Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The signals of discomfort

Am I reading the signals too much?
The body has been sending
Signals of pain and discomforts
As if urging that something is wrong

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Veron's post on Chek Jawa at Pulau Ubin

Veron of has an interesting post about her first trip to Chek Jawa and Pulau Ubin.

After reading her post, I finally know how the eggs of the sea hare look like. The sea hare certainly is a strange creature, at least to me.

Her post titled Chek Jawa at Pulau Ubin - Getting in Touch with Nature is also featured on


By the way, has been nominated in the “best asian weblog” category for the eighth annual weblog awards. If you think her blog is deserving of your vote for this category, please visit to cast a vote for her blog.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The troubled tune

The many moments when the dark feelings
Crept in
Talking about it
Did not help
And my outlet of release
Is to hum
Very deeply
Many troubled tunes

Week 4 of year 2008 on the double bass

Much of the time for this week on the double bass was spent practising for the orchestra's upcoming concert in March, and for the chamber concert, Miniatures.

I practised on the double bass on the following days:
20 Jan 2008, Sun
22 Jan 2008, Tue
23 Jan 2008, Wed
25 Jan 2008, Fri
26 Jan 2008, Sat

Works practised included:
Beethoven's Fifth Symphony
Tony Osborne's Blues-Style
among others.

Playing the double bass had helped provide an outlet of expression for me. Pardon me if I were make the ground shake when I am practising Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I don't like this

Too many times
These few weeks
I felt being at the verge
Of throwing in the towel
Thoughts of giving up came
And it is that thin fine line
That stops me from falling over
Something isn't right
I have some clues
Yet clarity isn't quite nearby


The scream
From inside out
The frustrations are symptoms
Hinting that some courses need correction
Having some insights
Yet needing more wisdom?

Friday, January 25, 2008


I have a lot in the mind
Yet limited avenues
That I feel at ease
To share

Monday, January 21, 2008

Verdi's La Traviata

Emily told me that the upcoming production of Verdi's La Traviata presented by the Singapore Lyric Opera is worth watching. Furthermore, generally, I quite like music by Verdi.

"Based on the book by Alexandre Dumas, this opera tells the moving tale of a beautiful young courtesan who gives up her pursuit of money and frivolity for the love of a man, only to discover love has come too late for her."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Question for week 3

In despair
Feeling grim
Like all other down times
This is likely temporary
Yet in a world
That is so dim
What helps keep hope going
And would lift the spirits up once more?

Week 3 of year 2008 on the double bass

For week 3 of the year 2008, I had practised on the following dates:
13 Jan 2008, Sun
16 Jan 2008, Wed
17 Jan 2008, Thu
18 Jan 2008, Fri

Works practised include:
1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th movements of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony
Stravinsky's "Dance of the Inferno" from the Firebird suite
Tony Osborne's Blues-Style
Double bass duet
Keyper's Romance and Rondo
1st movement of Capuzzi's Concerto in D major

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The internal protest

In a world of darkness
Searching for hope
It is there
Yet so scarce
But maybe it is this tinge of hope
That would keep one going
When one's world feels so grim
And one's in pain

Maybe soon the light that one is seeking
Could be found

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Reading: Broadley's Your Natural Gifts

Broadley's Your Natural Gifts: How to recognise and develop them for success and self-fulfillment is the latest book that I have read.

Reading this book makes me wonder what my aptitudes are actually. The examples that were found in this book provide illustrations of how understanding our aptitudes and finding ourselves the work that we do best can enable each of us to have a fuller and more meaningful life.

I am very much attracted to the idea of finding out what my natural gifts would be, for I think it may help me find ways to be the best of myself. I don't seek to be the best in the world, but at the very least, I hope that I can excel in being the best of myself. A sense of unfulfilment seems strike me whenever I feel that I am not heading towards the goal of being the best of myself. I realised that such a sense of unfulfilment is one main source of discontent and frustration for me.

The book was such an interesting read for me that I had managed to finish reading it in three days despite being awfully busy this week. Perhaps the only thing lacking in this book is that I still could not fully determine my natural gifts, although I do have some clues of a few of my natural aptitudes. For example, I am more likely to have a subjective personality than an objective personality.

Anyway, I understand that the Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation provides an aptitude testing program to help individuals discover their natural potential by identifying personal strengths. After reading the book, I am fairly keen to consider taking the aptitude testing program. However, it appears the testing centres are all located in the U.S., so it would probably take me some time to save enough to travel to U.S. and get myself tested?

