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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I write songs, I sing them... I play the piano and a little bit of the guitar.. I've released 5 albums of music, I love the scent of freshly fallen rain and the scent of lavender on bedsheets. I would drink tea all day long if the caffeine didn't keep me up at night. I hate driving in L.A traffic. I would love to one day catch the squirrel that steals the plums from my tree and make him a pet. I don't watch TV anymore. My 3 year old daughter is more entertaining than any TV show could ever be :)

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Prelude to a Concert in December

The week of 8th December to 18th December 2006

I'm in my jet-lagged mode again. Slept at 12 midnight,
got awoken at 4.15 a.m by Kavin leaving the house to
send Clinton to LAX airport and by Sammy's (the cat)
pathetic meow-wailing as she scampered around the house.

Tried to get back to sleep but to no avail.
So with caffeinated thoughts, tired eyes and the weather
at a chilly 33 degrees Fahrenheit, ( around 0 Degrees Celsius),
now I sit at Peets Coffee and Tea, classical music stirring my morning
and the sun giving me the virtual orange juice treatment; I shall
weave my tale of the past week's events.

It's been an intense week. We got back into Singapore on the 8th of
December,a Friday, had a couple of days to chill with the family over
meals of Chicken rice, cups of teh and mummy's homecooked food,
then it was straight back to work.

12th December 2006, Tuesday.

Tuesday started out at 9.30 a.m as we got picked up by Evelyn
and Sammy from Warner Music and headed to Channel News Asia
to record an interview segment for Prime Time Morning with
Steven. The interview went smoothly and I had fun singing
a snippet of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and discussing
the Christmas album "The Gift".

A quick photo with primetime morning host Steven from Channel News Asia

Next up were interviews with Lush FM and 93.3 FM
The DJs at 93.3 FM spoke such fluent Mandarin and I tried
my best to answer their questions with my limited Mandarin
vocabulary. Thankfully, they helped me out and were very
encouraging at my attempts to converse in Mandarin and so
the interview went pretty well.

Interviewing at Lush FM with DJ Azzy

It was soon time for lunch and we headed off to the food court
at Raffles City where I had a Lao Huang Gua (old melon) soup with pork ribs
and rice. It was good, warm and comforting. I really wanted
to get the Char Kway Teow (fried noodles), but had to refrain
so as to help keep my voice from getting hoarse from oily food.

A production meeting with the Esplanade production crew was next.
It was good to meet the crew again. We had last met with them
in August of 2005 when we had our first concert at the concert
hall. We discussed the song list, stage set-up, lighting,
sound engineering issues.

By this time, it was close to 4 p.m and we headed to the Singapore
Arts Cafe in the Esplanade Library where Evelyn had set up a table
for press interviews.

There were interviews conducted with Q Magazine, Cleo Magazine, Today Newspaper, and Berita Harian. I particularly enjoyed the interview with Nurliza at Berita Harian as she focused her questions on my songwriting process and I had fun sharing with her my thoughts on Songwriting 101. It was also my first interview for a Malay Language paper and I was glad that Kavin, being a Malaysian,would be able to translate the article for me to read following its publication.

Me and Nurliza of Berita Harian Paper.

After the interviews were done, Jonathan Liew, the owner of the cafe,
came by to say hi and to request an autograph for his guitar.
I was honoured to accede to his request :)

I must say that I am glad that he provides a much needed space for musicians
to perform and have access to air their creative works in the open mike
performances he schedules at the cafe. It's nice to see support
for the local arts and music scene and judging from the number
of people who have come by to sing and play at the cafe in the afternoon,
it looks like the idea of local musicians singing and sharing
their music is taking flight. It's also wonderful that the food
( I had the delicious chicken nuggets. Yum) and the drinks ( Kavin
loved the chocolate mocha drink) are yummy.

Jonathan Liew of the Arts Cafe and I, posing with his guitar bearing my scribble

The day was finally done and Kavin and I went back home, grateful
that Mummy had cooked us a simple but delicious home-cooked meal.

Wednesday, 13th December 2006

We headed to the MTV Asia studios at around 12 p.m
to tape a segment for the Christmas Day broadcast of
Pop Inc.

Florence from make-up helped me tease my hair into
something more presentable for TV and I did some last minute
touch-ups on my make-up.

Then it was soon to the studio where MTV VJs Denise and Colby
were running through the list of must-dos for the programme.

Kavin accompanied me on guitar as I opened up the segment
by singing a short version of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing".

An interview followed this and after this, we filmed
another segment for the MTV online. I was glad to find
out that the producer this segment, Patrick Chng is also a musician
in the local music scene, and one of the members of local
Singapore indie band The Oddfellows.

