehow, this movement sounded better when I play on my orchestra's double bass (affectionately referred to as "my boyfriend") than when I play on own double bass ("my husband")

27 Sep 2007, Thu: For double bass lesson, I worked on Eccles' Sonata in g minor. My tutor, MJ, said that it is important to achieve a good tone on the double bass, and a good legato. I could just barely manage the first movement with lots of glitches. He showed me how I could practise on my own to work towards achieving a legato, and nice tone.

During the lesson, MJ demonstrated to me the second and the fourth movement, and I am inspired by him having played these two movements almost from memory. I shall work towards playing from memory.

In addition, he gave me a demonstration of passages from several of the LRSM's exams syllabus for music performance in double bass. I can say for sure that music played by the double bass can touch one's soul. I wonder how long it would take me to master playing those music?

29 Sep 2007, Sat: In the morning, I practised a couple of studies from Bottesini Method for Double Bass Part One. Afterwhich, time was spent practising the first movement and part of the second movement from Eccles' Sonata in g minor.

I have managed to practise four days per week, but this target is merely a bare minimum to work with.

It bothers me that it has been close to two months, and my little finger has yet to fully recover. I can only be grateful that it is now not in pain, and that I could at least play on the double bass for a moderate period of time. I can also be grateful that I can bend the injured joint to a greater extent than when the finger was first found to be injured.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Catching up with friends

I met up with a friend and ex-colleague during a function this evening. Though we probably didn't speak a lot of words, it has been heart-warming to have the chance to catch up with a friend and to know they are alive and surviving. A sense of nostalgia came to me as I was catching up with the friend.

I wonder if these feelings are unique to me? Actually, I think many could have share similar feelings when they have the special chance to catch up with good friends. Do you feel similarly in similar situations?

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Each step ahead
Feels as if I have to trudge forward
With much effort
Yet full of uncertainties

Times when I feel
Tired and lost
As if I am groping
In the darkness

What is necessary for things
To feel better?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Magical Spaces Project


One of my entries was published on the Magical Spaces Project online gallery. Many thanks to R for inviting me to take part in this project. I have submitted about five entries to this project.

What is a Magical Space?

As defined by the organisers, it is "a place that holds memories and emotional treasures. It could be ANY place, ANY where."

For me, I consider the following as some of my magical spaces: The Singapore River, The Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay (to such an extent that Mystic kept asking whether I have been measuring it.), the Victoria Concert Hall and Victoria Theatre, the Singapore Art Museum. These are places that hold many special memories for me. These are the places that I would usually go to when I needed respite from the world's noises and demands.

I also consider the corner of my room near the windows to be a magical space for me, for it is often where I would sit at and reflect on things, and connect with my innermost emotions.

Where is your magical space?

You may wish to know that the Magical Spaces Exhibition will be held at

The Asylum,
22 Ann Siang Road.
31st October 2007 to 14th November 2007.
Entrance is free.

Read more about the Magical Spaces Project here:

Monday, September 24, 2007

Chun See's Bukit Timah Heritage Trails

I have fond memories of Bukit Timah area in general. I don't live there, but the secondary school and junior college that I had studied in were located in the area. Even when I was in my undergraduate years, my bus-ride would require me to travel past the Bukit Timah area. Even today, my weekly double bass lessons are usually held in a music school tucked in a corner of the Bukit Timah area.

It brings me much pleasure to share a series of blog-posts written by Lam Chun See of Good Morning Yesterday. These posts are also mentioned on

Bukit Timah: A Heritage Trail
Bukit Timah Heritage Trail 2 – Floral Mile/Newton Circus
Bukit Timah Heritage Trail 2 – Floral Mile/Newton Circus (cont’d)
Bukit Timah Heritage Trail 3 – Newton to Tekka
Bukit Timah Heritage Trail 4 – Sixth Avenue
Bukit Timah Heritage Trail 5 – Sixth Avenue to Beauty World
Bukit Timah Heritage Trail 6 - Beauty World to Bukit Panjang (updated on 28 Sep 2007)
Bukit Timah Heritage Trail 7 – Gun Battery at Chestnut Drive (by Peter Chan)(updated on 1 Oct 2007)

Now I am waiting for more Bukit Timah related posts.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Three years of blogging

I was too caught up with preparing for the Diploma in Music Performance exams that I did not realise that I have been blogging for three years. It was only this afternoon did I realise that I have been blogging for three years.

