Posts Tagged ‘performances’

This is my absolute favourite of the Debussy Estampes.

The first time I heard it was at a student concert in which I was performing Chopin’s Barcarolle. I was slotted as one of the last performances and as a result, spent many rehearsals listening to the entire concert all the way through. Two acts before the intermission is a lovely and talented girl called Ruth playing the Debussy Estampes. I was at first drawn to her pastel green gown lovingly hand sewn by her mother. I thought that the dress was a little bit of a misfit on a 15-year-old girl. Then she sat down at the piano and I was just completely hooked.

This is one of those songs in which there are no dull moments for both the pianist as well as the listener. Once you start on it, you are compelled to go all the way through. I vowed to learn it and I eventually did, at my LRSM exam too.

I picked it up again a week back after getting through Debussy’s Clair de Lune and Chopin’s Berceuse. Although I currently play it at a tempo far less than prestissimo and I sail through some parts, stumble through others, it still catches me the same way, bringing me back to a lonely time when I ran across the river at lunch every day to the Esplanade to use the piano in that awkward little nook in the library; a time where everytime I wanted to share a private thought, I whipped out my phone and text Egypt. Of loneliness and the boy who told me about rain in the desert in December.

I lived in that dream for a while, maniacally, in the gardens in the rain, feeling the raindrops fall off my fingers, the storm quieting, that sudden blast of sunlight, the rainbow across the sky and birdsong. Maybe at the end of the streams, at the end of the rainbow, at the end of that wondrous flight of the birds, there would lie a place away from all the frustrations I had felt.

So when in doubt, always return to the music. Look back. Then look up at that face staring back at you from the polished straight back of your piano: a different face, a far different time. Count the steps that took you out of those dark times and always remember that things could have turned out far worse than they did.

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Watching The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other stories at Genexis Theatre at Fusionopolis

Shopping and lunch at Menya Musashi at Raffles City

Home Sweet Home 😀

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The Court decided to give me a break last Thursday, which allowed me to take Friday off to make it a super long weekend.

waiting for ramen

So on Friday, we dropped Peanut off at school, then took Lion for his MMR jab at the paede’s. After, we dropped Lion off at my parents and went to the movies! We had ramen at Ippudo and saw Ryan Gosling in Drive (which was really really good). We then dropped by H&M to check out what the fuss is about (blah), dropped by The Other Half’s shop, then picked the kids up to spend the evening with their paternal grandmother, who very kindly took care of the kids while I passed out on the sofa.

On Saturday, we woke up to an overcast sky and thought that we might give swimming a miss and head to the zoo instead. So I started the preparations to make fried rice to take to the zoo when my mother called and summoned us to my cousin’s place for a swim because Sis2 is back in town and wanted to go wading with the kids. Fried rice was therefore postponed and off we went to the pool (and the sun came out!) and then extended conversation with cousin and his family thereafter, before heading home to continue with the fried rice, put the kids to nap, and head out to dinner with their paternal grandmother and aunt. After putting the kids to bed, I made a chocolate orange cake to take to lunch the next day before going to bed.

expert milk-drinker

On Sunday, we took the kids to the hairdresser’s before crashing Elmi’s family lunch with the chocolate cake. Dinner was with my family as an early celebration for my mother’s birthday (today). Before dinner, we did a quick dash to the supermarket to pick up things to put together a cake for my mother. We headed home after dinner to put the kids to bed so that I can start up my mother’s birthday cake [an eggless chocolate cake from a recipe I’ve never tried, substituting the 2 cups of hot water with hot milk and 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar with balsamic vinegar]. The cakes, unfortunately, did not turn out as I had hoped, but I was too tired and just headed to bed to meditate on it for a bit.

expert bowl-cleaner

I woke up at 6am on public holiday Monday and proceeded to put the balsamic strawberry jam I needed for my mother’s birthday cake to boil while I attempted a whole new cake with a modified recipe [2 cups of hot coffee instead of 2 cups of hot water / hot milk]. The results were much better. Then I made pancakes for the kids and The Other Half for breakfast, cool the jam, and we all left for the Mickey Mouse show at Marina Bay Sands [where Peanut earnestly watched the show and asked questions while Lion bobbed and clapped, then fell asleep halfway].

