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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Letter one hundred and nine - Day four hundred and twenty-seven of your vacation

Dearest J, 

I am deliriously happy.  Wish you were here to watch me glow.

I bought a painting I adore a lot, it took some time to become mine but it's her now in our home.

The songs I wrote for you are done, I only need to grow in them and wear them out this coming Dec 14th at No Black Tie

Here's a photo of Goldfish on its temporary wall - our room.  It's going to go on the living room wall.
It's by Mun Kao, you will like him too.

The first song I worked on for you started last year, with Saidah in one sitting, we came out with a pretty good structure.  It was left in the drawer for close to a year until October this year...Saidah and I met up again and it's finally done.  It's so beautiful and it's about us, and freedom and about eternity.

Then in November, or maybe it was sometime end of October I wrote another set of lyrics for another song - I thought I was going to write the melody as well but that didn't go so well so I asked Cher Siang to write the music for me.  He drafted something for me middle of November and it's so pretty.  Today we met up and I think we got it, it feels natural to me to sing it now, after Cher Siang adjusted the key and worked out the timing with me.

The song starts with a lament of a restless heart and a moon brightly lit in the sky.  It's an uplifting song though and till today I didn't have a title that I like for it yet.  But just a few hours ago I came up with a decision, it's going to be named Your Song.  Cher Siang titled the email subject as Your Song when he first sent me the recording of the melody (with his singing).  I told him today that I don't have a title for the song yet and asked him to help me think of one.

But when I came home I remember the first time you ever played a song for me was Elton John's Your Song.  You sat at your old house's verandah with your guitar and sang me that song, I stayed the night at your place years and years ago...before we were even lovers.  Soon after that I remember I cut my nails short because you were going to teach me how to play the guitar.

Don't worry that I seem to be talking all around you, or that my life now still seem to be a one big consequence of very well.  Most of them am very very happy because I am focusing on doing things that make me really really happy.

Though missing you is a bit painful.

The other time am spending it on singing and singing, learning how to dance, visiting Mama and take her out sometimes, reading, go out on a date with myself (very lovely experience I find), planning on travels, talk to my sister sometimes, cooking...

I just found this song by Katie Melua and I now think she writes the most beautiful lyrics, comparable to John Lennon and Paul McCartney.  I love the lyrics, as much as I love her Nine Million Bicycles.  Also, apparently she is a member of an astronomy club, how cool is that - like us...members of the Astronomy club in MNS...

I'd Like To Kill by Katie Melua

I'd love to kill you with a kiss*
I'd like to strike you down with bliss
I'd like to tie you up in knots
Until your heart stops

I'd love to kill you with a glance
I'd like to put you in a trance
I'd like to drug you with my scent
And use you in the moment

I'd love to kill you while you eat
The pleasure would taste so sweet
I'd like to open up your skin
And wander there within

I'd love to kill you by a stream
When no one can hear my baby scream
And then I'd run away and be freeThe sweetest victory

I love to watch you in your sleep
Cause you don't have power over me
And when you're awake I'm undone
Under your spell - in hell

Much love,


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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Letter one hundred and nine - Day four hundred and seventeen of your vacation

Dearest J,

I think I am doing something right about some of my fears, one of the most pressing one is to face my fear of music theory.

It reminds me of how it's like for me in swimming.  I have a fear for not being to touch the ground beneath my feet in water.  I can swim badly, but I cannot float.  The fear for drowning looms over my head whenever am anywhere near deep water.

As I left the keyboard you bought for me the other day, another miserable failed attempt to play the melody line on a lead sheet - I told myself there was more than just incompetence in that attempt, there was also an emotional fear/phobia lying in there.  50% of the time I tried recognizing the notes on the sheets, 30% of the time (without realizing it at first) I spent telling myself this music is hard, 20% or more was sheer frustration...ok, I think I should credit myself that I sat there for more than 15 minutes, trying.

For the first time I asked myself, if I could understand how this fear and phobia works - maybe I can take it away more efficiently?  There have been enough number of reliable sources telling me that it isn't rocket science, and that many people did learn how to play and read after just weeks of learning.  Well, Saidah even told me that she witness someone learned it after three lessons with Michael Veerapan.

But anyway, maybe I will find a few minutes later today to read up on phobia and such...after I have lunch at your house with Mama.

I have made appointment with Cher Siang for a class tomorrow at 3pm.  He will teach me how to practice, he will teach me all I need to know to remove myself from my illiteracy in music, provided that I co-operate and work hard.

Thought you might like to know that I am doing something about it.  I never forget that you had wanted me to be able to read music, and play some piano.

I miss you very much, not all the time, just when the thought of you comes round...whenever.