I first started out blogging on 16 Sep 2004 when I was on medical leave due to surgical extraction of two wisdom tooth.

That very year, I had sat for Grade 7 Practical exams in double bass in August. J was my piano accompanist for the exams. I recalled that after the exams, in September 2004, I had to play in the orchestra pit for The Merry Widow.

It feels strange that what seemed to have happened just a while ago, actually happened three years ago.

I suppose I will continue blogging for it has been therapeutic to have an outlet to express some of my thoughts and feelings. Thank you to my readers for being kind to me these years. Your support have made life feel easier.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The art exhibition to check out this weekend

This afternoon, I went for the Community heARTs exhibition at The Art House.

This is one art exhibition that I would recommend. The exhibition ends on 23 Sep 2007. Please find below some snapshots that I have taken at the exhibition.

The Community heARTs Exhibition organised by the Care Network will be held on 22nd and 23rd September 2007 (9.30am – 6pm) at The Arts House. Admission is free. This exhibition champions the cause of unlocking the second prison, which is in line with the Yellow Ribbon message. At the same time, this event acts as a platform for inmates (& ex-offenders) to showcase their artistic talents.

I think the exhibition is very thoughtfully curated. I very much like the idea of how the 5 phases of rehabilitation weaves together to form the main theme of the exhibition.

I particularly like the fact that guided tours to exhibition are made available for visitors. I have found the guided tour to be interesting and insightful. My words of thanks to I for giving me a lovely guided tour of the exhibition. According to the brochure, there will be guided tours scheduled at 9.45 a.m., 11.45 a.m., 1.45 p.m. and 4.15 p.m. tomorrow.

In addition, if you like any of the works, you can even adopt it. All proceeds from the adoption will be donated to the beneficiary - Very Special Arts Singapore (VSA). Therefore, your support will help inmates & ex-offenders make a contribution back to the society.

If you have nothing in particular to do tomorrow, this is an event that you should check out.

Week 38 of year 2007 on the double bass

16 Sep 2007, Sun: Did some reading of Capuzzi's Concerto in D. Earlier in the day, I worked on playing Faure's Sicilienne and Marcello's Sonata in G major. I also attempted some passages from Keyper's Romance and Rondo

17 Sep 2007, Mon: I took leave from work to prepare myself mentally for the upcoming music performance exams. The goal of the day was to play all the works in my programme at a relatively slower tempo. I also took some time to study the piano parts of Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro so as to better appreciate how the double bass would fit in with the piano. Some time was spent practising double bass studies and doing some sight-reading. For now, I keep my fingers crossed.

18 Sep 2007, Tue: I practised in the early morning to warm up. In the late morning, I had my exams and I perform an half-an-hour recital. I did my best for the day, but my rendition for the recital was not my best rendition. I was not near my peak for the performance. Strangely, I am still trying to come to terms with the moments of self-doubts that would set in after the exams.

19 Sep 2007, Wed: It's orchestra rehearsal day. My favourite time of the day was when I attended the double bass sectional. Sectionals with Mr G are always enriching. We worked on the 3rd and 4th movements of Mahler's Symphony No. 1. I felt pleased that I could almost play a particular difficult passage from memory.

For the orchestra rehearsal, we worked on the 4th movement of Mahler's Symphony No. 1 and one of the movements from Stravinsky's Firebird.

During the break, I attempted to play the first movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor and it proved to be a challenging attempt.

