Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bye bye 2009.

I'm writing my 144th post, the last post of 2009. 144? That's a lot of things that I wrote.

So 2009, I don't know what is it with you, but somehow, I find you somewhat special to me, compared with other years, I can't seem to find a label for your year. Too many things happen in a short time. Maybe it's because of my 16th year of existence on this Earth, somehow, 16 years is a milestone for many people.

2006 - Year of Play.
2007 - Year of Understanding.
2008 - Year of Learning.
2009 - Year of ?

I'd say this: 2009 - Year of Memories.

Goodbye 2009!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New year, new layout.

In preparation for the new year of 2010, I too changed my blog layout. The layout is made by my own doings and not by any 3rd party templates, so I do take pride in it XD, guess I'm more of the D.I.Y. type.

So a rough description of the changes are this, I changed from the simple white colour motif into a more warmer yellow and red, in addition to some woody feel. I also will change my writing from report style to reflection and analysis type. But I'm keeping the music theme in a different form, so I used etudes. Etudes are actually musical pieces used not for performance, but rather for perfecting a musician's particular skill, for example for wind and brass players, they have slur etudes for them. So as such, I'll be doing this blog in a way to see my own flaws, like right now, I can see that I'm too detailed...

Apart from all this, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and to remind readers that time is short on Earth, appreciate it. Do comment about the new layout, I'd be delighted to hear them.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Bygone Days.

In 3 more days, it will be the end of 2009, so far, 16 years of my life living a happy and satisfied guy so far. What am going to do about this? Wait and see. I got a long new year resolution.

Band band band... A big part of my life ever since 2006. And now, I'm heading towards the edge of the cliff. Only a year left, can we make it? Can we earn back what we lost so much this year?

What did I do the whole of this year? If I were to move on to next year, I should analyse this...
Let's see,
1) I learned so much more about life, making it my 16 year milestone.
2) I learned a lot in school, and am preparing to learn more next year.
3) I made music like no one's business this year.
4) I learned a lot of drumming basics I failed to catch when I first started.
5) I learned how it was like to be in love, and to have a heart ache.
6) I found out more about myself, my flaws, and my many problems, and am still coping to improve it.
7) I learn a lot about my Religion.
8) I made a lot of new friends.
9) I found many beautiful music.
10) I fortified my previous friendship with friends of old in KL.

Now hopefully, I'll get to write more next year.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Back from yesterday, going on tomorrow.

Time, a word used to described a very complex, often misunderstood, yet always take for granted existing piece of dimension. And when I say day, I mean to complain yet again, that time waits for no man. Another year, another 365 days, gone just like that.

Am prepared? No... Form 5, don't deceive me, for I am at your mercy.

To all the PMR students who just got their results, congratulations to you for fully completing the lower secondary cycle, and once you come to form 4, time will fly ever faster, as I myself will prepare for the jet propelled year of 2010 in form 5.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Passing Out 2009.

Yesterday, the Nan Hwa Band held its 30th annual Passing Out ceremony. What can I say?

Well, for starters, I learned something very important. It's not just the music that we are performing that counts, nor whether we are enjoying what we are performing, but rather, it's about making other people enjoy, and enjoy even the least possible reasons to be happy. And what I can conclude is this, even though this year's passing out is by proportion not as impressive as last year, to me, it is equally, if not more, meaningful.

Another generation of band members are going soon, last night's performance being their last for most of them, I can say that I will definitely miss them a lot, being only a year younger then them, It can be said that despite not really knowing some of them, seeing their faces for the past 4 years nearly everyday is enough to affirm this unique relationship called band mates.

Song wise, my personal favorite is the Sound of Music and Santa's Christmas Symphony. I grew up with The Sound of Music, so it always bring nostalgia whenever I hear the songs, I can rest tonight a happy man because I had the honour of playing a solo, albeit with some hiccups, but not all too obvious. As for the other song, I always love Christmas songs and carol, they always bring the spirit of Christmas to all who hear it, wonderful as such that tis' the season to be jolly!

And for every Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year follows, let this be a true statement, for a year ahead, it will be my generation's turn to take the leap of fate. A Jolly Christmas to everyone!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Little Drummer Boy.

The Little Drummer Boy, a song that can be found in most Christmas Song compilation. Only last year did I actually sang the song and get to know it. And boy, what a song it is indeed.