Lots of love,


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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Seeking, and living

It's like I've let open the tab of 'soul-searching water'...

One morning I woke up, while cleaning my face and inspecting the condition of my eye allergy in the mirror I was suddenly humbled and grateful for being able to see, to have eyes that function.

Other days I spent saying grateful thanks in silent to things like high speed internet, clean running water, electricity...capitalism, etc.  Am not sure what brought about this kind of reflective mode in me recently.

But I know this feeling has been lingering for a year now.  I suspect, my strong conviction is that it's my `reaction' or response to my new status as a single person.  Maybe, I just thought of it now, maybe this is a self-protection mechanism that I have developed, subconsciously - to shield myself from potential feeling of loss and fear of being alone.

There have been many moments of feeling of great vulnerability too.  They just come, and am getting used to finding different ways to overcome and step out of the pool.  The feeling of "yes, I am really really really  on my own Now."  

It's about losing that `fall-back-plan'.  You know that feeling of "Oh I have to tell him this, at least I'll know what he thinks of this.", and "It's ok, am going to get him to help me with this.", or "Well no worries, he'll fix this when he comes back later." , "..what a mean experience, but I can coo in his arms later and he will make everything better..", the list goes on.

Then I think about other people, ok, am really ok I think.  There are people, ok, some women who will not survive say, picking up the pieces and get on having an independent life.

So compare to that, am really ok.  Just those spurts of moments of vulnerability.  

I also realise that what I saw in my head, that vision I saw last year, a day before his funeral.  There was an exact moment in time when I decided that the singing will continue and that I would take it to a level that surpass what I am before.  

A year later I feel that I have gone to a different level with my singing and that what I saw in my head has happened.  This is as close as to case of what people say, your will will make things happen, make a wish and it may just happen.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Letter one hundred and eight - Day three hundred ninety-eight of your vacation

Dearest J,

Been raining a lot here.  I have been on a perpetual high since the song-writing project came back onto the horizon.  I have left it stagnant since last November.

Now it's a bit like my `sensory buds' are heightened, I look at everything with renewed interests, I have a notepad with me everywhere, sometimes I would record my stream of thoughts on my iphone, passages that I envision to be part of lyrics to perhaps another new song.

Also, am going out of a many-year drought of public gigs.  With the Sep 28th outing at No Black Tie still fresh in my mind, am planning two new ones - Nov 5th at The Scot's (a bar in Jaya One) and Dec 14th at No Black Tie again!

Wish I could see your reaction when I tell you this: this feeling of being truly, really alive, and creating something by myself is the first for me.  We have had many moments of real bliss before but I want to tell you that what am feeling now is something else - just the thought of working towards and finishing an original song is absolutely thrilling...beyond words.

I guess am left with a lot of time and space to explore this person I have inside...we used to define each other through our love and support in each other's work.  Now that we're not together anymore there is a need to further explore, and maybe am find new definition for myself.

While I dwell on my blissful high of being a `song-writer' or wannabe-songwriter - I wonder about my role as a daughter and as a friend to the rest.  The depth of a personality, I imagine, must be greatly reduced if the person is only concerned with the trivialities of being an artiste without wearing other hats.

....getting very sleepy.  Resisted going to watch Cher Siang and gang at No Black Tie tonight.  He made me a really nice set of dinner last night after our rehearsal for this Saturday gig.  Not that cooking well is an obscure skill or artform, just that I sat there at the dinner table looking down at our simple, and yet elaborate dinner - realising that he is truly such a mature being and my admiration for him grow.

That a person who take great pains in doing something well as an artiste, would also invest in doing other things well - simple things like cooking well, and reading plenty to enrich his mind.  As I ate slowly at his table I was greatly inspired to grow into a better adult...simply by taking better care of my basic welfare like  eating when I need to, and sleep when am tired.

And try to read more books.

And spend more time listening to recordings.

My Ipoh aunt passed away on Sunday morning, she was 91.  Sister and I drove up to Ipoh to be with her kids and my mom.  It was very nice to spend time listening and talking to sister.  We checked into a small but very nice neighborhood hotel for the night.

My Magic Flute conductor Brian Tan also passed on this week.  Peter and I will go to his last service this Thursday at his house before the cremation on the same day morning.  I would know the way to cremation very well, it's also at Nirvana Shah Alam.

Have finally put some use back to the gorgeous Harman Kardon soundsticks you bought for me.  They have been left out in the dust since I signed up for Unifi and the configuration to sync with my desktop was gone.  I cleaned up the gadget and moved the speaker set into the study and hook it to the iMac.  The effect is beautiful.

Will go to bed soon.  Slept early last night and had a good day today, because I could get up early and not feel out of sort.


Love you!


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