Looking back and remembering how I have struggled to decide what education and career paths to take, I secretly wished that I could read this book when I was much younger.

If you were to ask me whom I would recommend this book to, I would probably recommend it to those who are looking for a more satisfying career, or who want some help on what kind of job to look for.

Another read

A few weeks ago, I borrowed this book, 25 Days to Better Thinking & Better Living, authored by Dr Linda Elder and Richard Paul, from the library and read it.

This book offers some useful strategies on how one can improve one's thinking.

I also realised that the authors have written a number of books on critical thinking. For more information, please visit:

I realised that books have too many exercises and activities for the reader to attempt to practise, I tend to only practise one or two that seem relevant and easy to apply. I suppose I didn't like books that are written in "workbook" style? Nevertheless, this book did lend me some ideas and insights.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

In eight days time

Yours truly will be playing an item in this upcoming concert:

ExxonMobil Campus Concerts
by NUS Symphony Orchestra
(a member of NUS Centre For the Arts)
23 January 2008, Wednesday, 8pm
University Cultural Centre Theatre
Free Admission

Please also see:

Overwhelmed at work

January proves to be an awfully busy month
I was feeling overwhelmed at work today
And I cope by doing what I could reasonably manage
Questions persist nevertheless.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Question for week 2

Something feels not quite right
Yet is it meant to be taken seriously?
How does one tell
Whether the signs
That are meant to guide?
Or merely confusing messages to be disregarded?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Week 2 of year 2008 on the double bass

For week 2 of the year 2008, I had practised on the following dates:
6 Jan 2008, Sun
7 Jan 2008, Mon
9 Jan 2008, Wed
10 Jan 2008, Thu
12 Jan 2008, Sat

Works practised include:
1st and 2nd movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor
Beethoven's Fifth Symphony
Capuzzi's Concerto in D major

During my double bass lesson on 10 Jan 2008, I played the 1st and 3rd movements of Marcello's Sonata in g minor and 2nd movement of Keyper's Romance and Rondo.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Thinking Smart

In the hope to improve the way that I think, I picked up and read the following book a few weeks ago: Thinking Smart: You are how you think by Khaw Choon Ean. Published by Pelanduk Publications. ISBN CODE : 9679789182.

Basically, the book is about applying the Theory of Constraints to develop one's thinking skills so as to solve problems and make responsible and effective decisions with commitment.

In this book, I was introduced to the Theory of Constraints Thinking Tools known as "The Cloud", "The Branch" and the "Ambitious Target Tree". It is quite interesting to see how what had first began as a business management philosophy could be applied to the context of teaching and education.

The challenging part is to know how to apply some of the useful concepts in my life.

Also see:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Welcoming Emily

A short post to welcome Emily home. She is back from Student Exchange Programme, from the US.

Do check out her homepage for updates of her music-related endeavours.

Credit: Image taken from

library@esplanade has its own blog

Rambling Librarian has a post that alerted me to the fact that library@esplanade has its own blog.

If you are now asking for the URL of library@esplanade's blog, here it is:

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Question for week 1

If each step and each pause
Only lands one to blank space times and again
What can bring hope to the heart
That there is indeed something worth living for?

Week 1 of Year 2008

Though the year of 2008 does not start technically from 30 Dec 2007, I shall start yet another year of 'holding myself accountable' posts to help me keep track whether I have been able to practise on the double bass on a consistent basis.

30 Dec 2007, Sun: Orchestra rehearsal in the afternoon. We rehearsed the third and fourth movements of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. A challenging symphony indeed for the double bass section. I managed to improve my rendition of it, thanks to some practising last week. After the rehearsal, XM and I practised playing a few double bass duets. Most of the duets sound rather cheerful. Frankly speaking, I was not in the mood to play happy tunes.

31 Dec 2007, Mon: Playing the double bass seems to have an effect of stimulating my brain cells. I practised selected passages from the third movement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony before moving on to practising the first and second movements of Eccles' Sonata in g minor.

1 Jan 2008, Tue & 2 Jan 2008, Wed??: I remember that I had practised on the double bass on 1 Jan 2008 but I can't remember what I had practised! I think I had practised for a short while on 2 Jan 2008 too, but probably the flu virus had got my memory to lapse? Or had I not practised?

