Wednesday, August 30, 2006

i dunno but the weather's almost been driving me up the wall lately.

came back feeling like i was going to fall sick any minute cos i walked in the rain, cos which acs guy uses an umbrella right. lol nxt time if im sick im just gonna use my umbrella to get me to the bus stop dry anyway.

took a nap and then woke up sweating all over.. took a bath and then my guitar teacher came. wasnt feeling quite right already and rather cranky. and when im cranky i play in the most amazing way, cos im not so self conscious anymore. i thoroughly enjoyed today's lesson cos it was pouring outside and that means my mistakes weren't that clear ^^ had to time how long i took to play through several of my ATCL pieces, and by the end of the lesson i cudnt feel my fingertips anymore. and it was also super funny, the part when i ended the last bar of english suite and the thunder rumbled loudly at the end. ohh scary. haha.

gave my guitar teacher his 3rd anniversary of teacher's day present - chocolate. haha nxt yr i think i shall put much more thought into it.. probably compose or arrange a piece. and probably for ms ng too. haha feeling quite bad that i dun really have the time to do stuff for teachers day this year. nxt yr definitely must, especially for all the ex .15 teachers.

i recorded myself playing this funky emo LTCL piece called danza in e minor. its so nice i cud listen to myself playing it over and over. lol.

Monday, August 28, 2006

well the weekend is over and its back to sch for the last wk b4 hols start on friday.

yesterday evening in church i gave my 2nd sermon ever, if you want to know what it was about you can go to

well and its back to the somewhat monotonous sch life again. the reality is that we youths run, but still grow weary, and when i asked God to help me with the sermon, he really granted me strength in my weakness, so that he may be glorified.

sometimes i realise how inadequate a person i am, and sometimes how little depth there is to my character.. after all i havent been through many life changing challenges. just small ones. small ones that i hope have inspired some.

and i guess what yingda says about wavelengths in thinking is quite true sometimes. now i'm starting to feel like my wavelengths are becoming too much like that of the music my guitar makes. sometimes i wish i was on a wavelength that was slightly easier to connect to.

but then again i dont want to force a change into my personality.

ah wells. if you do have time do look through my sermon outline. perhaps it may stand out from other things that you've read or heard elsewhere and what not. depends on how well you know me.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

since i've bought my phone last year in dec i havent used the camera extensively since lijiang trip (partly cos i lost the cable for a while in june) haha. heres a pic of me and yingda when we were at vch for mep national concert, trying to act retarded. haha. thoughts about the concert were echoing in my head the whole of last night, i wud wake up in the middle of the night thinking the concert just ended, lol. withdrawal.

i've always had this thought.. what if one day i woke up, i'm 35, done away with NS, gone to uni to study and come out and.... i've got a job as an engineer, raising a family, and when i talk to people i say.. 'i've got a family now, i work as an engineer, and i drive a volkswagen golf R32 (lol) and oh, by the way, in my secondary and jc days i used to play the guitar.. i even made it to ATCL, never knew that did u.....'

its hard, the reality is slowly sinking in. im tired of reading about the people who get awarded arts scholarships and awards. im just like.. a wannabe.

i dunno if its just the cramped constricted singaporean mentality that we cant go far. that music is not a viable work option. that music is not serious. well i really dunno.

well anyway, surely greatness isnt measured by how famous u are cos u can play the guitar well. or whether you've got that cert that says ATCL Recital with distinction. i guess theres more to it. so what if people remember you. what are your chances of being remembered anyway. notice the number of composers we study as we go back in time diminishes drastically, from the vast range of 20th century composers to the romantic, to the 3 classical geniuses beethoven mozart haydn and then to the baroque period, dominated by a bach.

thats why i think its essentially more important for me now, to use my musical gift to touch others within my reach now. like i said, i've messed up so much during performances im numb to it already. i really wonder when i can perform at a level good enough to earn me even a consolation award at a competition.

thats why nxt year i hope to be more involved with guitar, with syf and all. my last year in acs. if i really cant make it to LTCL in half a year (thats if i even make it past ATCL in november) then so be it larh. play so well for what. whats important is that you've inspired others, changed their lives...

cos u cant really carry your guitar, or fame, or recognition, your 'rememberedness' or ATCL or LTCL or whatever degree into eternity anyway.

