Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Artistic and musical genes in the family !


Daniel and I playing "Amazing Grace" on the violin and saxophone!

Sister Lee Lee playing "Yue Lai Xiang" on the electric piano

Daniel performing an item with his guitar at his wedding dinner

The lovely handmade "thank you" gift for guests

I first learnt about musical and artistic genes when I first registered for my violin lessons at the Braddel Heights Community Centre. The lady officer was fond of saying, "Ni men de jia ting yiu yin yue de xi bao". (Your family has
musical genes). Madam Lim had at first tried to discourage me from taking gu zheng when I signed up for violin classes because of my age. I guess she was right in a way, but I had only intended to take up gu zheng after I have completed at least grade 6 in violin playing. Madam Lim made the statement after she realised that I had actually managed to do grade 3 after 11 months of lessons.

My heartfelt thanks to the Lord for His grace and blessings. Daniel's wedding dinner had turned into an evening of music and spontaneous entertainment. Almost everyone in the family participated. Samuel, my eldest nephew, sang a lovely solo item with his guitar, and Daniel, the groom, sang and played Amazing Grace at the dinner. Henry delivered a wonderful impromptu speech even though he is not a toastmaster. Esther mesmerized everyone with her great rendition of "Unchained Melody". I sang "Shanghai Bund" in English, and the audience chuckled at the wordings and laughed when they realised they had been tricked! I had heard the singer delivering the popular Cantonese song in English when I was having a drink with a friend at the then Mandarin Hotel at Orchard Road. The catchy wordings had remained in my memory ever since. In case readers are curious here are the lyrics:-

"Long one, short one,
Long one, short one,
Which one do you want?
I want long,
You want short,
Together we both shall have our fun!

I looked at the audience with mock dismay. "Hello! What have you guys been thinking, huh? I am merely referring to my short hair, and the bride's lovely long hair!

Gosh! That was the first time I had ever sung solo on stage.! If I had brought my violin along, I would have preferred to play a piece instead of singing. Believe me! As a trained toastmaster, speaking on stage is less frightening than singing on stage! Well, I guess there is always a first time! I was told by sister-in-law Saw Kim that it was also the first time that my brother Kee Seng sang on stage.! How wonderfully supportive of koko.! Both he and his wife gave a powerful rendition of "Shanghai Bund" - the original version in Cantonese!

Sister Lee Lee sang a solo piece in Malay - Bangawan Solo and another Chinese piece with Aunty Khim, her sister-in-law. If only my sister Ean Ean were at the wedding, she would have turned the house upside down with her comical antics or she would have mesmerised the audience with her singing and guitar playing.!

I also found out that my two neices-in-law are quite artistic. Daniel's bride, Jacelyn, made a lovely box for the gift collection of red packets at the reception and she even made lovely flowers as a thank you gift. Sister Lee Lee suggested attaching a piece of heart-shaped chocolate so that the flowers could remain standing on the table. Samuel's wife, Dea, and their four children and everyone helped to make the gifts so that all the guests could take one home.

We are not the Von Trapp family singers, but we are a family who is always out to have fun and make music whenever we gather together! I thank God for my wonderful papa who had imbued so much love for music in his five children. I thank God for his wonderful gift of music and art to my family and relatives. Indeed music makes the family go round, and I hope it will also go round for everyone.!

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