If you were there watching and supporting us, thank you so much! It was fun performing and presenting our tunes and I hope you all felt the same way! In case you missed out, the Lorong Boys performed at the Esplanade Concourse during this year's Hua Yi Festival. It was a thrilling and rewarding experience for me, as I used it to grow in various ways.
Our preparation was necessary to put up a good show, and despite not having great arrangement skills, I'm super glad that the Boys agreed to let me arrange a couple of tunes! It's usually a team effort and decision, but sometimes some of us have ideas and would like to try them out with the group - and that is what I love about the versatility and diversity about the band! Everyone is willing to try new or even crazy things, and we learn, grow, and develop from there.
Now, I don't listen to a lot (or any, actually) Chinese pop music, and the only times I hear them are on the radio or in shopping malls. And since this was part of the Hua Yi Festival, it was more appropriate to perform Chinese tunes than English or Classical pieces. Choosing songs was already going to be difficult, but I guess what spurred me was my experience from our gig last year at the National Gallery, where we performed as a trio. We played a couple of Chinese pop tunes there and we had a blast with them! So this time round, I really wanted to do something different, test my limits, and push myself.
It's not a lot, but I managed to come up with some arrangements! Some were in a different style, and others felt a bit more contrived especially when mashed with another pop song. But it was a great growing experience for me, to get better and faster at using Sibelius, to meet deadlines, and also to push my imagination, inspiration, and creativity! I managed to come up with about 4 to 5 arrangements and now, I can sort of understand how composers feel when they get to hear their music 'live' and not through MIDI sounds coming out from their keyboard speakers!
Another way I did things differently was to make use of my cymbal/cajon setup. I used to do a lot of this when I was part of The Trella Trio, playing twice a week at Stärker (Holland Village), but never used much of it for the Boys (except on a couple of occasions and performances). It creates a completely different sound and vibe to the music, changing its character and mood, and can either be really helpful, or make the whole thing sound bad. It's still an area I'm recently exploring, and am thankful for the band for letting me experiment and try out new things!
I know this week's entry isn't much, and especially so if you weren't there to catch our performance, but I guess my takeaway from this is that you can only grow when you're placed in difficult or uncomfortable situations. And recently, the more difficult and uncomfortable they seem, the more I find myself wanting to take that risk and step into the unknown because to me, it is the perfect way to develop! It's akin to practicing only in the practice room, but not venturing out to make music - if we stay in our practice room forever, we will only be good in there. We have to get out of the room and actually make music with people and that way, we put our practicing to good use, as well as develop other skills like listening, adjusting, and really just being a team player. You don't want to be the person who can only play with a metronome and not with other musicians.. well at least, I don't want to be that person, and I hope you don't too!
Thanks for reading this really short post! If you're curious as to what my arrangements are, do let me know by writing in the comments below and/or reaching out to me privately! I hope you all stay safe and well this week, and don't forget to share this post with friends!