No practising was done after Wednesday. I needed a break, at least my fingers needed a short break. Anyway, I have managed to practise on four of the days of this week.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A quick list of affordable accomodation in Singapore

For the benefit of anyone who would like to visit Singapore, please find below a quick list of affordable accomodation within S$80 - S$120 per night. I am trying to include on this list hotels and hostels that are relatively near Orchard Rd area. If you should have more recommendations to add to my list, please feel free to add your recommendations as a comment to this post. Thank you.

YMCA International House (near Dhoby Ghaut MRT station)
Bugis Backpackers (near Bugis MRT station)
Sleepy Sam's
Summer Tavern (near Clarke Quay MRT station)
The InnCrowd Hostel Singapore (near Little India MRT station)

Metropolitan YMCA Singapore (near Orchard Road, by bus)
South East Asia Hotel (within walking distance to Bugis MRT station)
Fragrance Hotel

Hotel Asia (near Newton MRT station)(Update)
Other hotels:
Do check out:
-Oxford Hotel,
-RELC International Hotel (Though not very near a MRT station, it is about 10 minutes walk to Royal Thai Embassy)
-Park View (Kunstemaecker stayed here when he visited Singapore)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Closing up

Start to distance oneself
Although yearning to connect
Needing the quiet space
Yet how to do so without closing oneself up?

Ease the pain please

In pain
Was close to fainting
Hoping the pain would only be temporary
Would anything ease the pain please?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Asking for a get-away

I could not quite sleep well last night, and now I am feeling awfully tired. My eyes have been tearing from tiredness for most part of the evening. It did not help improve matter when my head is giving me the aches.

I am tempted to ask for a get-away. Sometimes I wonder, what gives me the momentum to move on in life? There were times when I would feel bitterly out-of-sync with the world. How do I find the balance?

Community heARTs Exhibition

This coming weekend, come and experience the artistic talents of the artists whose works are featured in the Community heARTs exhibition.

The Community heARTs Exhibition organised by the Care Network will be held on 22nd and 23rd September 2007 (9.30am – 6pm) at The Arts House. Admission is free. This exhibition champions the cause of unlocking the second prison, which is in line with the Yellow Ribbon message. At the same time, this event acts as a platform for inmates (& ex-offenders) to showcase their artistic talents.

I read from the event's website that the art pieces will be available for adoption. All proceeds from the adoption will be donated to the beneficiary - Very Special Arts Singapore (VSA). Therefore, your support will help inmates & ex-offenders make a contribution back to the society.

Interestingly, the exhibition will showcase the '5 Phases Of Rehabilitation'. As such, the art works on display are the artistic expressions of the struggles, hopes and dreams of the inmates (& ex-offenders) as they aspire to take on a new lease of life.

This is one meaningful exhibition to support if you are free this weekend.

Related sites:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Afterthoughts: the exams today

Many thanks to friends and well-wishers for your most appreciated support. I had sat for the music exams (diploma in music performance) this morning.

There were glitches, though I felt my overall stage presence was better than that last Friday when I had a rehearsal at the exams venue. In actual fact, I felt I was more able to let go and move on when glitches happened earlier this morning.

Viva voce and the quick study component can be quite a challenge for me since it was the first time that I had done both of these at diploma level and I have not prior similar experience to fall back on. I cannot help but to think over about the recital, and the exams this morning, in hope that I can learn and grow from today's experience.

My heartfelt thanks to J for her contributions in being my piano accompanist for the exams. I greatly appreciate her help and her patience. She has been very patient with me during our rehearsals and practices, so graciously replaying the parts when I had needed to work out my parts right. It has been enjoyable playing music with her. Whatever the results of the exams would be, I am grateful that the exams had gave me a good excuse to catch up with one of my good friends, J, and spend some time making music together. Many thanks to her for her pats on the back to help me calm my nerves while I was waiting for my turn. I arrived pretty early before schedule, and it seemed that too much waiting had actually made me feel anxious and nervous. Thanks J for her assuring presence.

