“Keeping The Dream Alive” concert

Moon JumpersIt was my school concert today. It was an exhilarating experience and I wouldn’t mind performing again! Here is what happened in chronological order…

The Rehearsal

The rehearsal went very well, except that one guy walked across the stage and nicked my power cable, which switched my keyboard off in the middle of a song. When he reconnected it, it switched back on and I had to reset it to get the sound I wanted.
“Is that going to happen in the real concert?” I asked, concerned. No, he told me. He was just fixing things on the stage and it wouldn’t happen again. Anyway, the same thing happened yesterday evening at the studio, when B walked by and tripped over various cables and adapters, disconnecting both Nicol’s keyboard and mine. Nicol’s adapter was damaged in the process and they got a new one today. My keyboard’s power adapter was still OK, but a bit temperamental.
I recall telling the band whatever happened, just keep on playing. Don’t stop. We had eight sessions together before the concert and had grown familiar with each other, able to read each others’ looks and actions. I didn’t worry too much about it. I said a prayer anyway for peace in our hearts and that everyone, musicians and audience alike, would enjoy themselves.

The concert

Justin on drumsWe were the second last item. Two younger students made jokes to distract the audience while Nicol set up her keyboards on the other side of the stage from me. The previous band had a different setup, so some quick re-arranging had to be done. I also took the opportunity to introduce the band and each player. At the right moments, Justin sounded the drums and Richard grooved up his bass.
Nicol setting the keyboards Then Nicol told me that someone had deleted her sound settings! She had stored them in a sound bank and they were working fine during the rehearsal. She had to reset all her sound combinations from scratch!
So I took the mic again and told the audience we needed a bit more time to fine-tune something. Then I told them a bit about each song we were going to play – Dave Grusin’s ‘Friends and Strangers’, which was a happy piece, followed by my own composition, ‘Ridin”, which I imagined as riding a motorcycle down an American highway, and finally a ‘bonus track’ that wasn’t in the programme where we would showcase our improvisation skills.
There was a pause again. Then Nicol signalled that all was well, and we started to play.
But in the middle of the first song, while I was doing my final solo, my keyboard’s power died again!!!
I raised my hand and signalled to Nicol that all was not well on MY side this time. As we had planned, the rest of the band played on. I quickly stooped down, checked the power cabling, which seemed to be OK. I looked up, and the keyboard was lit again. I continued playing from the beginning of my solo again, like nothing happened. My friends in the audience noticed something was going on, but thought it was all part of the show and I was trying out a stunt. Phew!
Richard improvising We took turns to improvise. This is a shot of Richard playing a traditional jazz/swing bassline.
Me waving on stage while Nicol claps
We all came back on stage during the finale which started with little children singing. We didn’t know what to do, so just strode up, wave to the audience, applauded everybody…
A big thank you to the friends who turned up (Palisong, Monoceros, Sharon), and my condolences to those who couldn’t – J who suffered a bereavement in the family AND got hit by chicken pox, and Fatgirltales who injured her ankle and actually blogged about not being able to go to my concert. Hope you both get better soon. Thanks to Sharon, Roy and Pei Chin for the lovely flowers! It made me feel really good, holding it while walking out of the concert hall.
On the way out, in the lift, a young lady spotted me and said, “Are you from Moon Jumpers?” I said yes. She asked, “You composed that song?” I said yes. She said our music was very nice and I said thanks, beaming more.
I hope this won’t be the end of the story for us. The band is growing well together, and despite our other commitments, I hope we can all meet up again. There’s talk of us playing more of my compositions, including singing. I’m also thinking getting Richard to use his double bass, but doing something different with it. We’re a fusion jazz band, so the possibilities are endless.


  1. py

    Congratulations for a successful concert, despite the little technical glitches.
    I saw some familiar faces when I was browsing the photos taken of the violinists.
    Hmmm….what do you intend to do with the double bass?…that got me interested since I play one.

  2. vantan

    Off the top of my head (thoughts not properly formed yet, just have this instinct in my heart):
    The double bass could take the melody line in some parts of a song and hit some high notes. I want it to sing.
    Alternatively, this traditional instrument can be used in less traditional ways. Instead of thinking straight jazz, think Jamie Cullum or Erykah Badu/nu soul where the (double) bass is used with a different rhythm, with the rimshot.
    Also, we could try new renditions of popular songs, playing them in a totally different way, including time signature.

  3. py

    There is a lot that can be done on the double bass. Yes, it can sing some very lovely high notes. The higher the notes, the more challenging it would be to play.
    Pardon me please, I have not heard music of Jamie Cullum or Erykah Badu/nu soul before…I am trying to imagine how these music would sound.

  4. Jia

    Alamak, I missed your concert! I know you told me the date, but I didn’t remember it…bad me. But glad to hear all went well. Congratulations! I’ll definitely make it to your next one!

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