Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mentally, i'm tired. Tired of doing assignments that come at me non stop, tired of having to always be worried about when i can finish an essay, whether i'll have time to engage the next one and do well for it. I'm so tired that i've gone into a premature holiday frame of mind. Please God, fish me out from this, because if i'm going to continue wallowing happily in my cool mud patch under the bright cheery sun, i'm doing to die a very horrible sunstroke death.

What i would give, short of paying someone to do my report for me, to begin studying for my exam paper. Yes, i'm begging to be allowed to study.

For once to be able to be free from sitting in front of my computer screen, having my mind split into two, with one side pleading with the other to get down to business while the other side (the slacker side) of my brain makes monkey faces at the serious side.

I've already decided to sacrifice my band jamming session tomorrow just so that i can buy more time for this lab report that's equivalent to a module examination.

On a brighter note, for the first time i actually got to play the first keys (not my usual synthesizer, a.k.a the second keys) during a congregational (overnight: 11+pm to 6am) prayer meeting. Well, of course i didn't play for the whole slot (2am to 4:50am) during which my band was on. I only took over when the first keys player went to take a break.

But in that short span of time when i got my go, i had the experience of having to play the musical backdrop while the congregation mass prayed, and also had the experience of playing while a lone person went up to the front to lead the congregation in prayer. And get this: On my own, without any guitar backup, synthesizer or anyone! I was like: HUH?! WAH?! Er... Ok, i'll JUST DO IT.

Verdict:

1. Being thrown cold into a situation like that really made me face the "musician's stage fright". The only experience i've ever got playing in front of people/public is:
Either playing the synthesizer during service OR, leisurely playing the acoustic piano at home.

2.
FUN! I'm actually new to the synthesizer (but i play it because it's the role my worship leader assigned me to), so to finally play the first keys, something i'm more trained to do, was just so liberating and scary all at the same time.

FUN! To learn to listen to the voice tone, volume and even words used by the speaker to determine what exactly would be suitable to play as well as how loud or soft. Not forgetting to be sensitive to the moment(s) and play accordingly.

3. Didn't think i did bad. But i've got more to learn if i ever want to be a permanent first keys player. For now, the synthesizer is all my current level of brain-fingers dexterity can handle. Sadly. Boo.
Note: It's not that i think that the synthesizer is any less of an instrument (though i used to think that way... Honest!) but it's just that for all my life i've been playing the piano and figured that it's only useful that i make good use of the skills learnt over the years and the money spent on getting the training. That said, i believe that playing the synthesizer is what i should be doing at this point in time.

Still, i was grateful to be given that small window of time, and i made sure that my pastor knew how i felt. Because in those moments, i was blessed with the opportunity to have some sort of summary of what playing the first keys is like. Furthermore, i felt encouraged by my band mates and pastor who gave me their approval. I'm not saying that i really did well, but personally it meant something to me that they noticed and approached me with such kind and sincere words. :-)

I'd love to have a studio in my home, like a cell mate of mine. Gah! Her home is so musician-friendly, it's unreal... Wouldn't it be gorgeous if i could own a sound proof studio equipped with amps, cables, keyboards, guitars (acoustic, electric and bass) and mics and drums. *drool*

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey there Joline! I share your frustration with the workload and the need to revise for your exams totally man...cos i also face it.

Bear with me for saying this...but maybe you can set apart 1 hour each day for revision? This way you can do your essays and revision stimultaneously and when you're done with your work, you can pick up on the revision

ANyway i can pray for you about?

joline said...

Ivan:

*grin* You sound as if you're scared of ME?!

Actually, i agree that that is most plausible and helpful. The only obstacle in my way of achieving that is my obstinance. But i will try.

Prayer... I guess it would be for me to use my time wisely. Thanks Ivan. :-)

jem said...

hai~ Lead is always scary... I remember the first time i did acoustic guit. during service. Terrible experience, so much stress!
The synth is an important instrument, just like the bass, commonly overlooked, but they play the roll of filling up and gaps in the body of the music...
Confidence is key~ Take a deep breath and say this... "I am woman, hear me roar!"

joline said...

Jem:

Yeah man, you can say that again. But there's the one thing i'm reminded of again that i've learnt, through that experience as well as through sports (archery), is that when you're up there doing what you need to do, bring the "training into the competition".

But of course in this case, being led by the Holy Spirit would be another dimension to be aware of.

*nods* Yeah, i'm now more aware of the importance of the synth and bass. It took me a while to swallow my pride, i admit. (A lesson in itself especially in relation to my walk with God.)

If i may say so, i've always hated the synth since i was a kid... I attribute this to the "cheap sounding" music i encountered on cheap CDs and the music that radio stations play sometimes to fill up gaps between programs. The usual generic screeching didn't help me to see that synths could do a lot more than that.

On hindsight, my synth role has done more than serve functional and operational purposes... It's served to mould me into a better person and musician. :-)

Say! Would you be going back to playing for services? :-p

Jem said...

haha~ You can bring in more life with the synth! Connect it to a laptop with good software (ie. MAC) and you'll be doing alot more stuff~ MY youth group's been trying to do funky stuff in my absence... It's cool, instead of just using strings, try using voices and distortions (if provided as an option). In fact, if your synth allows, you can do loops. Meaning to say, sample some simple beats, loop them and play over them with your drummer. So you take the stress of rhythm off the drummer and let him/her work some magic~!