My thanks to my mother. She helped me with quite a bit of the logistics today. If not, I won't be able to carry both the stool and the double bass single-handedly. Strangely, for my past three music exams on the double bass (including this morning's), the exams' dates all coincided with her non-working days. She works in the hotel and hospitality industry, and non-working days are staggered, and it probably takes good luck to be allocated an exam date that coincided with her non-working day.

The steward from the exams board has been very helpful, offering timely help with the logistics where needed. As for the examiners, I can sense that they are doing their best to put me, a candidate, at greater ease. One of the examiners said to me, "Enjoy yourself.". I think his words had helped in some ways.

I have my tutor, MJ, to thank for his patient and firm guidance. He has been pretty strict with me, constantly making sure that I focus on bring out the long lines of the music rather than just playing the notes. This afternoon, after the exams, he started discussing with me over the phone about preparing for the next exams! I am not planning to take up another music exams too soon but I look forward to practise Eccles' Sonata in g minor.

Mr GM, has also helped in some ways in my preparation. His inspiring teaching these years at the orchestra's sectionals and lessons has definitely been a motivating factor that has kept me interested in playing the double bass. My thanks to him.

Thanks to my music theory tutor, Emily and JY for helping me to proof-read the programme notes. My thanks to Emily too for pointing me to a great resource, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

My word of thanks to all other family members and friends who have lended their help and support in one way or another.

I shall keep my fingers crossed that I would be able to pass the exams. It had been a challenge to prepare for it with an injured finger and a recovering sprained ankle. Nevertheless, psychologically, it did help a lot that I had started my preparations very early. I had started preparing for this exams at least slightly more than a year ago. Early preparations seem to help relieve me of the great amount of anxiety that I had experienced when I was preparing for the Grade 8 exams. I suppose this is one good tip for students of music who have similar learning styles like myself?

Secretly, it would be a bonus if I could score better grades to earn a distinction. That would then give me a good enough reason to give my friend, Mystic, a treat. If I score a pass, I think Mystic may not see good reason for me to give her a treat. So if I could ask of my reader, please keep your fingers crossed for me that I may earn a good reason to give Mystic a treat, would you?

Meantime, I can see that there are still areas I can improve on. I aim to play music that would move the soul of a person sitting in the audience seat, including my dear piano accompanist too. This is something I will continue to strive for. I wonder what specific skills I would need in order to achieve that?

Another question is still looking for a resolution. The question of "What's the next step?" I don't have the full picture yet, but I suppose I would need guidance to be able to gauge whether I would be able to have the conviction to walk the steps that were to follow.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Quotation for the week

SY reminded me of this lovely quotation last Friday during a rehearsal:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous --
Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people
Won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some of us: it is in everyone,
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
Give other people permission to do the same.

- Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love (New York: Harper Collins, 1992)
(the edition of this quote was taken from Zander R.S. and Zander B. (2000). The Art of Possibility. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press.)

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Urging for respite
Asking for guidance
For what lies ahead
Seem like an endless tunnel
I wish for a small beam
Of light.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Week 37 of year 2007 on the double bass

9 Sep 2007, Sun: After taking some time to urge myself to practise, I fell for the practising spell and was in the mood to practice. I played selected parts of my programme for the upcoming exams. In addition, I had time to play a few studies and did a sight-reading of Giovannino's Sonata in F major. I wonder how it would be like if I decide to pursue further studies in the double bass?

12 Sep 2007, Wed: Prior to the orchestra rehearsal, the strings section rehearsed for the upcoming concert. I recalled Mr G's words, he said even if the double bass parts may seem easy, it has the power like the left little finger of a pianist. Even though the little finger on its own does not do a lot of fanciful thing, it is nevertheless important. As such, I concentrated on playing as part of the ensemble, and on supporting the melody line both during the orchestra rehearsal and the strings section.

13 Sep 2007, Thu: Thank goodness for the double bass lesson. My tutor, MJ, gave me guidance as I worked on Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro. In addition, MJ was very kind to allow me to play my entire exams programme. Where needed, he gave me tips on how I could improve on my rendition. I can say that having a tutor to guide me on a regular basis has helped me a lot in improving my playing.