Friday, August 25, 2006

after multiple attempts to access blogger, i've finally got to the posting page, and its still lagging like siao, hope it doesnt jam while im typing the entry lol.

well what can i say.

it really doesnt matter if u dun produce all the notes on stage. who cares if u messed up.. only a musically trained audience would know WHAT. and i've messed up so much i've kinda gotten used to it alr.

its about the long hours spent rehearsing together. all the shouting and the disorganisation. and it always seems like such a miracle when the performances pulls through in one piece.

hope you all have been inspired as much as i have, that my example of someone who is so quiet, shy and doesnt talk a lot, can have enough nerve in a given situation to make a significant change. all this of course through God's grace, this change didnt come cheap. and of cos oweing this opening up of personality partly to a certain great friend from sec 2, sorry i cudnt go out for supper with you after the concert, but we have every excuse to during the 1 wk break cos a special day is coming for somebody. im definitely a changed person after this experience, and this is definitely one performance i will never forget. one that when im reminiscing about my jc days that i will look back and smile an indescribable warm smile inside.

thx for everything, music HL class.

and thanks all who came, for the flowers as well :)

for all you guitar people who ponned this concert, you've missed out on something great, especially a powerful moment at the end, that you all have been longing so long to see. nxt yr try not to ponn so much lolol.

Matthew 6:21 - 'For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.'

wheres yours?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

just had guitar lesson again, and theres mixed feelings.

somehow i think that now i shud divide my pieces into 2 categories, the first one being 'sacred', not allowed to anyhow play, not allowed to play when slacking in class, only play for performances, only played when sitting properly, only allowed to be played in a high level, classical, (stuck up, onli musically educated can understand) manner.

the 2nd category being open to all allowances, including playing with the fretboard upside down, with the guitar behind the head, with the guitar plugged into an amp with distortion, etc.

maybe my mind just doesnt enjoy working pieces to such perfection and not being able to reproduce it on a real performance. theres a part of me screaming I JUST WANT TO DO IT MY WAY, and my way often sux, cos the rhythms wrong, the dynamics are screwed up, and theres no phrasing in particular.

the demands of the ATCL exam are high, and i dont want to do badly, especially when it costs 64.5% of the IB dip fees to take the ATCL. all my ATCL pieces are now hereby, 'sacred'. hmph.

but doesnt mean i dont enjoy them, i still do. haha.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

after seeing everyone else's math portfolios, i dun think i will get my 15 after all.

i see people adding so much stuff. i hear of 55 page reports. i see things that i cud have added. i wish my work were clearer. and i just dont want to do anything. so what if i saw someone's work where i cud have koped an idea from and added it to my portfolio? but im not that type of person. the disclaimer says its my own work. and i dunno how to fully utilise the features of excel and wadeva graphing software. i feel terrible.

but how much of our work is our own anyway.

im just really tired already, even tho i think the amt of work i've covered isnt really that much. theres still iop on thurs, and even tho i'm more or less got 75% of it done i cant help but worry about it... i dun even feel like playing guitar tonight.

at times like this i just feel like the most no-life person, as if i am a very exuberant or vibrant person anyway. sometimes i wonder why i cant be vibrant or exuberant.

and casting all these feelings into some trough at the back of my head just doesnt help.. it turns me into a person with even less feelings.

i'm going to sleep early tonight.

on a lighter note, we played thru my arrangement of sch anthem today and it SUCKED big time, but the bass part rocks ur socks down. maybe getting 5 of the 6 guitar parts to play mainly on bass strings isnt such a good idea, and i'm not really looking forward to it being premiered at a sch chapel soon, needs some revision haha. even so it was great fun, i was laughing like siao when we got through it the first time.

and andre asked me what 'rasg.' meant and i told him rasgueado, in other words STRUM LIKE MAD. hahahaha. a bit more revisions and we're ready to take the sch by storm. if they can even sing along to us without breaking down in laughter first. lolol.

Monday, August 21, 2006

SO. the maths portfolio that has eaten away roughly 6 hours of my life is finally DONE.

i dun noe about u all, but my entire portfolio was typed out, right down to all the equation proofs and all. i do want my work to look good, who cares if it doesnt contribute to my final mark, and my handwriting also not say veri nice.

and after i put in so much effort and time into a piece of work like this, it becomes like an artpiece, embodying a piece of me. sure its not perfect, but i did put a lot of effort into this.


if not.. i'll be sad. REAL sad.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

ok oops so its gonna start at 5:30. but still, DUN BE LATE cos my concerto is THE FIRST ITEM. and also, the concert is going to be a bit long, so do come on time so we can end not too late.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Ecclesiastes 2:22 - 25:
What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? 23 All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.
A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

u noe sometime back i was reading ecclesiastes and this verse really struck me, but i never really did understand it. its ok to be on about sch work and stuff, but to find satisfaction is another thing. but well i guess its true, after working on my maths portfolio for some time today.. it does bring satisfaction when i see i've actually done something.