We lunched out, headed home [attempted] to put the kids to nap [but failed because Peanut refused to nap], then I beat up the fresh cream and started to put the cake together. It’s pretty, I supposed, from afar. My icing skills still suck, but according to The Other Half, are vastly improved than say 3 years ago. Peanut happily cleaned my bowls out.

We were supposed to eat dinner with Becky but then she couldn’t make it. We decided to spend another quiet evening with the paternal grandmother but she banned us from going to her place because her immediate neighbour passed away. We looked at each other, rolled our eyes, and decided to head to the Night Safari. We had an enjoyable dinner at the restaurant next to some goats (?) then a nice walk through the park with the kids.

Given my action-packed weekend, it is little wonder that I forgot to take my laptop to work [having taken it home and wrote two advices in between all of the crazy activity] this morning, as a result of which, I arrived at work twice in two hours this morning.

Oh well. It was a nice break before my crazy schedule takes over again in the next two weeks.

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He had always wanted to write music, and he could give no other identity to the thing he sought. If you want to know what it is, he thought, listen to the first phrases of Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto – or the last movement of Rachmaninoff’s Second. Men have not found the words for it nor the deed nor the thought, but they have found the music.
~ Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead


We just bought tickets to watch the Berlin Philharmonic play Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances in November. I wouldn’t have paid the slightly prohibitive price for the tickets if it wasn’t Rachmaninov.

After all this time, Rachmaninov still makes me want to cry and laugh and celebrate being alive, all at the same time.

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I’m having two relatively slow weeks at work with no hearings and nothing important going on all round, which I suppose is perfect for me to sit out the fatigue from my hellish KL trip over the last weekend (where I was made to carry one Peanut and another in situ and walk for a total of more than 2 kilometres…don’t ask).

On Wednesday evening, I left work super early to catch Maksim live in Singapore at the Esplanade with Elmi and friend.

It was really lovely. The choice of the programme was a little strange, ranging from the very childlike and popular Alla Turca from Mozart, Brahm’s very serious Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op 5, the very cheesy Exodus, the elevator-music-esque Claudine, ending with the very energetic Hall of the Mountain King from Greig: all of these most effortlessly rendered in a neat one and a half hour showcase.

I was a little disappointed that he didn’t play any Rachmaninov (I feel in love with him watching him do a Rachmaninov on a telecast of one of his concerts on TV) and that he only did one Encore (which was some crazy atonal thing which I am not fond of as a rule but was fascinating to watch anyway). But then he made that up by doing a really great Bohemian Rhapsody and a nice Chopin nocturne.

And he does the most lovely cantabile. His tonal shading is perfect. It was such a joy listening to him, even through the unfamiliar pieces. He is really quite the performer.

I will be watching Hamlet the Clown Prince next week before my schedule goes into a blip of trials again. Sigh.

I took a rather small intern (with a rather unfortunate name) to Court with me this afternoon. He is about 15 years old and today was his last day at work. We had the following conversations through the afternoon:

Me: Oh, so after this internship you’ve still got about 4 more weeks of holiday fun!
He: Well, I’ll probably spend it hanging around studying.
Me: Studying?!
He: Yes, studying for next year.
Me: *speechless*

Me: So what do your parents do? Are they lawyers?
He: No, they are not.
Me: And they want you to be a lawyer?
He: No.
Me: So why are you interested in being a lawyer?
He: Because of politics…and other things…it’s a really long story…

Random opponent: Do you have a girlfriend?
He: No. I’m too young to have a girlfriend…well, not until university at least…
Random opponent: How old are you?!
He: 15 years old.
Random opponent: You are far too young to want to be a lawyer!! When I was 15, all I wanted to do was play football and go out and play!!

It was good fun. My opponents were quite amused by my very serious and very small intern. They kept asking me whether he was my son (haha). He kept insisting on carrying my court bag and umbrella too. He tried to even carry my handbag while we were entering chambers (you see, I have a nasty habit of leaving my handbag around the waiting area because I figured that if a bunch of lawyers would steal my handbag, then I really deserve it) until I told him that one of the guiding rules in life for men should be that they should never, under any circumstances at all, carry a woman’s handbag.

I do hope that he eventually finds his way in life. Such serious and driven young men are quite rare to come by.

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