I'll be going back to playing as soon as my schedule lightens up =)...
I should be going abck to doing sound first... I love the mixer and I love the challenge of turning all that 'noise' into art.

Eliss said...

i went to the church which i went back to give kindergardner talk lor. Just behind my house there....near bishan park. oh yes i went to a sikh temple. i remembered gers are not allowed to wear skirts(unless is a long skirt),and u r supposed to cover ur head. and the food is glorious!=gluttony= anyone can go there and eat, cos they believe that everyone is equal

lakeside girl said...

*checks bank balance*

Sorry Jo, i'd love to give u that studio but...

:(

joline said...

Jem:

;-) Somehow knowing that here's someone who likes doing sound mixing kinda brings a smile. Reminds me of the regular meets we have after youth service when the band playing for that day and the sound console people get together for a debrief. Glad to know that you have a passion for that. :-)

Eh, i going goggled eyes already. At the moment, i'm using warm pads and an assortment of other pad sounds and the jazz organ. Sometimes some Vox thingy for the tinkly sound. Loops, now that is new to me. I'm not sure how that's going to work out with between the drummer and i, but i'll keep that in mind for sure. (at times like this, i wish the newbies, ie. me and the other understudies, can form our own band)

Eliss:

Wow... Ahaha, ok. You go on your own?

lakeside girl:

*giggle* You so sweet lah. So when you earn big bucks in future then can anot? ;-p

Which reminds me. I PROMISE TO MEET YOU AFTER EXAMS TO PASS YOU THE TEES.

cheryl said...

YAY you did great! really. say, did you think it was a lil' daunting? but ah well, now you know how it feels. not scary at all. you did great! considering we played 3 hrs..! :)

-cheryl

joline said...

Cheryl:

Yo Cheryl, my Tehillian first keys player i was talking about! Teehee. I didn't know that you dropped by this blog leh. Hoho.

Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement too... That means a lot to me. :-D

Actually it was daunting at first, especially during the few moments when i stood behind you before taking over. You should've heard my heart racing and my blood running cold! but after you said "you can play whatever you want", i felt so much better suddenly. Hahaha.

Now, to learn to be more confident on the synth too. :-)

Eliss said...

nope i went there with my best frend in sec sch who happens to be half sikh

jem said...

Just listen to music =)
Lots of it!

one good CD that I really like, not for the songs or play style is Vineyard's DWELL. They ahve a cool instructional DVD included! Can get it from Trumpet Praise at PS, not sure abou the Novena branch though =/

joline said...

Eliss:

I see, i see. That's must've been quite an experience, being in a totally new place of worship that's so different in philosophy and ambience. Anyways, my offer still stands any time. ;-)

Jem:

Hrm. I don't listen to a lot of band based stuff, unfortunately. I'm a bit of an old fogey. Hur hur. But i'm flexible. Will check that out at PS when i can. PS is a better option for me than Novena. Is the DVD good though? I often hear of instructional DVDs being a carrot but not very useful in the end.

Jem said...

all the more you should take notice of the synth~ most Pop music these days are made by just 1 synth!

the DVD's progressive =)
Kinda focusing alot of the creative mind; they just help you realese those ideas~ =p

cheryl said...

hehe, yes i always drop by your blog! think your 16th oct post was very meaningful. it really touched my heart. haha i'm sure you can do it with the synth too! heehee yay looking forward to playing with you more. YOU'RE DOING GREAT, KEEP IT UP! we're all learning together!(:

joline said...

Jem:

Ok, noted. You seem to know a lot about the music scene, hor? ;-)

Cheryl:

Wah... really ah? *pleasantly surprised* :-P

Privileged to know that it has touched you in some way... And that open sharing of life and our walks will help us learn and grow together, to encourage and comfort, through the good and bad.
Thanks gal, that means a lot to me. Yes, we're fellow TEHILLIANS! Let us serve as one unified band to give our EXUBERANT PRAISE TO THE LORD! WOOT! 8-D

jem said...

no lah~ when you do sound, all you think about is frequencies and instruments that fill those frequencies =D

hehe~ first thing i was taught and first thing i tell those whom I am teaching is... "listen to music!" not just the body of it, but go in depth~

joline said...

jem:

heh heh. "occupuational hazard".
so who taught u?

Jem said...

Learnt it while being in media crew in sec. school~
then further developed it by just reading up on it and taking tips from people... =D

joline said...

jem:

Neat... :-) Oh, I did hear that there's a school in Singapore that teaches sound mixing.

Jem said...

2~ School of Audio Engineering and not sure about the other~

SAE's the more popula one, focusing on studio and some bits of live mixing...
=D

never went there though~

joline said...

jem:

Maybe when you have the time, and if the lessons suit your needs... Yeah. :-) More enrichment.

For myself, once i'm done with my keyboard classes (worship music) then i'll try jazz or blues. Yes! *punches air*

Jem said...

Do Jazz first!!! They will cover blues along at the same time =p

Bear in mind though, that Jazz requires patience like you've never had before! =p

Then you can move on the slow Jazz and most people in general won't be able to tell the diff =Þ

hehe~~~ I'm evil...

joline said...

jem:

Heh heh, sounds good to mua evil or not. teehee!

Patience, like how?

But in terms of rhythm, i think it's going to require patience especially since i've a tendency to play whatever i like or am comfortable with (internal rhythm).
Unlearning around 10 years or so of "new age piano" chords and own pace or at least being in control of it is going to be an issue, i think...?