HUAYI 2012

I remember how my heart leaped when I stepped out onto the stage of the recital studio and saw the audience on that night. Close to a full house! WOW! :*) Thank you!

Felt really honored to be playing for the in::music series of the Huayi Festival because many singer-songwriters from the region that I really respect and love have been featured at the same series in previous years. And the venue! Esplanade!!!! Woohoo I was so excited.

It mattered to me that I was true to who I was to my audience that night, to connect with you and share the inspirations behind the songs I wrote. That we all have our stories, sure, mine to being a singer-songwriter was tough but rewarding, there were tears and sacrifices but through it all, a love for music which led me to you, and that’s what keeps the music going.

Was really excited to preview new material too! Hope you liked the opening song “自由”, “Happyness” and “One Last Try”.

Well, planning for the show commenced months before. The one thing I love from all these years traveling as a backing vocalist for concerts is the music element of these shows, all that planning to breathe live into songs, intros, surprises, climaxes.

Hence, though its refreshing to play the songs live, I didn’t want to just play them in the exact arrangements you hear them on the album. That is why we re-arranged songs like “巫毒娃娃” , “戀愛女生都是羊” planned stuff with my band leader Matthew, like the rock intro for “受保護”, Charlie done in Motown, or the rocked out “三頭六臂”. Songs like “手中線” “平行線” which had a special place in many of your hearts, we used original cello scores so you’ll hear the original string lines played on the record.

It can be intensely crazy being your own music director (I lost so much weight!) but all is made possible with the backing of a solid band, great music pals I roped in to play with me that night. You saw the boys: Matthew, KC, Wen, Hoe Kit, & Heavy Metal Mickey Mouse san, all awesome musicians in their own right :)

There were countless planning sessions, long hours of rehearsals, and I am so glad the boys put in all those hours and stood by me throughout.

Then there were other aspects like the rundown, cues, lighting, audio notes! To the point I didn’t have time to plan for the dressing up part, but also because I knew I was in very good hands with Desmond from Passion Salon for hair, and Keith Bryant Lee, makeup. I met Kenny from Depression two days before and we got my dress settled!

You were such a superb audience. I remember seeing a couple right in front grooving to every song, some waving at me from far. To all of you who have been leaving messages before the show, to ALL who came down to watch that night, THANK YOU!

Reading your messages on facebook and twitter telling me that you enjoyed yourselves, loved the music be it the piano or the band, and stories makes me smile because YOU were everything that mattered that night.

And to answer that question that everyone asked me:” SO. Did you eat 肉乾 the next day.” YES!!! 😀

Shout out to the Esplanade team for being awesome, from the festival coordinators, light, audio, stage crew etc! Woohoo!

How time flies in February… March is gonna be exciting!

ps: You can view all the pictures from that evening here!

Lotsa lotsa lotsa love.
Serene

Angel Voices

Hello,

How was your valentines? Hope you had a lovely one :-) I cooked a simple meal and was writing at home. Straight after the Huayi concert, I plunged straight into work as there’s so much to be done. And yes! I’ve to blog about Huayi too! I had such a blast, u guys are simply awesome! That coming up!

Have been catching up with reports about Whitney Houston and then, 鳳飛飛, how she battled her illness, and the great lady she was to her fans and those around her. The passing of two great singers within such a short span of time is just heartbreaking. I started looking up youtube videos of two of my fav songs by them this morning.

There weren’t even elaborate MVs during that time, not that it mattered. Revisiting the music of such greats like Etta James, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, 鳳飛飛 shows us how, it was and is all about good heartfelt music. Closed my eyes and listened to every word, every line, so honest, I was tearing up halfway through the videos.

鳳飛飛 《掌聲響起》

聽聽她的嗓音,她的堅強, 她的故事。

Whitney Houston – One Moment in Time
http://youtu.be/m46nvic8VIA

This is one song that always makes me feel lifted and walk away believing. I loved how she simply stood at that one spot and sang every word with conviction, and grace. Her voice soaring through at 4:10 of the video. 5:29 – precious.

R.I.P 鳳飛飛 and Whitney Houston. Thank you for sharing with us music in its purest form.