We headed to the Plaza Singapura foodcourt after this and I had
a plate of Chicken Rice, while Kavin had yong Tau Foo and Sammy
had a plate of rice with steamed egg and a hot soup.

We stopped by Pagoda street on the way home to buy some 3 for $10
Pashmina wraps in pink, red, silver, black and green.

Later on that evening, Kavin and I headed to the YHS arts centre
to have our rehearsal with the SYC ensemble singers. I was delighted
to be able to work again with Jennifer Tham, the choir director, who was
also the choir director of the RJ Chorale when I was in it back in RJC,
many years ago.

The singers were well rehearsed and Kavin and I were pleased that
the rehearsal went well. It was also very fulfilling to hear
the choir on the new song "On My Way". It's one thing to hear
the virtual choir in your head singing the harmonies to the song...
it's another to have a real choir singing all the melodies back
to you while you're playing the piano and singing. It's a beautiful
moment when your song becomes a tangible, living, breathing thing
and takes on a life of its own. I live for that moment as a songwriter.

Thursday December 14th 2006

James's birthday today. We celebrated it with a lunch at Din Tai Fung
in Junction 8 in Bishan. It was lovely to be with Cheryl, James, Jerome,
Papa and Mummy again and to celebrate a family event.

Too often, I miss these gatherings of important family milestones,
and it felt really good to be able to be in Singapore for this, my
brother's birthday.

We topped off the lunch with an ice-cream cake from the next-door
Swensons. It's been a while since I had Neopolitan
Strawberry, Chocolate and Vanilla)flavoured ice-cream.

Jerome helped to blow out his father's birthday candles
and enjoyed a couple of walks while being carried in his grandfather's arms.

James, Cheryl and Jerome went home soon after, as Jerome needed his afternoon nap.

In the meantime, Papa and I had a cup of tea at the Yakun downstairs. It's
always such a comfort to have a cup of milk tea after a good meal. I've
been trying to duplicate the kopi tiam teh for the longest time, while in
Los Angeles, but to no avail. It just doesn't taste the same.

We had a rehearsal with the string ensemble in the evening and it lasted
from 7 p.m to about 10.30 p.m. It was held in one of the rehearsal rooms
at the Esplanade. It was nice to see the string players again. Almost
all of them had played for my concert in February at the UCC Concert
Hall for the NUS Arts Festival and it was good to have them playing again
for this Christmas concert.

Friday December 15th 2006

After a good breakfast of wanton char siew mee and teh,
Kavin and I set out for the recital studio at the Esplanade
for our whole-day rehearsal.

It felt good to set my fingers down on the 9 ft Steinway Grand
Piano again. I had last played it at the concert in August 2005.
It felt like I was re-aquainting with a good friend.
Something about the way a good piano feels, the way it helps
you emote the song, the way it gives in to, or resists the touch
of the pianist's fingers. Each piano, has a distinctive personality and
sound and this Steinway was such a beauty. It had strength
and fragility all wrapped up in a glossy, black exquisite instrument.

I was happy to see all the guys from the band again. There was Wen on drums,
Reggie on percusssion, Josh on bass and Kenn on guitar.
They've all played with me over the course of the past few years and
I've come to truly appreciate their musicianship, as well as their
friendship. They bring so much to the table and everytime we play
as a team, it feels like a family coming together.

Reggie, Josh and Wen were trading jokes, Reggie was hamming it up
with all his toys (including a new set of butterfly chimes!).
It was fun to have them around again.

After going through the songs with the band, we went through
the songs again with the string players and later on with the
vocalists from the SYC. Then we put all the elements together
and finished up the rehearsal.

It was truly a long day, we ended the rehearsal at 8 p.m
and I was thankful that my voice was not too tired. Thank
goodness for in-ear monitors and thank goodness for Raymond,
the sound guy, who helped with the sound for my in-ear monitors.

Rows upon rows of in-ear monitors for all the players

Kavin and I were both pretty tired by the end of the evening.
We had dinner at about 9 p.m with Amy and Ming Yen at the nearby
Japanese restaurant. It was so comforting to have food again!
I had soup udon and chawan mushi......mmmmmmmm.

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Blogger Lucy said...

Awesome pictures Corrinne, hope I can see some videos of the show, looks amazing!

Sunday, February 11, 2007 4:09:00 PM  
Blogger Div said...

well know it's a bit late for this comment but want to say that i was at ur concert and suggest that perhaps those songs that you sang not from your previous album? bring joy to those not at the concert through ur next. hope ya get what i mean. they were great and deserve more audience..

Friday, April 20, 2007 5:58:00 PM  

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