Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The exhaustion

The feet are aching
From having to travel miles after miles
Yet which each inch travelled
One grows and develops

The mind is needing rest
For it has been working for much of the day
And now in its inactivity
It strives to savour the better moments

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My wishes

Life brings untold challenges
And a journey I could not quite comprehend
I wish for wisdom
To steer through the jungle ahead
And good luck to lead me
To where my heart longs to be

Week 47 of year 2007 on the double bass

18 Nov 2007, Sun: I started with playing arpeggio. I realised that my mind isn't that focused on practising today, so I kept the practice session within 45 minutes. I worked particularly on a particular four-bars section from the first movement of Dittersdorf's Concerto in E major. I really have to work it even more slowly the next time I practise this section to get the intonation focused.

21 Nov 2007, Wed: I played G major scales, then attempted a simple sight-reading piece. Afterwhich, I practised the first movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor, and worked on the articulation of first movement of Dittersdorf's Concerto in E major.

22 Nov 2007, Thu: It is double bass lesson day. MJ coached me on playing the double bass solo from the third movement from Mahler's First Symphony. I like how he has maintained a nice phrasing and a consistent tempo. I need to work on my sense of tempo and rhythm.

Afterwhich, he demonstrated how to play the second movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor. This shall be something for me to work on for the upcoming weeks.

The remaining of the lesson was spent working on the first movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor. I have to be careful to ensure constant bow-speed even when I am changing bow direction.

23 Nov 2007, Fri: I sight-read a study from Bottesini's Method for Double Bass Part One, working on both rhythm and intonation.

Thereafter, I practised the second movement of Sonata in g minor.

24 Nov 2007, Sat: I did a sight-reading and study of a study from Bottesini's Method for Double Bass Part One. Other than working on both the rhythm and the intonation, I attempted to play the study at increasing tempo. As I was feeling tired from the day, I stopped after I worked on the study for slightly more than half-an-hour. It may be better to practise when I have a reasonably good level of concentration, than to practise long hours but without focus.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A tag

I was tagged by my friend, JY. Here's my attempt to answer the questions.

1. 2007年最难忘的事是什么?

There is quite a number of unforgettable incidents, and a couple of them are related to playing the double bass. For examples: the d'Bassists concert at Esplanade Concourse and its preparations; and the preparations for the DipABRSM exams particularly with my dear piano accompanist, J.

2. 2008年的愿望是什么?

More avenues and chances to express and contribute my unique life force. (see quote by Martha Graham)

3. 你会为朋友赴汤蹈火吗?

Yes, if it is within my means and does not hurt anyone.

4. 你向往的国家?

Scotland is lovely. Singapore can be a lovely place too if I can live at my own pace.


When I am feeling in-sync.

No one will be tagged for this, unless anyone decides to pick the tag on his/her own.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Inner anguish

Inner anguish
That can make the inner world collapse
And the temporary relief
Is a moment of solitude
And the resonating vibrations
From the deep double bass

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Explore Singapore!

Discover many fun ways to experience our island’s colourful past, rich heritage and vibrant cultures.

Check this link for more details:

Monday, November 19, 2007

Awfully tired

Tiredness can overwhelm
And drain a person out
If tiredness can make a person feel more alive
That is fulfilment
If it does not
It leads one to further doubts

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tour of the Changi Airport Terminal 3

From 12 Nov to 9 Dec 2007, the Changi Airport Terminal 3 is opened for public to view before Terminal 3 starts operation. Terminal 3 is scheduled to open on 9 Jan 2008.

Meantime, it is free to view the public-area of Changi Airport Terminal 3. However, entry to the Transit Mall would require each visitor to obtain a ticket. For adults, each guided-tour ticket would cost $3. For those who prefer self-guided tour, the ticket is $1. If budget allows, I would recommend that visitors choose the guided-tour because the guided tour gives a good overview of the Terminal. In addition, after the guided tour, the visitors could enter the Transit Mall again on the same day to do their own self-guided tours.

For those of you who would like to have a look of Changi Airport Terminal 3, do check out the photos posted on this post.

The guide told us that the design of the Terminal 3 strives to bring comfort and convenience to its users. I love it for being spacious. I was also intrigued by the skylights. These skylights found on the ceiling of the Departure Hall are fitted with an intelligent computer-controlled system. They help to allow natural light to shine into the building, while making sure that not too much heat enters the building. Do find out more about these skylights if you are on the tour.

As you can see from the photos, glass is one of the main materials used for Terminal 3. Glass seems to help remove the physical barrier between the public-area and the transit-area, for with glass as the material, people from both sides can see each other through the glass.

There are plenty of plants in Terminal 3. Notice the Green Wall? I read that the green wall of Terminal 3 is a five-storey high and 300 metres wide vertical garden made up of climbing plants. I think it is lovely to have plants around to bring visitors closer to Nature.

