Pasek and Paul performance featured on UWS Music page

CLICK THE PHOTO TO WATCH THE PERFORMANCE.

Another video of myself is out. But this time, I was not the one who published it. I was startled. The recording of one of the songs in my Men On and Off Broadway project was uploaded by the official UWS Music online account on YouTube. I can’t really say that it was done without proper consent because we had to sign some paper that deals with copyright, permission to use or republish such stuff and in which I actually agreed. But really, what a privilege to be actually chosen to sort of represent the UWS Music course and its tagline that says, “There is more to music at UWS.” Very flattering. And I’m quite grateful.

Just a small trivia you might wanna know, this song from Edges: The Musical called “Along The Way” by Pasek and Paul has always been a dream performance piece. From the very first time I heard the song and watched it being performed in various interpretations, I fell in love with it and knew straight away that I would be performing it one day. And so, came Spring and the ‘Rep and ID’ unit that allowed us to design our own project (i.e., our personally designed musical repertoire). With no qualms, I included the song in my repertoire, and by good fortune, was able to find a pianist who could accompany me and keep up with my fuzziness. As bountiful fortune would have it, she came signed and sealed, in the name of Patricia Wong. The rest is what we could call history.

Despite the flaws of this performance (e.g., (1) mic’s mounted up on mic stands were scattered around the stage as I entered which made the singing SO uncomfortable. I tried to get rid of them fluidly and subtly while actually singing but I tell you it was one of the most awkward moments of my life. I utterly hate ‘adverse’ surprises; (2) the FAIL falsetto in the end. I did prepare for it and in my rehearsal sessions I had always done it perfectly (Like, c’mon I’m a falsetto maven). Nevertheless, perhaps it is true that every once in a while there are things that happen when least expected), I am very grateful to the Lord for making this ‘dream’ come into view. I was blessed with the right resources, the right people and an adequate amount of time to prepare well for it. But I know this ain’t the last time I’m doing this song. And next time, I’ll make sure that it’ll be bigger and better. 

Performing ‘I Bought Me A Cat’ by Aaron Copland

CLICK THE PHOTO TO WATCH THE PERFORMANCE.

Yes, you read it right. It might seem bizarre but yes, I did manage to bring off such a seemingly insuperable piece. Alright, I was exaggerating. Anyway, here’s my recorded performance of ‘I Bought Me A Cat’ by Aaron Copland. I made this folk/art song a part of my final performance project for my performance unit entitled “Men On and Off Broadway”. It is obviously not a Broadway piece but the song can be used with a huge amount of theatricality. That’s why it was plunked on the ‘Intermezzo’ section, the break from the Broadway songs. Despite the inflicted humour (people were actually LOL-ing during the performance but couldn’t be heard on the recording) and a small flare of self-humiliation, I am hoping that I have been able to give it justice and a decent interpretation it deserves. Piano accompaniment is done by my extremely talented colleague, Shanice Vella. CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO WATCH THE VIDEO OR CLICK HERE.

Worskhop Day

Finally, the day of our workshop presentation has come into full view. The day was scheduled for presenting a substantial portion of our work in progress. Definitely, a nerve-racking one. The team, I must say, was well prepared, and pretty much presented 80 percent of the overall project. The first part comprised the first two minutes of the film, still not scored (because we’re opening doors for suggestions, insightful ideas, etc from the class). The second bit was the skit and live music in which all the action took place!

Setting up the stage a few hours before the workshop. We were literally chasing after the tech guy to grab the equipment we needed. Our stage setup only mounts a table, four chairs and many different objects on the table to be able to produce sounds.

The performance gained a combination of really complimentable, helpful and hypercritical feedback(s). All in all, these comments surely have stirred up our brains and helped us improve our present material. There were really interesting stuff some people have pointed up, like the use of a can of Pringles as an instrument. Quite cool, huh? Oh, well. We’re hoping to finish everything not less than a couple of weeks before performance day.

 

R.

I Think It’s a Dry Run

We are now really getting so close to the workshop day! It is our second rehearsal day (or probably the last of the most comfortable ones) and we finally got to deliberate clearly and profusely the things that we will be carrying out in the next few days through the workshop day. We have all come in to create, conceptualise, strategise, brainstorm and plan what to present on Thursday. Everyone’s role for the performance is defined as well, because it is one of the ‘confronting’ questions that is normally asked by the lecturer. And I am just so happy to be in a group that is dynamic, proactive and creative to a great extent. Hallelu, sistah!

We just sat down and pressed on with the material for almost four hours straight! It was heaps fun, however thoroughly exhausting! Going above and beyond!

We just sat down and pressed on with the material for almost four hours straight! It was heaps fun, however thoroughly exhausting! Going above and beyond!

The live performance is partly improvised, partly structured. We love improvisation! I personally think that it is an extremely creative process that all musicians (and all other artists of any kind) need to learn and master. It is where your mind’s biological sense of imagination and spontaneity are unfettered and you get lost in the material. Improvisation for me is an enormous part of what makes a musical performance supremely special. I think it is the lifeblood of music.

The team has not come up with a title for the group’s performance, although ideas and insights are being raised. Hopefully it’ll sound as cool as how the production will look and sound like. What we got to do now is to just memorise our parts and take it all to heart so it will come out natural and real.

Image

And may I just say that this is the icing on the cake for me after the this long, productive day! I have always been grateful for Japanese connections who are extremely generous and gracious! I am beyond pacified.

R.