14 Sep 2007, Fri: I was on leave for the day. In the morning, I attempted some sight-reading exercises. Strangely, I could be more productive.

In the afternoon, my friend, SY, was very kind to help me carry a double bass stool for my rehearsal at the venue where I would have my Diploma in Music Performance exams next Tuesday. My dear tutor, MJ, had been very kind to extend his lesson time with me for the day to guide me to improve the rendition. Comparing all the rehearsals that I have had so far, I felt I was playing not quite well for the day. The intonation needed more work and the sense of tempo needed more precision. I started off not too pleased with the tone too. Things got a little better when I get more warmed-up.

J has been very kind and patient with me. I can hear she has put in a lot of effort in the accompaniment, and I greatly appreciate her for her kindness. Her father came today to give support.

SY and J both gave similar comments that I should just enjoy myself in playing the music. I could do that with ease when playing orchestral works that are within my capability, now I have to learn to transfer the same skills when playing solo on the double bass. Maybe I was striving too hard to play the notes accurately that I lose being spontaneous? There is much that I have to learn when it comes to music performance.

I don't know why, I am just feeling touched by the many kind gestures that SY and J has shown to me these years. The best way is to treasure the friendship forged.

15 Sep 2007, Sat: This afternoon, I was playing the double bass at NLB Plaza. A short coverage of the performance can be found here. The turnout for the performance was good. A good friend, SH, who came by to support the concert. I also met a secondary school friend and her family by chance.

During the break before the performance, I attempted to play some passages from Marcello's Sonata in G major and Faure's Sicilienne from memory. Admittedly, I am feeling the jitters and am in need of much encouragement.

I wish for better sleep

For the past two nights, I have been having trouble sleeping. I wonder if it is because I could not get used to have my ankle bandaged while I am sleeping?

Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night. There seems to be too much on my mind, and it did not help that I did not feel comfort sleeping with a bandaged ankle. In addition, in the middle of the night, I started worrying whether I have left my Tourte mute that I was using for yesterday's rehearsal at the rehearsal venue. Thank goodness that after checking, I did remember to keep it. Maybe I need to calm my nerves and learn to take things a little easier too?

I have removed the bandage this morning as advised by the Chinese physician. I hope for better moments of sleep for the nights to come.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Deeply thankful

Friends who have supported me
Through ups and downs
Their kindness
Brings warmth to the heart
Their friendship
Makes life brighter
Deeply thankful
I wonder how I could fully express
How their friendship mean so much to me?
And the best I know
Is to treasure them like precious gifts.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Good health please

Today, I took leave from work. Initially, the plan was to practise. However, in hope to get the ankle to heal soon, I went to see a Chinese physician (the same person who treated me for my injured little finger) in the afternoon. I have my right ankle bandaged. Hopefully in three days time, I could take the bandage on, and just need to wear ankle guard if the ankle still hurts thereafter.

It is either that I am feeling stressed or my throat is feeling unwell. My throat has been feeling irritable today.

What could I ask for now? Good health please, for you and me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Patience paid off

After many correspondences and much patience, I have finally received my favourable replies from the two publishers. This sets me on a good footing for the upcoming music examinations.

It pleased me greatly when I learnt I had spoken to Rodney Slatford over the phone (I had to call overseas to make enquiries). He has been very helpful. Rodney Slatford is one double bassists that I admire for his contributions to the field of double bass music. Read more about him here:

Meantime, thank you very much for all your well-wishes, support and cheers.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Keeping fingers crossed

I keep my fingers crossed that I would be able to receive the email that I have been expecting. I called the person-in-charge from publisher and was told that he had replied to me. Strangely, I did not receive any email. I wonder what could have happened. Wish me luck please.

On preserving memories

Noel writes in his recent post on "Chun See from Good Morning Yesterday writes and reflects on heritage blogging and how you can play a part in preserving memories for future generations."

