Tears of Bravery…

It has been a tough two weeks as I catch up with the latest news on the earthquake, and the stories of strength and love that emerged.

The lack of a blog entry lately wasn’t because of my hectic schedule. Rather, I felt most of the time at a lost of words and incapacitated.

The tipping point this week was seeing the tears on these children’s faces at the graduation ceremony held for the students of the Hashikami Elementary and Junior High School. (see article from The New York Times)

(Picture: Shiho Fukada for The International Herald Tribune)

Watching the daily news coverage was heartbreaking; photographs of then homes now completely destroyed, and then emerged these stories of how so many put the live of others before their own…the “Fukushima 50”, teachers who ensured their students’ safety during the tsunami but weren’t in time to save their own…

When they were pushed to the brim of having lost everything overnight, including their loved ones, it grips my heart to see how the people of Japan stay united, and ride it out with so much strength, heart and spirit.

What is life, what is real, what truly matters…I continue to fathom the complexities and simplicities of human life. Sometimes it seems to me we tend to equate simplicity and time inversely. But in times like these, it reinforces within me that simplicity is the constant. That the simple things in life are priceless and these matter up till the end of time so let’s treasure them all with the life we have.

Let’s continue to pray for Japan, and do everything we can in our capacity to help. Every thought, and every action counts. Dear Japan, our hearts and our prayers are you.


99 Balloons and a Song

This week, I asked you which stories behind the songs in 55:38:7 you wanted to hear. Here’s a response for facebook user Amy Yap who wanted to know more about《在我左右》。

I wrote about the inspiration behind the song in an earlier entry, so this time, I will share my feelings from writing it to finally seeing come to live on TV.

When I learnt that I was given a shot at writing the theme song for the Mediacorp TV8 drama series《紅白喜事》, I placed alot of pressure on myself during the writing process because I felt that it had to, together with Xiaohan’s lyrics, relate the meaningful message of this drama series and I wanted to give my 100% to the producers who had given me this opportunity.

From a kid who would watch the nightly primetime drama series with my family, it never crossed my mind that years down the road, I would be digging my innermost emotions for weeks to write and sing a theme song for a drama series acted by some of my favorite actors!

This is something I think about all the time…
That sometimes, we are so quiet when it comes to expressing our love to those who mean so much to us. Yes, the ones who stand by us when our walls come crumbling down, and who give warmth and meaning to our lives. We would be nothing without them. As we grow up, we show our love in subtle actions but are shy to shout it out loud. I used to hate the feeling when I found myself crying uncontrollably as I scramble to hold on to everything only when the prospect of losing someone became a reality. Since then, I constantly reminded myself to love and live like there’s no tomorrow and this became my starting point when I wrote the song.

The final trigger of it all was when I watched this story on The Oprah Show.

There were a couple of drafts I threw away before arriving at the final version. It was then round the clock production by the team to nail everything into place . Lyrics by Xiaohan, I laid the piano tracks and Eric did the arrangement, Jim was the vocal producer and the song was finally recorded. Here’s behind the scenes when we recorded live strings, directed by Mr Bang Wenfu.

Then came the longest wait for it to finally show on TV. I held my breathe and froze for what felt like eternity. When《紅白喜事》finally aired, I smiled like you could see me from a mile! And I wanna thank you for all your wonderful responses to this song. Cheers to love my friends. 🙂