Corrinne's Musings - A singer-songwriter's life.

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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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Monday, July 30, 2007

Prelude to Beautiful Seed Concert - part 1

July 30th 2007, 10.30 p.m (Singapore time)

It's a beautiful night and I'm sitting at the hotel's
lounge looking out at the Singapore night sky, overlooking
the Esplanade, the gleaming water, the floating stage being
readied for the upcoming National Day celebrations.
In the distance, I can see the water pouring out from the
Merlion's mouth into the Singapore river.

We just had a production meeting in the afternoon with the NUS Centre For
the Arts production staff and laid out the song list,
fine-tuned the plans for lighting and sound, and I finalised
the choice of a grand piano. I had used the Steinway and Sons
grand piano the last time that I had played in the UCC hall,
during the February 2006 arts festival, but somehow, this time
around, the 7ft Yamaha grand seemed to be more suited to my mood.
So I'm choosing to use it for the concert instead.

The weather has been surprisingly cool in Singapore.
Not much hot sunshine. Just muted brightness and lots
of fluffy, thick clouds overhead.

I've switched over from my daily dose of Darjeeling Tea
at Peets Coffee and Tea, to my daily dose of teh at the
neighbourhood Yakun Tea shop. All in keeping with switching
my time zone 16 hours ahead.

It's funny how it's always easier for me to snap out
of jet-lag coming from Los Angeles into Singapore
rather than the other way around.

We'll be having a rehearsal with the string ensemble tomorrow.
Looking forward to it.

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Update on recording of Beautiful Seed [Wednesday 6th June 2007 - 20th July 2007]

[Wednesday, 6th June 2007, 12.10 p.m]

Been feeling kinda stressed these few days.
There's so much to get done. We've got the
string session which I'm looking forward to.
Got to earn my stripes as a producer.

Also got to settle the cd cover design with the pics, practice
vocals etc. It' all a good kind of busy, but it's
so easy to feel overwhelmed and I just need to remind
myself to breathe and to take it one step at a time,
to surrender it all into His arms and to focus on the real
reason for all this...

[Friday, 8th June 2007,1.45 p.m]

We had the string session at Westlake Audio yesterday
from 2-6 p.m. It was a good session and we tracked
strings for Beautiful Seed, Shelter, 5 Loaves and 2 Fishes,
Scars and On My Way.

Kavin conducting the strings

The players were great and Nicole was funny and cool
to work with as usual :)
Adrienne and Chris were there too. Afterwards,
we all hung out at Formosa Cafe to relax and to
celebrate Adrienne's 29th Birthday over Margaritas,
Ribs, Chicken Shumai, Wasabi Fries and buttermilk
battered Calamari.

Richard did a great job with the engineering on the
session too. Quick, efficient and knowledgeable.

Kavin and Richard and I at Westlake Audio

Now I'm brainstorming over CD cover design angles.
Have to make a decision soon...

[10th June Sunday 2007, 1.30 p.m]

So far we've recorded vocals for 'City of Angels'
& 'On The Side of Me'. 2 songs done,...many more to go...

taking a break for recording to smile for the camera

------------------------------------------- do they walk around with that constant clockwork
motion of their heads and still be able to spot the tiniest crumb
on the ground? Working for every crumb that they eat
and yet God clothes them in majestic plummage, and lets
them take off, glorious in flight, swooping way up
high in a way we humans can't. How amazing the gifts
given to each creature.


My soul has been feeling so restless lately.
Don't know why, but it just feels that there are
a lot of things to take care of and Time seems
to be slipping out of my grip...


[Saturday, 16th June 2007, 3.10 pm]

It's been a busy week of recording.,
Mostly piano recording, although we had Mark Punch
come into the studio on Tuesday and Wednesday
to record the guitar tracks for 'Beautiful Seed',
'Shelter', 'Green-Eyed Monster' and 'Leaving'.

Mark and Kavin working on guitar parts

It's been lovely to have this gorgeous Yamaha
C6 sitting in our living room. We rented it
to record the piano for this record and it's
been working out great. The cats are still a little
spooked by this big piano sitting in the middle
of the house. Ah...the piano sounds so warm.
I wish we could keep it beyond this recording

The movers did a good job of getting the piano into
the house. It was a little scary to hear the wooden
floors creaking and cracking under the weight
of the 6 ft grand piano as they rolled it into place,
but now that it's sitting in the living room,
it looks gorgeous and sounds beautiful....sigh :)

Too bad it costs so much to buy something like this...

We've also finished recording the piano parts for the piano-vocal
songs 'Love Song For #1', 'My Little Nephew' and '33'.

Kavin left me to record the piano in solitude
while he went to the gym. It proved to be a good thing.
It's so much easier to get into the mood of the songs,
and to put in the feel of the songs when I'm just
sitting there, by myself with the piano, free to
express all the nuances of the song, with no one watching.
Just me, the piano, and the song...

