Monday, February 27, 2006

What a day..

It was supposed to be a usual, activity-filled Saturday. We were scheduled to have our small ensemble practice from 1030-1230, then proceed to visit Mr A, and to have lunch together.

The plan was simple enuff. Since Mr A had to attend a wedding high-tea at 3pm, we would stay and chat with him till 2 plus, then proceed back to for Genus rehearsal. Sounds good ya?

The "action" started when we met up with Mr A at 1pm. He was visibly glad to have a bunch of his old students and friends from Genus come by and lunch with him. He even reserved 2 tables at the Condo Club house restaurant for the visitors (ie. us). As the stories (and gossips) starting flowing, Mr A happily told us that he would not be attending the wedding after all, since it involved someone he didnt really know. Thus, we should not feel 'compelled' to leave at 2 plus.

hoho.. that was it. When we adjourned to the function room, where Mr A proudly went through his treasured collection of CDs, LPs, and books, time just flew by and unknowingly, we stepped passed the 3 pm deadline.

It started with one phone call to Alex (Lee), and a while later, another call, within minutes of each other. Then, it was my turn. Raj actually called to tell me that Domy is blowing his top at the large cohort of "missing" seniors/alumni members. It seems that he even took it out on poor Raj!

I volunteered to fetch Alex back to the ensemble first, as it was evident that he was getting really uncomfortable with all the tension/stress he must have felt from mcduff/jai (?) live report from Dance theatre. Sigh.. Poor AC... It didnt help that Owls was happily looking thru magazines and even more happy to 'inspire' a heart attack (or a burst of blood vessel ) for the conductor.

But what made me boil was what happened after we got back to CFA:

1) Domy chose to start the ensemble when Alex took his seat. Yes. Just ONE person, and it seemed to make a BIG difference to Domy's ego. Perhaps it was to 'justify' what he supposedly told the ensemble earlier (before we came back), that he wanted to run Genus the "army way". ie. punish the whole group, and make an example of one guy. i think this was really uncalled for, and it reveals an inmature attitude.

2) the way Domy chose to put down the Alto 2 members was terrible rude and condescending. In my opinion, you should never use sarcasm, unless it is your intention to insult someone. Obviously the conductor has lost his cool, and by resorting to such un-gentlemanly behavious, has also lost the respect (what was left of it anyway) of the remaining members of the ensemble.

3) The way Handel concerto sounded was sad.. but what made it worse was the fact that the conductor/soloist took it out on the ensemble, when it was so bloody obvious that the soloist himself was not able to play properly! (when u wanna call someone ugly, look in the mirror first! )

That really was the last straw for me.. fortunately we had MASAK practice, which made up for the utter waste of time coming back to CFA on Saturday.

Well, one good thing did come out of the whole episode -

Operation Mitosis is definitely a GO.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Man.. what a feeling! I just finished watching the LAGQ DVD (Live)... and once again, i was left with the feeling of awe and respect.

these guys are really THE ONES. The kinda things they can do on the 6-string classical guitar (for John Dearman, its 7-strings lah..) is simply amazing! I can only relate this feeling to the first time i heard Asturias (Leyenda) played on solo guitar on a recording. Then, i was thinking - "sure or not?? this is on ONE guitar? surely there's someone strumming the chord at the back right? if not, that guy got more than 10 fingers!"

Today, having played the guitar for almost 20 years, and having played in an ensemble (or orchestra, in the case of Genus) for more than 10 of those, i can still hardly take in some of those 'tricks' these guitar heroes do in certain repertoire... the hand IS indeed faster than the eye, it seems.

I really feel inspired by the LAGQ and their commitment and dedication to pushing the limits of what the classical guitar can achieve, not just in terms of the TYPE of repertoire they can tackle with 4 plucked-string intruments, but also all the types of new SOUNDS that they strive to create in each new endeavor or project, as they call it...

As an amateur guitarist pursuing nothing more than a sense of self-satisfaction and achievement and enjoyment in playing guitar and making music with my buddies in Guitaresque, i am nevertheless determined to make sure that some day, we WILL have our own recording (be it on CD and even better on DVD), showing our joys and laughters in making that musical journey together, and to keep the memories on record for posterity..

Onwards , Guitaresque ~~
Just some idle thoughts..

It's that time of the year again.. preparing for the annual Genus concert.. (somehow the Jan concert doesnt feel like the "real thing" :PP )

Hmm.. this year, i will be 'dragged' into taking a much more active role in the concert. (thinking back, i have been very idle for the last few years hor.haha. shiok leh) Come to think of it, i am actually playing in 5 pieces in the concert!
(gosh.. and Dom even wants me to play the Bass solo part for the Handel Concerto.. to which i just laughed and quickly walked away.. comon lah.. Yong Kiat can do it! Yes! )

Had a pleasant 'surprise' yesterday, was on my way to SMU for the usual Monday evening sessions with Guitarissimo. Meiju called me to say there were 2 GENUS representatives there to promote the March 11 concert! haha... Siyang and Huiling.
My initial reaction was: okie.. Siyang and... who???

heh. Should have connected the name "huiling" to "wee lian" lah.. but just for that moment (and i was also thinking of ppl in the Comm), it eluded me. :)

Anyway, think the 2 poor chaps were rather 'stressed', and they managed to mumble some info regarding the concert... hmm.. unfortunately they couldnt perform as a duet for us (the SMU guys kept asking them to perform, so they were really stressed out ).

Okie.. back to Genus..

After so many years of concert, it doesnt really excite me that much. But there's always that sense of having to present something good for the audience... something worth their time and $$ to be there. I certainly hope we can do it with songs like Harumi, and Owls' arrangements...

Hmm.. March 11th.. Ee Ping's birthday... arrrggghhh..