Runs on food and music, will sing for chips and pasta.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Singing all the way to 2007

Am loving most moments of being...a `full time person', in singing. One crazy year end this is...singing here singing there - makes me a `hepppi-girl'.

Still hooked on playing round with photo software :)
Am pleased with these shots from my Nokia phone camera...if all fails and I lose my job as a singer, I shall attempt photographing singers as a job??? Oh ya check out my latest entry with lots of entries from the past ten days in the style department.

Shots from The Attic performance on Dec 20, open mic with Nic, Vivian, Ben Chew and myself. I give myself a pat on the back for having the BALLS to go on first, with Ben Chew...after me.

soul mama of the night, Nic

Vivian, my favourite mezzo!

Nicole and Vivian singing the...what? Woogie Boogie Bugle Boy from Company B

These are from Fancy Poultry's performance @ Bangkok Jazz on the 24th...

The band Gruvavenue...Martin on drums, Daniel on bass and Jason on piano

What do you think guys? Think I got a little potential to make a living as a camera woman or not? Vivian now calls me `the photo picture woman'.

Other pics from Attic on the 20th
Zal, Cris n I

It was Cal's birthday too

and the evening's line-up of performers...Ben Chew, Llew Marsh, Vivian, Nicole and me , with balls to go on first

Done with Attic, I started the carolling marathon with Verse (a capella group) on The Curve and KL Hilton. Pics by Alan of Events Wizard took interesting shots with my Nokia phone camera. THANK YOU ALAN!!!!!!!!! and Leonard who took some for me on 24th :)
We loooooove singing :D

Some funny chap tickled us, hahhahaha

Enunciate it properly...

Sing your way into 2007 this year!!!



Thursday, December 21, 2006

Life Is Music - part 2

I have been on an emotional high lately, with music. A surge of desire to live only for music, and the hunger to make more music.

Also, I have re-discovered Youtube.

Fresh from after show mamak after the Attic show (report with silly shoots will follow soon), with Nic n Vivian, I came home and sat straight down in front of my PC and started watching non-stop, all the clips I could find on related music that I just performed.

Found these clips after a short while...many call these the `real thing, true talent', we don't have, produce artists like them anymore.

I hope you will be just as inspired as me after watching them...

Julie Andrews & Carol Burnett

The grand 9 min long History of Musical Comedy in United States

Julie and her impeccable diction

Charming Carol, singing Meantime

Chita Rivera, Caterin & Carol Burnett, their Halloween rendition of I Enjoy Being A Girl

Meantime, come hear me sing sing sing carols with ensemble Verses at these venues this weekend...merry Christmas

The Curve, Saturday, Dec 23, 4pm

KL Hilton, Sunday, Dec 24, 1pm & 730pm

The Curve, Sunday, Dec 24, 3pm

The Curve, Monday, Dec 25, 730pm



Friday, December 15, 2006

solitary meal

Forgotten to reply to girlfriend's sms on confirming our appointment at my pad....I ended up eating dinner cooked for two...

So it seems I'm fantastic at entertaining myself :)

this evening's dinner menu:
stir fry french beans with shitake mushrooms
fried eggs
sweet-potato-carrot-potato porridge with onion oil and shallots

Dinner Music:
Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu & Etude in C Minor

Dinner reading:
George Orwell's Down And Out In Paris And London

Weather outside:
stormy weather, wet

Program after dinner for one...back to work (music) and yes, tonight I shall read after work...and read before I sleep, and read after I shower, and read till I fall asleep.



Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Listening to M!

Got a new pc, it's all moves so much faster with a brand new machine.

I'm almost done with migrating all my files (music file especially!!!) from the old laptop to the new hard disc.

Was listening to the my recording of the last vocal warm-up for M! The Opera, now saved in my new pc. The recording ran up to about 20 minutes. After the warm up Saidah gave the cast the (last) briefing for that run, the every first run of the opera...

and then the sounds came...

pic by Alex Wan

My hair stood uncontrollably for a good whole one minute when I heard POW1 being rehearsed. POW1 was the longest, if not the biggest ensemble scene that has about three different songs sung back to back.

