Saturday, September 30, 2006

well then. its just a mere day left before the FYs.

i've kind of accepted the amount i've attempted to study over the past 3 wks.. phys is more or less done, any more practice will be surplus.. maths is on the verge of completion and theres tml to memorise every single thing i can about econs before the week begins, and also read through the chinese newspapers just to get my brain tuned to chinese. on a free day like this i only managed to study 2h. but somehow that 2h seemed massive, and now i feel absolutely exhausted.

i thank God for helping me to organise my time relatively well. its been a crazy 3 wks of lack of sleep and sheer lethargy. im too tired now even to hold a proper conversation with people. i feel tired, antisocial, and kinda lonely. but i do have my music to keep me company. if onli we spoke to each other with music.

yeap well. at least im not really worried already. if i dun finish studying then so be it lah. i rather have the energy to sit through the exam and apply a bit of creativity that may be needed (especially for PHYSICS), rather than study until my brain dies and go into the exam with a dead brain. haha.

k then cya all. dun daydream too much about what you will do after the exams haha.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

400th post!!

haha guess what.. this is my 400th post on this blog!!!

beat that haha.

anyway lately i've been searching the internet for potential music unis. the process is quite tedious.. first it requires me to look for
1) university that offers performance in (or at least as an applied instrument) guitar.
2) preferably has a guitar ensemble. classical one.
3) found the uni. great. now where in the world is it. i cant tell by the name of the uni alone. but the 3 i've found so far all in the US.
4) check uni admission criteria, audition criteria blah blah
5) check course data
6) lastly but quite importantly, financial aid.

was also reading through an article on something along the lines of 'so you want to be a music major?' and i realised that what i'm lacking now is,
1) the ability to practice properly on the guitar. i dunno if its just me, but i dun really like technique. but the site says that doing technical practice is like the basis for good performance. rarr. i better revise scales too (mr choo thinks practising scales on the guitar is good only for exams, unless it constitutes part of an ultra fast part of a piece that ur performing)
2) it wud be nice if i cud play the piano better.
3) it wud be nice too if i cud sight read better.
4) i need to learn how to use my voice.
5) it wud be nice to develop perfect pitch to an interval. or better still, being able to sing a major/minor/diminished/augmented triad in tune.
6) and wudnt it be nice to have such powerful aural ability that u cud notate an entire symphony just after u've heard it, like the tien cai mozart.

well theres a lot i want to do haha. will take some time, and really, i dunno what God holds for my future. for all i know i wud find myself studying engineering, and music takes its place in my personal statement only.

haha anyway, congrats to ian, matthew and.. andre. haha. great job guys. better maintain for o lvls arh. haha.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


life's been a whirlwind this week, a whirlwind of physics, maths, and a bit of econs. i shall not elaborate about the encounters with these subjects, but can safely conclude that it gets to your head after a while.

dint practice guitar today, dunno why. i think i'll be letting up on guitar for about a wk, until the first half of my papers come to a close, and when i get new strings. i have NEVER used the same set of bass strings for so long.. they're all black, rusty, and dead-sounding. eww.

u noe really great music in my opinion, doesnt need to have the most complex of structures, complex melodies, complex harmonies or melodies.. its often the most simple that are the most beautiful, the most moving. today in our music (free period) class, yofattz was improvising something on the piano and then suddenly the 2nd theme from dvoark's 9th 2nd mvt came to my head. ahh i really admire composers who use tonal harmonies, simple melodies, but use a great extent of tone colour to bring out different emotions. if onli we people at acs had the symphony of players to experiment with and to write music for, instead of being restricted to piano, string quartets (and guitars).

if i had a chance to do an in-depth study of music from a certain period i think i'd do a study on romantic composers, or more tonal nationalistic people. one of the reasons is that i dun really comprehend the structures or compositional styles which really intrigues me, and also their music breaks away from the slightly formulatic classical and baroque periods, but isnt too 'political statement-ish' like some 20th century composers.

well then thats abt all for now i guess.. cya

Friday, September 22, 2006

finally, chen yi's back after a week of no blogging. or rather 4 days if u dun count today.

many things have happened, but not much really worth blogging about. i've allotted the 8 - 9pm slot of every weekday to solid studying, may not sound like a lot but i really do hope the power i put in within that one hour is powerful enough so that i can pull through the final years. (my brain dies after that hour anyway)

the stakes are really high, my phys maths chi econs are 100% for final years becos of the shingles bout i had during the cts, BUT this time round im STILL NOT WORRIED YET. and maybe thats a good thing. not becos i'm really on task with my revision, but because i have trust that God will help me manage my time well, as time management is really the key.

school has been well, tiring, after all im someone who can sleep for 10 hours during the night during holidays and can still afford to take an afternoon nap in the day.. and still feel tired haha. so its quite amazing that i survived the week with less than 7h of sleep a day and yet NOT PONNING ANY DAY. (and not falling sick too.. hope my health sustains, i better rest well). tml i intend to go and change my watch strap for my adidas watch. my current brown leather strap has like some black mould growing on it and smells terribly bad haha.

i realise that one of two things happen to me when im feeling tired:
1) i'll become very quiet and deep down inside i wonder why im so quiet and why people dun talk to me and why im like so anti-social
2) lose quite a bit of my self-consiousness and almost become extraverted, slightly essentric and do and say silly things. result of crankiness. haha.

and both these things happened to me today haha.

dr joyce koh's workshop was quite informative, i like her personality but i really wish she cud compose some tonal stuff. all the compositions from the other schs were superb, really. they all had some long long story behind how it was composed, and they composed 20th century stuff that sorta made sense. me? i just sit in front of my com and play around with sibelius until it sounds nice. but of course for guitar stuff i do my best to try it out first, so that it isn't unplayable.