Would you like to find out how you can play your part to? Please check out Gather Moments While You May

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Parnassian poets

I wish reading up on the music styles of Gabriel Faure, and I read from The New Grove II that his second period was that of the Parnassian poets. I am not a keen student of literature and I beg your pardon that I've no idea who the Parnassian poets were.

As such, I went to surf the internet to find out more.
Here are some sources:

As the sources above suggest, the poets of the Parnassian movement shared an artistic attitude "that rejected the emphasis on subjective expression and unrestrained imagination which characterized the Romantic period." (view source)

More learning to be done.

The ankle, please heal

What is the difference between a twist and a sprain?
While walking today, I injured my right ankle by accident.
It isn't the worst ankle injury that I have had.
At least, I could walk.
It is just that there is a tinge of pain at the ankle area.
I hope it heals soon.
Could good health be closer?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Week 36 of year 2007 on the double bass

2 Sep 2007, Sun: I took some time to practise some parts from Keyper's Romance and Rondo. Sometimes, self-doubts do strike.

5 Sep 2007, Wed: I had strings sectional and orchestra rehearsals in the evening. To be honest, I prefer to attend double bass sectional to strings sectional. I find the former more beneficial. We rehearsed C. H. Gounod's Faust, selected movements from G. Bizet's Carmen Suite No.1 and Carmen Suite No.2, selections from King and I and Phantom of the Opera.

6 Sep 2007, Thu: One hour never seems to be enough when it comes to double bass lesson. For the lesson, I worked on Faure's Sicilienne and Keyper's Romance and Rondo. I have to strive for shorter bow strokes for a certain section of Keyper's Romance and Rondo.

7 Sep 2007, Fri: I took leave from work to practise. It felt great after the end of the day after all the practice. I worked on Faure's Sicilienne, Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro, Marcello's Sonata in G major and selected sections from Keyper's Romance and Rondo. I also had time to practise scales, and some studies from Hartley's Double Bass Solo Book I.

8 Sep 2007, Sat: Many thanks to J for putting time once again to rehearse with me. I don't know how to thank her enough. In the morning, J and I worked on Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro. We have managed to play this work from beginning to end. In addition, we went through all the other programme for the recital component of the exams. Things are looking good. I just need to build my stamina up and wish for healing for the little finger so that I could play throughout the entire recital component without feeling too much fatigue. I wish for good luck.

I'm on track, and now what I need is more good luck and good health.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A day of break from work

I took a day of leave from work. I had hoped that my injured finger would have healed completly by today, but it has yet to. Anyway, despite the finger not being as strong as I would like it to, I went ahead with my practices on the double bass. It is just that instead of practising continuously for hours and hours, I would take breaks in between so that I could let the finger rest.

I wish for good health.

I am not feeling as anxious over the upcoming music exam as compared to the music examination that I had a year ago. Perhaps it is because I have prepared for this exams for more than a year. I can fully agree that it is important to dedicate time to lay the groundwork than to practise last minute. Nevertheless, I am still feeling some sense of anxieties because it will be my first time entering for a music exams that has a Viva Voce component. I also keep my fingers crossed that I would be able to manage the Quick Study section where I have to perform a short piece of previously unseen music. More importantly, may I be in better condition to play my best by the date of the exams.

By the way, it has been quite challenging to get hold of publishers to ask for permission to make a copy of the scores for the examiners' reference just for the exams. I have done what I can, I just ask if they could please respond to me soon.

Meantime, I shall put aside time to do a last proof-read of my programme notes for the exam, before doing more readings to prepare for the Viva Voce component. Actually, it is a pleasure to do research on the works that I will be playing. I only wish I could have more time.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Beyond Campus: Fantasie Passionée

Coming up next Saturday.