3 Jan 2007, Thu: Double bass lesson day. My tutor got me to play sight-reading of Bottesini's Gavota, and I was struggling terribly to manage it. I need to work a lot on sight-reading. Anyway, the rest of the time was spent working out on the first, second movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor. My tutor also helped guided me with the fingerings for the fourth movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor.

4 Jan 2008, Fri: Orchestra rehearsal which oddly fell on a Friday. The second, third and fourth movement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony was rehearsed. I aim to work on memorising some of the key parts for the double bass. Doing so would help improve my overall rendition and dexterity in performing this work.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Something new in an old place

Today, Carcar introduced me to something new that I have not heard about: MAAD (Market of Artists and Designers).

Located at the Red Dot Traffic Building, at MAAD, one can buy the original artworks (art, music, media, design, fashion and innovation). MAAD is supported by the red dot design museum and Creative Community Singapore. It takes place on every first weekend of the month at the red dot design museum.

The Red Dot Traffic Building is a colonial building that had once used to serve as the traffic police headquarters. So I suppose it would be apt to say that I have discovered something that is new to me in a place that isn't new to me, in a building that has years of history behind it.

Here are links to some of the noteworthy finds that I had discovered while I was at MAAD:

If you are looking for original artworks to purchase, MAAD can be one of the place to check out. The best deal is that admission to the red dot design museum is free on days when MAAD is held, so one not only gets to see original artworks but also outstanding designs that are winners of the red dot design awards.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Concert on 1 Mar 08

NUS Symphony Orchestra proudly presents: A Flame in the Night!

Featuring favourites like Beethoven's 5th Symphony, Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 2 in D and Stravinsky's "Dance of the Inferno" from the Firebird suite, NUS Symphony Orchestra brings you a night of music, passion, fate and life.

The concert will be held on the 1st of March, evening, 8 p.m., at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Concert Hall. Tickets are available from Gatecrash.

Stay tuned to for more updates and exciting deals!

Early-bird special promotion: For the first 200 tickets purchased, there will be both a discounted rate (i.e. $11.20) in the ticket price as well as a free Shaw movie pass for every A Flame in the Night ticket purchased. Limited promotional tickets left!

If you happen to be keen and free that day, let me know please. Yours truly will be performing in this concert.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year's Day at the Museum

On New Year's Day of 2008, I met up with ML to visit the National Museum of Singapore to catch the Greek Masterpieces from the Lourve exhibition. It was the day of the museum's Open House, and admission was free. There was a lot more people at the museum than usual. We even had to queue, though just for a very short while, to enter the exhibition.

Possibly, people in Singapore do have some interest in supporting the museum, it is just that they need a good reason to do so? It looks like some of the factors to draw people in Singapore to the museum are: non-working day, affordable admission (in this case, free), activities to engage both the young and old, and a rare or special exhibition?

ML shared with me that she finds the write-up of the Greek Masterpieces from the Lourve exhibition to be well-written and useful. Indeed, the write-ups that visitors could find at the exhibition lend insights to the lives and worldview of the ancient Greeks.

One of my favourite exhibits from this exhibition is the tall sculpture of Ares. His feautures are well crafted, especially his lips and nose.

I also like the sculpture titled Aphrodite, the Venus of Arles. It was interesting to look at this work from various viewpoints. I did not like the frontal view, but when I looked at it from the left of sculpture, it looked particularly beautiful.

Of course, there were many other exhibits worth viewing. Each exhibit lends us a clue to the world of the ancient Greek. Many of the sculptures in this exhibition were Roman copies of the original Greek works. Nevertheless, considering that many of original Greek works were cast in bronze and many were lost to the world, the Roman copies proved to be the next best alternatives to understand the ancient Greek. For those visitors who must see the originals, most of the funeral related items and pottery works in the exhibition are the originals.

ML and I also had the opportunities to dress ourselves in ancient Greek fashion wear, the Chiton and Peplos while we were at the exhibition. Many thanks to the museum's personnel who had helped us with the wearing the costumes.

I'm glad I could have some time to catch up with ML and also visit the museum together with her. After our visit to the National Museum of Singapore, we headed for the Singapore Art Museum to catch the exhibition, Re-woven: Contemplation, Remembrance and Reminiscence. The fabrics felt as if they came alive.

Meantime, Greek Masterpieces from the Lourve will be showcased at the National Museum of Singapore from 9 Dec 07 - 16 Mar 08.