By the way, Terminal 3 can now be accessible by both public bus services and the MRT service. In addition, one can take the airport's Skytrain to travel to Terminal 3.

The opening hours for the Terminal 3 Open House are as follow:
10.00 am – 5.00 pm (Weekdays)
9.00 am – 6.00 pm (Saturday and Sunday)

For more information on Terminal 3, please visit

This post is dedicated to my readers. Enjoy!

Week 46 of year 2007 on the double bass

11 Nov 2007, Sun: It feels good to be back practising on the double bass. I started out with practising scales, followed by one study. I decided to practise just sight-reading rhythms and work on playing the given rhythms as accurately as possible.

Practice feels more complete when I worked on the first movement of Dittersdorf's Concerto in E and the first movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor.

13 Nov 2007, Tue: I decided where possible, I shall start with practising scales or studies. I started with practising a study from Michael Moore's Melodic Playing in the Thumb Position. Afterwhich, I practised the first and second movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor and the first movement of Dittersdorf's Concerto in E. I need to fine tune the intonation and my sense of rhythm.

14 Nov 2007, Wed: The night's practice started with practising arpeggios of the G major scale. Afterwhich, I played selected passages from various works largely from memory.

15 Nov 2007, Thu: It is getting more exciting to study the first movement of Dittersdorf's Concerto in E. I spent most of the double bass lesson working on this. A lot of work is required on both the right and the left hands. It was certainly much easier to play on my tutor's double bass that he had put in the music school because of its set-up, and I could not help but wish for a better double bass.

In addition, I would need to continue to develop a way to play the first movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor with legato bowings, while keeping the long lines.

My tutor thinks that I should re-sit for the DipABRSM as soon as possible (the earliest being next May), and I have my reservations even though I do hope to move to LRSM.

17 Nov 2007, Sat: The vibrations from the double bass seem to have positive effects on me physically. I felt my nerves being calmed for the moments that I was playing. I practised the first and second movements of Marcello's Sonata in G major, and then played the first movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor from memory.

I am keeping to the target of practising on at least four of the days of each week, and hoping that one day I would get closer to better playing and a better double bass.

Friday, November 16, 2007

An Andy Warhol Exhibition

If you speak about Pop Art, it is impossible not to mention the pop artist, Andy Warhol. To mark the 20th anniversary of Andy Warhol, there is an upcoming exhibition featuring 116 iconic prints by the late Andy Warhol.

Details of the exhibition are as such:
A Is For Andy
17 - 18 November 2007
10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Venue: 72 - 13 Mohamed Sultan Road
Free Public Admission

Presented by Cannonball Art Fund

The exhibition is opened to members of the public for very llimited time, so if you are keen to view works by the late Andy Warhol, please make this weekend free.

Update on 18 Nov 2007: Veron has a post on this exhibition. Check it out: A is for Andy: An Andy Warhol Exhibition

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A life in crisis?

Maybe it is a phase of life?
There is so much going through within
Yet I have no faith to share
Blogging about my inner world seems to lose relevance
And I wonder if it is therapeutic at all
I search for hope
And have to look hard to see the traces

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rainbow to marvel at and to share

Last Friday, in the evening, after work, I spotted a rainbow. Strangely, the colours of the spectrum somehow lightened my mood, and brought a little sense of hope.

I could not help that evening but to slow my pace down so that I could view the beautiful rainbow in the skies as I walked towards the nearby MRT station.

It was a delight, and I suppose I could follow Mr Endoh's example to share the rainbow with all readers. Afterall, it is usually on a rare occasion that we would get to see a rainbow. What is more, to take the time to appreciate it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Week 45 of year 2007 on the double bass

Week 45 is declared a week when I take a break from playing the double bass. I had only practised on one of the days of the week.

4 Nov 2007, Sun: Practised C major scales to work on intonation. Afterwhich, I practised playing in the key of C major notes in the intervals of third, fourth, and fifth.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Tony Osborne!

Today is Tony Osborne's 60th birthday!

Tony Osborne's 60th birthday! Tony Osborne is an important double bass educationalist and composer who has made significant contributions to the double bass literature. Cheers to more years of great compositions and music by Tony Osborne.

d'Bassists wishes Tony Osborne a Happy Birthday, and thanks to XM for his help, we have a video recording specially for Tony Osborne. Check it out here: Happy Birthday Tony Osborne!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Constructive diversion

This week is a break away from practising from the double bass because of the Mystic's Challenge that I have taken up. Initially, I had not felt much of an urge to resume practice, but that urge to practise crept in this evening. I am now looking forward to practising on the double bass when the time is up.

In addition, I needed some positive and constructive diversion to get me to stay away from depressive moods. For the past few days, I had attempted to walk. I had walked fairly long distances until my soles are aching even this evening. I would have continued walking despite the pain from the soles, but my feet brought me to a nearby library. I spent time browsing a book while sipping the chocolately drink that I had ordered from the cafe in the library.