Beyond Campus
Fantasie Passionée
By the NUS Symphony Orchestra
(a member of NUS Centre For the Arts)
15 September 2007 (Saturday), 3pm
National Library Plaza (Ground Floor)
100 Victoria Street
Singapore 188064
Free Admission

Join the NUS Symphony Orchestra for a relaxing afternoon of flowing melodies from popular opera and theatre. Enjoy music with themes of passion and fantasy, from the fatally seductive Carmen and the deadly passionate Faust, to the royal fantasy of The King and I and the romantic phantom of the opera house.

Also see:

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The monologue Part IV

One step forward
One step backward
Which direction to head?
The possibilities endless

Perhaps some paths don't seem an option
Yet there are so many other options
Someone say
Listen to the heart
Yet how does one do so
With skill and confidence?
The heart doesn't really speak
It serves to pump blood

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Two weeks more to exams

Two weeks more to exams
I wish for good health
I wish for good luck
To be able to play my best possible
To share nice music with everyone

Prone to some self-doubts
And not everything do come smooth
Maybe some tests help make a person grow stronger
And now two weeks just seem so close
I feel the anxiety
Even though I have prepared

Send me cheers and support please.
For now, I keep my fingers crossed.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The monologue Part III

Pain strikes
The head hurts
How do I
Urge myself forward
Despite the feeling of pain?

I cannot seem to see
The full picture
Guidance please
To understand this world

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The monologue Part II

Face the monitor
Yet again
At the verge of
Giving up

For not all words can be
Truly expressed
Have yet to feel
Minds have connect

The world is
Getting more distant
It is just that
My world does not seem
To make some sense
At least not for now

The monologue

Facing the monitor
Yearning to connect
But I fear I am simply
Engaging myself
In a senseless monolgue
That leads me nowhere

Yet needing a respite
From the world's noises and clamour
And an outlet to express
What would have led me feeling pent up

To continue
Or should I not?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Week 35 of year 2007 on the double bass

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!

26 Aug 2007, Sun: Practised some scales and arpeggios in the late morning and afternoon.

Afterwhich, I played Marcello's Sonata in g minor. I had played this work about a year ago for my last music exams. I felt good that my playing has improved.

29 Aug 2007, Wed: Prior to the orchestra rehearsal, I tried to play some parts from Marcello's Sonata in G minor and Faure's Sicilienne from memory.

During the orchestra rehearsal in the evening, we rehearsed selected sections from Gounod's Faust, Selections from King and I and Selections from Phantom of the Opera. Before I knew it, I had played for more than an hour of rehearsal.

30 Aug 2007, Thu: During the double bass lesson, my tutor, MJ, listened to me sight-reading several pieces. I need to work on sight-reading the not-so-common rhythms with greater ease.

Other than working on sight-reading, time was spent working on Marcello's Sonata in G major, and I played a bit of Faure's Sicilienne.

31 Aug 2007, Fri: I took some time to play through the 3rd movement of Capuzzi's Concerto in D major so as to work on sight-reading skills. Afterwhich, time was spent playing selected sections of the 2nd movement of Keyper's Romance and Rondo at the original tempo, and also at a moderately slow tempo.

I wonder when my finger would heal completely? Psychologically, I have a nagging fear of overstraining it, and that isn't helping me to play freely.

1 Sep 2007, Sat: This morning, my friend, J so generously put aside time to practise with me for my examinations (Diploma in Music Performance, Double Bass). She accompanied me on the piano. We spent time working on Berkeley's Introduction and Allegrio, Faure's Sicilienne and Keyper's Romance and Rondo. I am glad that J could correct my mistakes when I make them during the session.

When my tutor, MJ, came in the afternoon, we rehearsed Faure's Sicilienne and Keyper's Romance and Rondo. J told me that my rendition of Faure's Sicilienne sounded much better with the presence of my tutor and his cues. Possibly like J said, I play better when I seem more confident. Looks like I would need to build up my confidence in playing.

Many thanks to J again.

Time flies, it is Week 35 of the year already. I have been on track with practising at least four days per week, at least 15 minutes each of the days. Sometimes I wish I could have more time to practise.