the world of music is so large, so many possibilities, so much competition, everyone seems to want to share their ideas, and i just feel so small. the way im shaping my compositions now is changing again, i think the music i compose should touch people's lives. really lah, sometimes i dun see the point of some 20th century or atonal or whatever terrible sounding works.. sometimes its so hard to appreciate.

well something to think about i guess. k then, take care, cya.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

sunday night.

right now, all i want to do is relax and reflect.

put away all that physics nonsense and whatever for tonight, so i wun go crazy for the rest of the wk.

experimenting with 'jazz' chords is quite fun.. well some website said something along the lines of the basis of jazz harmony is the 7th chords. so i've been trying to add 7th chords all over the place and see if it sounds jazzy. but not veri effective haha. maybe must try 9th, 11th, 13th (15th? :P) chords as well. lol.

all righty then. its off to more slacking for now.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

music is the most retarded subject.


but its still my favourite subject.

takes a whole lot of consistency, and passion to toil and deal with the somewhat unreasonableness of the subject.

but of cos i see some loopholes here and there, where u can push ur presence and play around with the rules without actually getting into trouble.

today's perf was quite okay even though some connecting parts to my piece were like.. improvised lol. but for a piece that i've been playing for about a month, not bad already. so from now on whenever he wants us to record something or play a piece or what, im just gonna change piece if its not ready. and nxt year focus on what i really want to be in my IB repertoire.

ah i cant wait for the exams to end. i have great plans.. for music HL compo 3.. muhahaha.

but for now, time is short. gotta be consistent.


Monday, September 11, 2006

today this totally hilarious thing happened during music class.

towards the end of the lesson i peered towards the floor when i was sitting cross legged, left over right on my chair and noticed a cockroach perching happily on my left pant leg.

what followed was, totally hilarious hysteria.

in short, huimin and zab where unfortunate enough to be sitting nxt to me, and i think huimin's screams freaked me out as much as the cockroach did.

eventually the cockroach was crushed under a chair leg (cos i dint want to get my shoes dirty u see) and dealt a few finishing blows by mrs li with mr lee's submissions box.

this is one of the incidents i wont forget for quite some time. hahahaha.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Discrapencies of Examination Systems

well well.

during maths class just now and on the bus ride home i had an ultra long thought process about evaluation systems and their flaws, and it all boils down to this.

i strongly believe that the mark allocated to a student should be according to the amount of effort he or she has put in, regardless of how well they performed, as long as they have done their best.

of cos this is really impossible and only God can do that.

hence the phrase 'life is unfair', cos it really is.

sometimes i really think the methods of evaluation for the subject of music which im taking now isnt really a good measure of what people are really capable of. the aims of the course is to 'develop' student's skills. so shouldn't the examinations be something like..
1) a first piece of work is submitted
2) a 2nd draft of the work is submitted later, and the marks allocated are based on how much the work has improved and how much effort has been put in (which in reality is impossible)


a piece of work is marked on the potential it has (which is impossible, cos unrealised potential is useless).

the message im getting from the assessments of music now is that u have to be good at everything from day 1. and if u arent u suffer. shouldnt the system allow for greater flexibility, after all its a 2 year course. but the way its going, the first piece needs to be recorded, and its gonna be one of the official recordings for IBO submission? i just feel its too soon. i feel that my technical ability will be higher nxt year, and i think im capable of recording my entire repertoire at one go. and also the 2nd piece is assessed for final year.

but of cos i cant really blame the teachers, they do want to see gradual progress. not everyone practices their instrument on their own accord for at least 5 hours a week until their fingertips burn off.

but then again, im singaporean, and sometimes marks somehow mean everything to me, even tho i often say marks dont matter, examinations arent a good representation of ur playing ability etc.

what i feel like doing now is just to change my pieces as and when a performances is required. theres a time for everything in my journey with the guitar. but sometimes the times and demands of others dun meet with my plans. right now, i just want to drill my ATCL pieces in these 1 or 2 wks to a higher standard b4 the final year exams kick in. but what the 2nd recording assessment does not allow me to do is to carry out my plans. practice for a performance and practice simply to improve a piece are two whole different realms. and i know that any other piece on my performance repertoire proposal wont be ready for performance in less than a wk.

so in order to get mere marks, which often speak the loudest, i can just change one of my pieces to a piece that i've drilled and performed a number of time before. but that goes against my intentions of always wanting to play new pieces and try out performing new repertoire.

sure i guess i'll do ok if i changed my piece, but when people ask me how i did it my answer would be like.. "oh, i played this piece since sec 4 then when exam come just recycle lor". doesnt sound very good. dint take a lot of effort to recycle the piece anyway.

well then. if you've read through this entire post perhaps u can have a thought about the flaws in the examination systems around us.


Sunday, September 03, 2006

i've been happily letting my blog rust.. cos theres nothing much to blog about anyway haha.

but just to update once in a while.

i think having a 1 wk hol in the middle of no where still rocks.. cos i can just sleep.

and sleep.

and sleep.

im becoming a pig.

and i think im becoming even more tired cos i sleep too much.

but i dun care. :)

i have many plans, many plans.

to sleep.

we are always worrying about things that are to come. or thinking of things past. but it really has no use. imagine if u cud really add 18 inches to your height by worrying. we people in singapore wud be taller than the twin petronas towers before we reach 14. so maybe we should just think about today.

oh and i'm like totally addicted to the 2nd movement of beethoven's pathetique. i think beethoven just has this amazing ability to control all the elements of music composition.. fantastic melodies, amazing harmonies, balanced rhythms, structure, good development...

but in order to be the best you have to be crazy? to lose your mind?

perhaps i'll just continue living a normal life and happily listen in awe to beethoven's works.

and feel nice and small.