The opening of POW1 featured Mia's honeyed-voice singing for a good whole, about 16 bars of music...then the sounds came, female voices shriek, heavy panting, loud sighs, orgasmic screams...floaty fortissimo and many other sounds you don't hear in an conventional opera.

The goose bumps stayed throughout that whole section, that bit of singing has got to be most challenging one in the entire opera. Precision and effects, from earty grunts and growls to classical tessituras, from singing on a spot to contorted bodies.

Clearly I would do it all over again, this beloved opera.

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Reading these days...and back then

I love cleaning a bookshelf, taking everything off the shelf, clean the books, clean the panels, rearrangement is most fun.

Except that too reminds me of the number of the books unread. Bought in with excitement and eventually left on shelf, still untouched.

Last night I found my pocket guide to opera at J's family books cabinet, thought I lost it forever since more than a year back. A gift from him in 2005.

I took home with me two Douglas Adams, The Restaurant At The End of The Universe & Life, The Universe and Everything; Daniel Quinn's Providence (curious..); The Prince of Darkness, The Devil In History, Religion and The Human Psyche and George Orwell's Down And Out In Paris And London.

At home, on my own shelves, I have plenty unread...

pics by SeeMing. (right) was reading Siddhartha (Herman Hesse) at the serene cafe in National Art Gallery but the lovely cafe is no more :( seeming n I used to order the rose tea there all the time..

In these times, I don't have the luxury of `quality reading time'...or rather, I think it's more like I haven't been allowing myself the luxury of that. I read during my solitary meals at home or outside, sometimes before bed and of course, in the toilet.

I have vivid memories of those days when reading is something I do on ITS OWN, not something I do in a by-the-way manner like now. In the early 90s back in Taiping in my home, school holiday didn't mean family vacations or pocket money jobs in the shops...all I did was lots of lazing away in my room, reading copies after copies of old Reader's Digest. Then I had just picked up on my reading efficiency of the English langusge -- like stumbling upon a gold mine, reading was a bit like an endless joyride to infinity.

Sigh. Nowadays free/leisure time is scarce that I find myself replacing reading with something else...when I have half a day free or the day free I'm doing something else rather than reading.

...hahah, and then I'd complain that I haven't got time to read those books lying round my house.

A person who reads is never poor, the wealth of all the worlds in books will never leave us, those who read.



Friday, December 08, 2006

Music is life...

I don't know if it's right to judge music by saying, good music is the kind that move me to tears.

my first operatic experience, chorus of Tosca in 2003...we all survived our extremely brief stage appearance in act one and remained backstage till curtain call, every night.
I guess it's hard to imagine a fine piece of upbeat music can make one tear...

While am busy transferring music from my old laptop to my new PC, I open some of my old music and voila, good music (good recording) never fails to make me stop in my way and usually, I just feel so moved I want to cry.

singing at some dinner soiree...
The minute after that feeling would be that I'm so lucky to be alive to receive the gift of music on my healthy ears.

the best choral experience for me, still -- Turandot run at Penang (and at Istana Budaya KL), 2003. from left - myself, Ashley, Callista & Evelyn
backstage at VOTW (Voices of The Women, 2004) concert, conductor Cheng May educates the public with fine music selection. oh ya, I helped style the look of the choir :) -- I made all the corsages for the singers
from left - myself, Veronica, Lisan, Callista, Cheryl, Nicole & Serena
Do you ever feel that once in a while? Yes?

It's always inspiring to listen to good singing...boost my vocals when I open my mouth to sing. Listening to good musicianship is also my reminder to respect my music more and it tells me to work harder in doing the music justice.

pic by Justin Tan, National Classical Singing Competition (Southern Region) 2002
Earlier I was listening to Renee Fleming sing Wally, now Joan Sutherland singing about the Gentle Lark.

My last chorus...The Pyggy Girls (Pygmalion The Musical, 2005) are KayLi, Nicole, myself, Tabitha & Cristina
Not long ago I was sitting on some stairs at No Black Tie listening to Mia singing one of her originals, What It Means and tears just swelled in my eyes when she sang her first line. I still don't know what it it a piece of music with a lot of heart and soul in it or is it the musician presenting the music?

my first `French appearance', I learned my first French art song (Poulenc's Les chemis de l'amour) for Susanna Saw's Young KL Singers' concert, 2002

If only I could now transform these lovely thoughts into some sure fire way of improving my singing and my music.

pic by Justin Tan, Zal and I posed for a gig publicity picture, ages ago...