work is also good, cos it takes the mind off wandering and aimless thinking, which, i think i do a lot haha. but of cos not forgetting time to rest and reflect.

too bad a lot of people attending sch dun find having satisfaction in work a cool thing.

anyways, year 5 concert is nxt friday, 5pm, old cpa, sec 1 - 4 mep class will be going, if u have not been told already so brace urselves and keep that time free haha. and DUN BE LATE. the first item is my self composed guitar concerto haha. and it lasts onli 5 minutes, so once again, DUN BE LATE.

well ok then thats all for my short break of time to blog. cya.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

it's remarkable isnt it.

that something we put so much time and effort into will.. ultimately bear a part of us. such as compositions, or pieces of artwork, so much so that we have an attachment to it. no wonder Dr Goh doesnt like to critique pieces. but how to improve then...

its also heart breaking when ur effort is put down.. if only the world could give credit to people based on effort put in. too bad it cant be measured accurately. whenever i dun receive enough recognition, or experience failure even though there was considerable effort put in, its kind of sad.

but then theres picking oneself up over and over and over again.

over and over.

Monday, August 14, 2006

after toiling away at my self-composed Guitar Concerto No. 1 in C 'Hommage a Vivaldi' for some time, i have half a mind to give it another name (after my chinese name, translated into english,) 'Determination', cos, man, u do need a lot of it to play it. the tonality is so simple, c major. the notes are so simple, not much of flats or sharps. BUT MAN, the technical ability needed. buargh. u have to love this piece to learn it well. the problem is, how often do u love ur own compositions man.

headache headache.

so the fate of our year 5 concert is yet to be decided.. faster leh lol. tentatively its next friday 25/8 at arnd 5pm, old cpa, free admission, but our preparations for it are, rather sluggish. haha.

maybe some day trinity college of london may consider my concerto for standard ATCL repertoire. or LTCL. lol.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

yeah i got my new specs!!

just when the two halves of my old pair couldnt hold together anymore. lol. the frames are now wider than ever.. well u all will get to see it soon.

and my terrible chinese oral is looking ok.. i can talk for 6 mins!! on guess what.. jay chou. lol. i bet if i wanted to talk more its possible.. not like some news article or topic thats so boring.. but seriously this oral topic took a lot of preparation. ok not a lot lah.. but i feel it really lacks substance. but hope its ok.

yeap sometimes its nice to have a holiday or two to revamp urself. and ur blog. haha.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


i just heard a christopher parkening recording of Simple Gifts, this traditional hymn i think, that was used by aaron copland in appalachian spring (i think). ahh, its just so brilliant. one moment theres soft harmonics, then bright ponticello, then sweet tone...

and the part he goes from drop D tuning to DROP C tuning in the middle of the piece!!!!!!

that left me in shock for a while.

and ends with soft gentle artificial harmonics.


rawr i want the score lol.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Eccl 3
A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

you know sometimes its just nice to be alone.

22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?

Friday, August 04, 2006

ARGH my eyes

just came back not too long ago after a massive 3h check-up at singapore eye centre. found out that nothing is seriously wrong with me, just that my eyes have poor accomodation (cant focus well). my degree and all is actually stable at 650 and 600, but astigmatism went up. ah well. my parents are considering boycotting spectacle hut at clementi. lol.

during the check-up i had to dilate my eyes.. so now i cant really read properly.. i can just barely make out the words on the computer screen. and just now i cudnt even stand mildly bright sunlight. lol. one of my greatest fears is to lose my sense of sight (or hearing).. cos that means an end to many things.

so take care of your eyes.. they're really valuable.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

argh my eyes

i just came back from spectacle hut.. cos i found out my specs were kinda damaged, the left lens came off in school.

then checked my eyes. and some phenomenal thing happened.. the astigmatism (how to spell?) in both of my eyes increased, but the degree in my right eye went down from 675 to like 525 or smth. like whoa. so i have to go and see a professional eye doctor on friday afternoon. ho hum. u noe i have this vague feeling that their machinery is slightly off. but yeah my vision feels weird.

like lol lah.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

perhaps some day i will be able to play the guitar with such a powerful tone that my guitar could still be heard over a violin.

perhaps. now in my daily practices i want to try to focus more on tone.. tone is important.. someone singing extremely softly but with a pure tone can be heard clearly in a large auditorium. perhaps its the same with the guitar. experimenting with nail shapes and playing techniques.