Reverb 2015: The uncomfortable comfort zone

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After that partially lame monologue of mines, time for the proper post on the concert! Unlike Throwback which I was only involved in only 1 song, I was practically a full performer this time round. Another delayed (3 months is quite little for me now oops) post, and another one which I wouldn’t want end up being a ranting post so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.

Counting down to actual concert day, I put behind all hard feelings to the CCA and focused to doing my best. Not my maximum best, but showing a presentable self and one which I can be proud of when I look back. Since I was already part of the whole thing, the same thing still applies: just do it once, do it well. As with every concert, much preparation is put into the movements on stage and doing sound check to ensure that the audience can hear the best from us. We also had a guest performer and had to schedule extra practice sessions with him. More of my precious time during Recess Week gone just like that, and during that time it just felt really unbearable especially when you know you have mid-terms to study for. Well I couldn’t skip practices because of just solely that so it was just another hell week and one which I had to go through during my time in NUS.

CONCERT DAY! It was standard to report to the venue super early for final sound checks and last minute rehearsals. There was an afternoon and an evening session so it was sort of performing for 2 concerts. The afternoon session felt more like a practice as the concert hall was like 2/3 filled and I didn’t have anyone watching as well. For the friends who came to see me perform, it was their first time seeing me and of course, I wished that I was able to show them the artistic side of me which they heard so much but never really seen for myself. As per the previous post, I had some mistakes and awkward moments, but everything worked out! Playing the percussion ended up a good thing (despite those early morning practices LOL) as I sort of had my own glory time on stage and was noticeable among everyone HAHAHA 😛

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Shout out to E my fellow bass buddy whom we really went through a lot, especially when E didn’t have any music background and was learning from scratch. Good luck for your OCIP, will really miss you buddy. Ehhhh that’s it LOL. Really sad case hor… Just thanks to a few of those which brought pockets of warmth during my first year in GENUS. Some of the Year 3 seniors are really very nice, a pity that the gap between each batch is really awful. (Sorry that I keep harping on this fact but the division is just unbearable to me.)

Joining GENUS felt like a return to an “uncomfortable comfort zone”. It’s a comfort zone to begin with as I was going back to playing an instrument that I was familiar with: the guitar. However, this comfort zone ended up being an uncomfortable one. It was just the constant accumulation of being left out and feeling out of place. After 1 year, is it slightly better now? When the new semester starts, all of us will take the roles of seniors… When that happens, when that happens…

 

 

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Monologue: Pirates Of The Carribean

PIRATES! :)

PIRATES! 🙂

台上一分鈡,台下十年功. (oh wow me using Chinese LOL) Anyone who has gone through the process of preparing for a concert can relate to this phrase. It doesn’t matter how much or how well your practice was, because the audience will only witness the few minutes you are on stage. Every concert feels magical; the wait till your turn to go on feels forever, and you lose this concept of time on stage. This is just a prelude to my future post which I will talk more about the whole concert. I thought it would be fun to let people know what goes through the mind of a person on stage.

I’ll share the background for this song to provide some context for the concert. To start off,  it was the only song which the whole orchestra would be playing together before the concert’s intermission. Pirates was the 4th combined piece we received and everyone (especially the seniors) were pretty excited to play this song. The obvious reason was because all of us have heard this song before, and we took the most time out of all the ensemble pieces to practice this song during combined. It was more of the percussion section (that’s me) being a burden and needing the whole orchestra to play so that we could practice our parts. The speed of the song was paced differently during the first few practices and it took a really long time to find a comfortable pace for everyone. XB (the ensemble’s librarian) did a good job in arrangement, and he was always on the ball to make minor tweaks and it worked out well. BUT the difficulty of the piece was way too hard for the juniors IMO and it was mostly the seniors carrying the weight. This is probably the longest song I have played so far, I never realized until the concert video was released that it was nearly 10 minutes long!