Yesterday, aside from attempting to walk about several places, I had went about sketching. I realised that it has been a long while since I have sketched on my sketchbooks. Prior to yesterday's sketches, my last entry to my sketchbook was in January 2005! If anyone would like to see my sketches, you could ask me out and request to see the sketches, or pray that I would get a sponsorship for a scanner.

Actually, I would still like to walk! Then again, I have to be mindful that my soles are hurting. What a dilemma.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Walking and walking

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The soles are aching
In search for clues
How would they come to me?
Walk ahead
How would this journey unfold?
Aching soles are at least
Not the most painful of all

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Mystic's challenge

Yesterday, Mystic put me to a challenge to take a break from playing the double bass for a week. She said that taking a short break will help me have a renewed outlook and interest to playing the double bass. I do not know if I would be able to meet her challenge. At the most, I shall attempt to take the break for six days.

Now my question is what else could I do if I have the urge to play the double bass?

Who would be free to accompany for sketching trips this Thursday?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Week 44 of year 2007 on the double bass

28 Oct 2007, Sun: I wasn't feeling quite well so I did not go out for extended walks as initially planned. Nevertheless, a day feels more fulfilled when I practise on the double bass. I continued to work on the first movement of Dittersdorf's Concerto in E major. My rendition of it is taking shape.

29 Oct 2007, Mon: It has been a while since I have played studies. As such, I started my practice for the evening with a study from Bottesini's Method for Double Bass, part One. Bottesini's studies may seem easy at first glance, but they are pretty challenging to play with good intonation and good rhythm. More work would be needed.

Afterwhich, I played a bit of the first movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor from memory. Subsequently, I worked on the first movement of Dittersdorf's Concerto in E major. More work on the concerto to get a clearer articulation.

31 Oct 2007, Wed: I started out the practice session playing a couple of bars from Bottesini's Passione Amorosa. I realised much of the parts were in treble clef, and I do need to practise and gain greater mastery of the higher registers.

A short practice session that ended with me playing the first movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor from memory, and selected bars from the first movement of Dittersdorf's Concerto in E major.

1 Nov 2007, Thu: It was double bass lesson day. I worked on the first movement of Dittersdorf's Concerto in E major. My tutor, MJ, told me that he would give me a nicer version of cadenza for this movement.

2 Nov 2007, Fri: In my attempt to release the pent-up feelings of frustrations and vulnerability in me, I spent quite a bit of time in the evening playing the first few bars of Rachmaninov's Vocalise, the first movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor and the first few bars of Dittersdorf's Concerto in E major. That helps me feel a little better.

I have been able to practise at least four of the days per week, for at least 15 minutes each time. Yet it did not seem enough.

What are ways to practice so that I could improve my sense of rhythm?

New post on growing up in Ang Mo Kio

I have yet another post published on about my memories growing up in Ang Mo Kio. Here's the link to the post: Growing up in Ang Mo Kio: A place to take a ride

Friday, November 02, 2007

Trigger-finger's back

I am not sure if the trigger-finger condition that my left little finger is experiencing would be permanent. I am starting to feel discouraged. For a while, the finger had felt better for the past couple of weeks. However, just a few days ago, it is becoming more uneasy and stiff to move the last joint of the finger. I had thought it would just improve with time, but I have yet to experience so.

Maybe the consoling thing would be the stiffness wasn't as bad as what I have experienced a few months ago, and at least I could play the double bass nevertheless.

Would complete recovery happen?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Reflect, encourage and move on

I had sat for DipABRSM on 18 Sep 2007, and today, I was informed by phone that the results are available for collection.

I took a taxi after work to the Music Examinations Office at Victoria Concert Hall so as to collect my results. I had failed the exam as a whole. Though I have passed the Viva Voce, I did not earn a pass for both the recital section and the quick study section. From the remarks made by the exams, I need to work a lot more on rhythmic aspects. In addition, the intonation could be more focused.

For now, I shall reflect on how I could improve on my weaker aspects, and enhance my strengths. Hopefully the feelings of being discouraged gets managed, and I have to learn to encourage myself for the good things that had been achieved during the exams.

I am thinking when would be an appropriate time to retake the DipABRSM Music Performance exams. I would wish that when I retake the exams, I would be able to confidently score a good pass. Afterall, another failure either means that I have not improved on areas that I need to, or that the circumstances are all too not favourable to facilitate a pass. Whatever it is, I do not wish to rush retaking the exams but not having the time to work on key aspects that needs to be improved.

Last but not the least, special thanks to my tutor, to my piano accompanist (J) and my music theory tutor. My words of thanks to many others who have given me your support and encouragement along the way. Thank you.

Here's also to thank Mystic for calling to express her kind concern after she knew of my results.

I wish for better music performance.