Recently, I was spending my time re-arranging Christmas songs into parts for Percussion Keyboard Ensemble, using Finale. And until now, I am still compiling. So far, one of my favorite is The Little Drummer Boy, partly beacuse I myself am a drummer XD (biased...)

The song tells the story about a boy who wishes to meet the New Born King, Baby Jesus, but has no gifts fit for a King. All he brought was his drum to play on, where he would play the songs he played on the streets, songs which most people would ignore. Nevertheless, he was granted permission to play, and he played with all his heart, making the Baby smile. This shows the beauty of music, that even a single-pitched drum can create the wonders fit for a Divine King, how much more can you get from music? Ah, such wonder and awe.


This version is arranged by me, for keyboard percussion, made using Finale. Do leave some comment.
video
Instruments: 1 snare drum, 2 bells, 2 vibraphones, 1 chimes, 1 triangle.

The lyrics: link

Monday, December 14, 2009

Music, my best friend?...

Ironic that this post has nothing to do with the title. I'm here to share torments and troubles of late, while listening to some self-arranged Christmas Songs and Carols.

It's bad enough to know that we might not have any marching activities next year. Now?? No passing out??? I came all the way back to Sitiawan all for the love of music when I could go to many activities waiting for me in KL. Love is sweet, and the scars it makes are sweeter.

Now with nearly everything I looked forward to since last year is being cleared, removed! ALAS!

I can only hope, and in the mean time, hope that the Phoenix will rise from the ash, only this time, I will not be Phoenix anymore, but the ash that was discarded.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Not the final year I imagined of...

It all began with a major controversy toward the end of the schooling semester. It dampened the hopes of our instructor. HE began to see the many flaws of this organization, its corruption, its many lies. Just like a venom, THAT controversy spread like wild fire, its effect toward the whole group more and more apparent.

Now, my initial beliefs are almost gone, my perception of this organization is blurring, and my trust is fading.

Why it has to be so? I always dream my graduation year as a happy event, the year where as much memories are made as possible. Now it seems a major possibility is being removed. Why my last year in the group should be spent in absence of drills, marches and metronomes? Oh so sad is me if this should happen.

Much that I enjoy the concert trainings, even they are under the influence of that foul venom! So much so the culprit is one that I respect, all I hope he regrets and learn... But for so much I know him, I believe he isn't.

Well, but a year like this, all I can say is, HOPE! It's when you believe where the miracle happens, so much so, my hope shall not die!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Progress.

The tempo? Never above 80. The drums? Only one set was cleaned before. Players? Still good, hope they build their interest, Jessica still a bit passive...

And so, the 4th day of the week already. What did the training did? Improved playing with a metronome. All 3 songs settled. All but one thing keeps us from moving forward... Kai Hang... but can't blame him. He got family matters, and only made it to the 1st sectional practice...

I myself can only accomplish as much as them so far. Striving for better results. At least I can rest easy for now. Once Kai Hang comes back, tempo is going up, up, UP. Going to let Ben and Jess practice with metronome while I resolve Kai Hang...

And so, I will go now, preparing to enjoy tomorrow's concert practice, wee~

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Worries, troubles and regrets.

What thus is so bothering to me?

1) Not studying as much as I aimed I did during the holidays.
2) Not doing my music homework.
3) Not practicing my piano often enough.
4) Not going out to interact with my friends often enough
5) Not properly preparing myself in tenor drum.
6) Not sure as to be able to guide the other tenor drum players to meet the requirement by the deadline.
7) Not stopping myself from being stuck at the computer.

I wish to overcome all this, now that I had listed it out.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tenor Drum Business.

After all that travelling, I finally settle down in Sitiawan. Apart from preparing for the year-end concert, I'll be busy training the tenor drummers, while I myself is still a novice... Members leave real fast, I too wish I had a senior to guide me. But time passes, I'm becoming another generation's senior...

To start with, today's sectional was a rough idea of what's to come. I'll say this, they are progressing fast, yes, but not fast enough given the deadline on our target. But I must say I am very impress, I myself wouldn't be able to do what they are doing now if I were their age.