Thursday, December 07, 2006

Depth & Image...singing n posing

all pics in this post by KinMeng, taken at The Attic, Nov 29, 2006 @ Doreen Tang's recital

One of my favourite magazines...and I don't have many favourites really, is the Australian Vogue. I started reading it years ago because it was the cheapest Vogue. Nowadays I hardly miss any issue, not for price but for the articles and columns. I usually buy it now for the writing.

This month's Australian Vogue, page 134, Role Players (Vogue Comment):

"Now, rather than put the time and effort into becoming a cultivated person, people have discovered it's a lot easier to cultivate an image," says Ariel Leve, whose Cassandra column appears in London's The Sunday Times Magazine. "The skill has become about conveying depth, as oppose to achieving it."

It's an old topic but it never failed to rouse some brain activities for me every time I read something about this topic.

This time round, reading this article just got me thinking about my increasingly fashion-inspired I become more involved in giving others fashion tips, publish fashionable articles in my blogs, become more knowledgeable in shopping, am I also becoming more and more shallow?

Some of you may say that dressing up or grooming is healthy, it reflects healthy self-confidence level, etc. But aren't these the same `crap' sold to us by the billion dollar beauty n fashion industry? They are selling us an image, luxurious lifestyle that...don't cure cancer or save dying children.

I remember Goddess said this to me when I asked about my obsession with fashion,

"As long as fashion is not all that is about you..."

Sure, I have my music.

Meanwhile, a bit more from the article from Vogue,

"Okay, but how can a whole generation of intellectuals and philosophers (today's Simone de Beauvoirs) and activists (our Aung San Suu Kyis) fail to have registered on our role-model radars? We want to be like Sienna Miller not the late Susan Sontag, Jennifer Aniston not Mary Robinson. "Popular culture tends to stress miraculous or specular transformations, the idea that you can be chosen out of an ordinary life to become something outstanding," says Dr Catherine Driscoll of the gender and cultural studies department of the University of Sydney. "That's as true of fairy tales as it is of Australian Idol or plastic surgery narratives."

As I walked out of Scoop earlier with my latest bargains of dresses, I decided I had to read up on the physchology of shopping and variety in wardrobe for women. I need to find out more (beyond what I have been telling myself all this while) about the thrill of buying clothes...and dressing up.

Surely I can aim to be those few, new breed of our society, beautiful, stylish AND brainy couple with talents, talented singer :)

Who says I can't? I'm about to brainstorm on what to wear for my next gig, while I memorize all ten new songs in a language I don't use everyday...



Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The fashion commentary assignment - Dec 3 @ Wondermomo

Yours truly was entrusted with the exciting assignment of being the fashion blogger of the day on Dec 3. Had loads of fun going ga-ga over dresses, fashion, clothes, nice stuff in general. Sunday afternoon, babes in shades, wine, French music, orchestra music, girls, ladies, men who shop, "do you have this in size 4?", towering heels, "..please wrap these for me.."...

"Omigod I love that wrap dress!!!"

"Can I get you a drink?"

"...I like."

Shoots from the party :)

Twiggy comes back in this DVF (Diane Von Furstenberg) rose tinted silk dress

The very hot item that afternoon, the DVF 60s mustard silk dress, with frilly sleeves

Check out these Marni them

I call this the Real Man test -- are you man enough to wear v-neck tee? This is John Galliano spandex tee, with suede arm patch.

Rose, the shop lady in a Laundry dress

Ti, man of the boutique, in Dior Homme shirt

Ti Min, DVF wrap dress

My new earrings this month, Snowflakes from Minz

Shen in her shopping dress from Miss Selfridge

nice heels n toes :)

Some cool style spotted that day at the boutique

Sonia, lady of the boutique, in BCBG

Alvin in Paul Smith sports jacket, Dolce & gabana Supreman tee, and Dior Homme jeans

Chantelle in a Laundry evening dress

The gorgeous trio

The desirable Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress, silk

me in the BCBG rainbow dress

Sassy Susie Lee

Seeming and peeping Sonia

Callie, me n Sonia

The company...