05 December 2010

Ending by beginning

Woah! 10 days already?! So there are really only 2 more entries for this year! Craziness!
Well some good news! I found my Art Blakey music collection and got inspired to do a random Youtube search of great jazz artists because I was just... feeling really uninspired and now I've got these lovely tunes bouncing off my room walls happily. I've realized that my music requirements during work have changed over the years:
  1. Metal. Loud, crazy, blasting metal spitting fire into my ears and adrenaline in my blood
  2. Buddha Bar, lounge music became the thing I needed to get to work
  3. Phantom of the Opera, I went through a long phase of this
  4. Jazz, any jazz was sufficient
  5. Bebop. Yes, my mind decided to narrow it down to this and only this
  6. Finally, today's (happy) jazz. I realized whenever I worked to say John Coltrane, I'd slowly feel bored with my work (ok except "My Favorite Things"). Stuff like Herbie Hancock's "Cantelope Island" is perfect for what I need nowadays.
Yes, yes, I know, I've become a very coffee-shop-music guy. Or I've just grown older.
I still listen to lots of metal at the gym and when I'm walking and need to be pumped up for something, but metal has slowly been confined to only my band and my work outs.

Speaking of metal, if you haven't heard of Manntis, you really should check them out.Their guitarist was on Ozzy Osbourne's Battle for Ozzfest show on MTV. This show first aired in 2004 and I had to resort to searching for it on the Internet and once I got the whole season, I was hooked, I had to do a complete marathon up till the late hours of the night, I just couldn't stop. Watching metal heads battle it out for their band was like a dream for me. Oddly, that was also the time I used to dream about playing drums.

I've recently been evaluating my drumming skills and realized that I've grown out of the phase of playing for fun. I've started to find the need to play for excellence. I mean, I'd find myself constantly trying new things in my band's songs to see if I could top my last drum idea in hopes of finding something that makes the song even better than how it was.

The band, Eve of Sin, is going through a rough patch now since our landlords have hiked our rent up a huge amount (obviously trying to get rid of us) and we're stuck with a short period of time to find a new practice room. We had considered not rending a place and just using those pay-by-the-hour rooms around Hong Kong but we went there once and that was the worst jamming experience ever. The equipment was so bad that songs we thought were cool sounded horrible, it just lacked everything. The song's soul died along with the equipment in those rooms. I suppose that's partly why many bands in Hong Kong have a tough time finding their sound, they get stuck with half-broken equipment all the time that they just hope they find anything that sounds good.

Oh, and if you haven't heard of Bob Newhart and his comedy material, check it out. Jerry Seinfeld mentioned him in an interview once and I checked out the guy and I was blown away by his material. I mean, if I read it on paper in black and white I'd think this was interesting humorous writing, but listening to him deliver gives it a whole new life!

I guess all these things combined have really switched my mind into another zone in regards to my creativity. I've slowly become more and more aware of how my little personal twist to everything is what matters most, not even the technical abilities, the content or the image. It's that little touch a person adds to something that makes all the difference. Oddly, the more I think of this, the more I realize you have to first have a combination of technical abilities, content and a proper image to be able to discover your personal touch/style that is a signature item. Sure there are times you may stumble upon something by pure luck, but chances are those won't last long and they'll never be in your control.

I recently went to one of the exhibitions by Basil Pao (my client) and after having stared at his photographs for so long in low resolutions, being able to see them blown up was a huge difference. Kind of like watching comedy on your computer screen and seeing it live. There's just something different about it being there in front of you that makes the difference. The most interesting thing was that this man had seen and experienced so much that anything he touched seemed to turn into gold. His photos, in my opinion, are gorgeous. Take, for example, his book called HANDS. I guess I've just had so much time to look at the images that it kind of gives the hands life every time I look at them. It's like how some painters can draw eyes that are full of life while others' will be soulless. It's kind of like having 2 people who can speak English fluently, but one of them can sequence his/her words in such a way it sounds poetic.

I thing what has happened that in the last 10 days, since my workload hasn't been in the oh-my-goodness-I'm-losing-my-mind but more in the okay-this-is-a-good-kind-of-busy, I've had time to absorb things I'm experiencing and my mind's had a chance to actually supply some sort of self-reflection/feedback. The only thing is, having done that I've found so many things I could improve on :P And thus, starts my annual new years' preparation so I start the new year perfectly! :)

Well let's see what other mad thoughts I end up with in the next 10 days! Enjoy them while they last! :D



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