But mistakes are still mistakes. Need more work on stick gripping, pinkie fingers still sticking out a bit. Rhythm sense need some fine-tuning. Drum basics, like I always say, if you're not gifted, you ought to work-out yourself. Posture, minor problem, but still needs improvement. Always remember to mark time. Accents and taps should be more distinguished. Strokes, like drum basics, need to be practices constantly on the long term. Stamina, I'll start that by the end of Christmas, push-ups, running and breath control (yes, even percussionists need some breath control), I won't be sexist, girls need to do it too. Tempo, once the metronome is working, I'll try to use it. I hope you're reading this Ben and Jess (Edwil don't have bloggy, can't expect him to read...)

So, try and absorb as much when I teach. Happy trainings.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Blues?

How's holidays? It's that same dreaded answer my friends, "Boring"... Why so? Maybe for me, it's because some of my friends already started working and have no time to communicate with me...

Christmas? Where's the spirit? Extinct due to global warming? T_T I hope not...

Suddenly have the impulse to transcribe my own Christmas Carols and hymns for piano and play it.

Should I do it? Maybe, better than 4 hours of computer non-stop...

Candy canes are hard to get nowadays though.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Lick Hung 6D/2005 Gathering 2-12-2009.

So it all begin in early November, where a sudden impulsion in me wanted find my ex-classmates in Subang Jaya. Bang, thanks to facebook, I found them!!! 6 years since, we haven't contacted each other.

And so, as fate would have it, I was able to make it to the mini gathering (only 8 of the 50 made it). But it was nevertheless, a priceless re-union. My old primary school didn't adapted the streaming system, meaning that if I had stayed from standard 1 to 6, I would be with the same classmates for 6 year regardless of my results. Too bad for me, I was a below-average in a class full of above-average.

So where was the gathering? Sunway Lagoon of course XD. Had fun? Sure! Had a headache? of course... The rides were pretty exciting, the 360 degree a wee bit too much for me, gave me a headache. The water games? Never gets old.

But all this were not important as long as you got friends, yeah. So what can I say? After 6 years without much contact, how was the meeting? Satisfying, that's the word. Just 7 of them and I already had some difficulty remembering them, they changed a lot, especially the girls, don't look one bit like they used to in primary times. But the boys, I can remember better. Alas, if only the other 42 were there. I believe many of them had left without contact after standard 6 too, also as eager as me to meet up soon, I'll be looking forward to that.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

中国大陆之七日游

Don't think that since the title is Chinese, the contents will be Chinese... Actually I can do it, but I'm just lazy and short of time.

Ok, China trip 2009... Fun? I don't know, it isn't a bad trip, but still, lacks that "oomph". Why? We went to many non-tourist spots. No souvenirs my friends, sorry.

Actually, this China trip is more or less meant for my grandfather, his wish to meet his relatives back in China. So basically, we went to the Fujian province, the southern part of China. 1st day was spent in Xiamen. Being the capital of Fujian, it's pretty much like most modern cities in the world, comparable to that ok KL, but 10 times larger. People there speak Hokkien, also called Minan. Next day, we went to Longyan, also in Fujian. Here, we went to a few spots to do some sight seeing. Can't recall much actually. By the next day, we went to what they call the "Mud Building", a large round building, where the Hakkas used to live. Since my grandfather is of Hakka origin, no questions about why we come here. But till then, we have yet to make contact wit the relatives.

Night come, we went to Meizou, now in Guangdong province. The Hakkas fled from the northern parts of China, finally to settle eventually in the borders of Guangdong and Fujian, thus now we are here. Meizou can be described as the Sitiawan of China, in terms of development. So not much tourist spots. What can we do? This is where we met our relatives. Should I elaborate? I think not, family matters are private matters. All I can say is we went up to the tip of the mountain just to meet them... Worth it? I think so, finally manage to let my Grandfather live his wish.

Food? Chinese food of course, definitely not a problem... Except for breakfast... Why? Every morning also porridge... I need bread... I need something sweet in the morning... NOT SALTED EGG!!!... Ok, I'm overreacting. As for lunch and dinner, different areas has different styles of cooking. Being in Meizou for most of the trip, it was mostly Hakka food. Hakka food focuses heavily on the taste, meaning that it is very salty... And since they live on higher grounds of China, they need fat fat food. So fat pig dishes are a norm. Apart from that, we also tasted Hokkien food, which is more balanced. The most blend tasting food was Tiow Chew style cooking, more of my type :D.

So all in all? It was still worth it. Just one thing though, through out the trip, the air of Communism was very tick... I felt like I was being watched by a CCTV every minute...