For our percussion intro, it was suggested that it would be conduced in time. It means that instead of the conductor conducting normal in beat, he will cue us in instead. It was only suggested a few weeks before the actual concert but the idea worked well as it was much clearer for us percussion players. It saved us a lot of trouble as we didn’t need to count the beats and risk coming in a beat earlier or later.

 

0:03 I can barely hear the sounds of the chain lol

0:20 Omg how long more till Raj will cue us in

0:28 Yes my turn soon, please don’t screw up my entrance

0:31 Yays that went well

0:41 Both me and ZM missed this part as Raj didn’t cue us in clearly. You could see our hesistation and I’m having this awkward smile hahas.

0:59 Everyone sounds good haha!

1:35 That bowing sounds good too hahaha!

1:58 [SIDE COMMENT] Everyone looked so serious and solemn… no wonder the seniors kept reminding us to smile at times when we play on stage.

2:02 Last 2 bars of the verse, time for my gong

2:07 [SIDE COMMENT 2] I should have wacked it harder, it sounded slightly off because I didn’t hit it hard enough (and remember it takes time for the sound to travel since we aren’t miked)

2:13 Sneaky peek to my left (senior playing the timpani) to make sure I come in correctly

2:25 Counting 7 empty bars of 3/3 in my head to make sure I come in correctly

2:32 Counting 6 more empty bars in my head

2:45 Waiting for Raj’s cue to stop all the sound. Time for my 32 bars of rest.

3:41 *Hits the cymbal* Okays time for another 31 bars of rest.

3:46 *Slowly shifting my way back to the floor tom*

4:00 I personally enjoyed this part of the song with the xylophone playing, so soothing haha #justsaying

4:18 The sound of the wind chimes sounds really soothing too #justsayingagain

4:26 Time to grab my bigass mallet

4:36 Last check, making sure I hit the sweet spot of the gong

4:44 Intensely looking at Raj, time for my entrance again whew

4:58 [SIDE COMMENT 3] Now I feel that all my movements are too exaggerated and unnatural, take note for next concert? (if I’m still going to play in one haha)

5:11 Omg gong please don’t swing so much T.T *secretly placing my hand, trying my best not to let it swing*

5:21 Omg did I hit the gong too hard? (It sounded good from the video so phewwww)

5:25 super saiyan super smooth super incredible switch move to right hand for my cymbals part

5:35 Intensely looking at Raj again

5:42 46 bars of rest, after that full throttle bleh

6:04 Let me push up my specs, hope the camera didn’t spot that.

6:20 I can’t possibly screw up this part lols (it’s just single beats, but in practice I did screw up before LOL so…)

6:33 3 bars of running notes from the guitar for me to move my scores

6:50 [SIDE COMMENT 4] The 3 beats here where me and ZM play together, I like it haha #justsaying3rdtime

7:04 *Picks up other mallet from the stand*

7:13 Shit is about to get real, like so real…

7:24 [SIDE COMMENT 5] Omg I sound so on point here hahaha #selfpraise

7:45 [SIDE COMMENT 6] WC plays the exact same beat here with the snare, cymbal. Thank god for that because it helps me check whether I’m still in sync with the whole ensemble.

7:57 THOSE 3 BEATS WHERE WE PLAY TOGETHER, sound so awesome totally

8:08 [SIDE COMMENT 7] Into this new verse, I was always worried of a slight fall in intensity as well as speed into the song, but it didn’t sound that well it seemed whoops. Overall in this verse I think I sounded alright so phew ^^”

8:27 I look so stone-cold serious LOL

8:56 Wacking my floor tom with all my might.

9:03 How long do I have to stay like this?

9:10 *Places mallets on stand* SCARIEST SONG OF THE NIGHT CLEARED! ^_^

 

I get a kind of warm feeling when I read what I write and play the video at the same time, I still can feel the emotions even though it has been a while since the performance. Indeed, we remember moments, not days. Here’s 2 gifs of Seohyun to make up for the long post hehe 🙂

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