Sunday, November 30, 2008

Minor reflections...

It seems like in these past two years, I've been hiding my emotions well. Where has my passion gone? It seems like nothing can bother me these days.

Maybe I have forgotten that I am still that fragile person I once was before...maybe I've grown immune to hurt feelings....slowly I'm not feeling anything, and that's pretty scary!

It's easy to blame the bustling HK society for not giving me a moment to breathe or reflect upon myself. Work, church, and music have occupied most of my life. But where is the rest of me?

Maybe I need to be more selfish and give myself some private moments.

Maybe some Bread or David Gates would help.

Maybe I need someone to break my heart so I can feel again.

I have God. I have music. I have my daily anxiety.

I miss my human side of life....I miss you....


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Making your art in HK

I've been blessed b/c my art has been appreciated in HK. People have been receptive towards my vision, perception, and ideas.

Of course, art is subjective. I once heard from a friend, "You would be considered successful if you could make someone biased towards your art." Well-said!

In a place like HK (which is one big shopping mall), where most people are in for the commercial, LV-induced, stock market-oriented, luxurious lifestyle, it's even more difficult to make people biased towards your art.

That's why I admire those who like Khalil Fong who expresses his art in a naked way, without any barriers. He just presents his art as it is. Check out this comment: "要一口氣聽,每一首歌,細節若如樹頂上迎著陽光的嫩葉,內容像枝條繁茂但分明有道,一脈相連的風格,惟獨木不成林,要一氣呵成,沿著盤根交錯鑽在方大同創作的土壤上連成一體的聽,儼若走進生氣盎然的花園,盛放《愛愛愛》。 ...方大同的創作才華,是看得到樹的高矮而不知其根的深淺,香港樂壇十年難得幾回有。"

That's what I aspire to do: to present my art as it is.

It's not easy to do.

But there's one thing that can help you overcome (and not embrace) all challenges and obstacles. That is, you gotta do it with all your "heart."

Even if you do it with all the heart and you do not receive the anticipated success. Don't worry! Because art is subjective. Your effort is worth a million words.

The key to make art in HK (or anywhere): To have a heart!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

This is the season for jazz!

This is another album that moves me these days. Stacey Kent has established herself as a fine jazz singer long time ago. But this album truly showcases her talent as an artist!

In a recent interview, she told me this was her most satisfying album in terms of personal musical achievement. I could not agree more. The selection of the songs is careful and well-paced. There's only one or two songs that would lose the audience's interests. For the most part, this album is engaging, fun, and easy to listen to.

Easy? Yes, it soothes the ears and that's not a big thing. Some people try to make things complicated (in a bad way) but Stacey keeps it simple. The songs "The Ice Hotel," the title track, and 2 others are co-written by her husband/tenor sax player/producer Jim Tomlinson and award-winning author Kuazo Ishirugo. "The Ice Hotel" won the 1st prize of International Songwriting Competition.

But the two songs that hit me the most is "Landslide" (see previous entry) and "Samba Saravah." I always love a nice bossa nova beat. But when it's delivered well, it's more than a joy. It's heaven. Stacey did just that!

It's about timing, restraint, playfulness, and class.

Not to mention that the album was mixed and mastered excellently, which adds to the ful ambiance of the sound.

Some people tell me that Stacey sings better on albums than she does live. I've yet to hear her live. But the mere fact that she put out this album is a monumentary step in her portfolio.

With this album, Stacey Kent has placed herself on another level. She has become a true musician. Highly recommended!

See my related Stacey Kent interview on TimeOut HK here.

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More on Khalil Fong...

I said I was mercifully attacked and sucked it by Khalil Fong's music lately. His song "Love, Love, Love" is a really beautiful tune that defies all logic and gravity. Regardless of what language it is in, it's just a purely perfect song. To put it more blatantly and conventionally, it's world-class.

There are two comments by bloggers which I absolutely agree. They speak my heart.

"聽Soul Boy的時候,還是抱有“睇下點”的矜持。到了聽愛愛愛,便完完全全折服於方大同的才華之下。這是一張令我一邊聽一邊流淚的專集 …"


What a song to start the holiday season!



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Flirtations with the season

It's late....a quick update despite my headache.

It's about music, music, music....

the album is coming along slowly but surely, there are more inspirational moments than frustrating ones...thanks to those who are helping me's easy to get lost in your own world....I gotta open my eyes more!!

Just saw Bob James & The Angels of Shanghai at the HKIJF. Wow! What an inspiring performance. Makes me re-gain faith in the while "East Meets West" concept. I can work. Feel like I can make more pretty music...

Had a nice interview with Stacey Kent. She told me the success of "Breakfast on a Morning Tram" was like giving birth to a baby, watching it grow, nurturing it with time...she also says her life has been organic and is an integral part of the world.

The weather is nice. The soft breeze gives me a sense of romanticism and poetry. Life is about living the poetry and jazz in an ordinary day.

Romance, coffee, a nice string section, the Erhu, blowing water, R&B....and lately, Khalil Fong has been in the ipod of my brain...can you believe this soulboy is making this pretty music in HK? Who says HK musicians lack talent?

It's all about hope, hipness, and the chimes....

the chimes! Good nite!

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Victory of the people!

Finally, this day has come. The day I've been waiting for.

Congratulations to Obama. Congrats to America.

This is the day that I'll always remember.

More to come...

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

If there was one song that gives me goosebumps every time....

...this would be it!

Landslide (S. Nicks)

I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love
Can the child within my heart rise above
Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life

Well, Ive been afraid of changing
cause Ive built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
Im getting older too

Oh, take my love, take it down
Climb a mountain and turn around
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring it down

If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well maybe the landslide will bring it down

I like the original Fleetwood Mac version, but the new Stacey Kent version really hit me for some reason. Maybe the better acoustic and mixing.

This song has a New England touch that reminds me of the mountains and hills and the grass and the ruralness and the path that I passed through every day to go to the campus and all those memories left behind and do I have any regrets I cannot say I would've done it all differently but what is youth anyway?

I'm getting older too...and more rational....

I love the Muppets equally.


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