It proved to be a fruitful recording session.

I've also been brainstorming over what to do for the pics
of the album cover. I've decided to work with Metaleap Design
for the design of the cd. I love what they've done with their
design for Paste Magazine and I think they'll do a good
job with the album. Hopefully, it'll all work out
for the best.

[18th June 2007, 5.20 p.m]

Took pics with the grand piano in our living room
yesterday. Turned out some nice photos from the
photoshoot; especially the ones with the dress and the pink
Timberland boots. Those are cute.

Still have my mind wrapped around the ideas, ie. what to
do with the CD cover visual. Since the music has a message,
the visuals should be thought-provoking too.
I mean, Kavin's right. Those pics of me in a black dress
with pink shoes might make good publicity shots, but what
will it say about 'Beautiful Seed'? I guess we need
something else for the cover...

[Wednesday, 20th June 2007, 2 p.m]

Can't believe it's already 3/4 of the way into June.
A cute thing happened just now. I had just finished
lunch at Nippon Ramen and was stepping back in the car.
I turned on the radio and 'Angel in Disguise' started playing
because Thom Price was playing it on Catholic Jukebox
on EWTN. It took me a moment to recognise that it was my song :)
Thank you Lord, for the little 'winks' of surprises that you send
my way.


So the piano got moved out of the house yesterday afternoon
after a lovely 3 weeks in our living room. Now there's a
big space there to swirl cats around the floor, but it's
a little sad not to have the piano there to play with.

It feels like we just said goodbye to a good friend.
and now we have a hole in our hearts where the piano used to be...

So, we're going to record vocals for 'Beautiful Seed' today
and possibly 'Shelter'.


Pamela Springsteen just called and she's open
to doing a photoshoot for me. That's great.
I love the way she captures the essence of hands
in her opening page on her website and I love the work
she's done especially with the Randy Newman album.
It sounds like she might have some
good ideas on what to do with the piano
and she's got a Steinway baby grand in her home.

O.k, so the photoshoot is set for Friday morning
at 11 a.m and I'm getting my hair done at 8.15 a.m
Sounds like a plan.


Went to Helik's place, ie. market street studios
last night to check out the mix for 'On The Side of Me'.
We ended up only finishing up the mix at 11 p.m and by
the time we had dinner at Canter's Kibbitz, it was about 11.30 p.m
I was so hungry by then. Had corned beef and cabbage and potato
pancake, matzo ball soup and strawberry ice-cream.

Playing with Gibson at Market Street Studios

Kavin and Helik tweaking the mix at Market Street Studios

Anyway, we've got 3 more songs to sing vocals on.
'Slow Down', 'Love Song for #1' and 'On My Way'.
Got to sing 2 today.

I'm going to see Metaleap Design's concepts for
the album design next tuesday as well.
Let's see what they turn out. Hopefully it'll be nice.

[Friday, 29th June 2007 5.35 p.m]

I just had a photoshoot with Pamela Springsteen.
She's a sweetheart and I had a good time. She was definitely
great to work with and I think we've got some nice shots
we could use to layout the artwork for the CD.

Now I'm just winding down with a cup of First Flush
Darjeeling Tea at Peets. I'm glad that all the main vocals
are tracked. Thank God. Now we just have to track
the background vocals.

[Sunday, 1st July 2007]

Leaving tonight for Singapore. Not looking
forward to the long flight...

[Tuesday, 3rd July 2007]

Mummy and Papa picked me up from Changi airport
this morning at around 6 a.m and then
we headed to Holland Village for breakfast.
We also bumped into Vivienne, Campbell and Rowan
who were having breakfast at Crystal Jade.
What a coincidence :) The last time I was back
in Singapore, I bumped into them too on the day
that I got back into Singapore.

[Thursday, 5th July 2007]

The NUS Alumni Awards was held today at The Regent
Hotel. Guest of honour was President Nathan who was awarded
the Eminent Alumni Award.

The sound check was at 4.30 p.m. The sound check went well
and it was great to see Alan, Eugene and Daniel working the
sound board again and they did a good job.

Papa, Mummy, Mama and Popo went to the awards with me.
Seated at the same table as myself was Viswa, who worked
in the television media, Woon, an accountant at Ernst and

(continued in separate account on the NUS Alumni Awards)

[Monday, 9th July 2007]

Sitting on the plane from Singapore, heading back
to Los Angeles. Feeling tired, sleepy and actually
quite stressed over the CD cover. Should I use that
flower concept, or just a black and white photo with
pink wordings, or the hand pic with the seed?

After landing at LAX, we went straight to Santa Monica
to check out Helik's mix on 'Scars' at Market Street
Studios. It sounds good. Warm, organic. Hopefully
it won't lose much of its warmth come mastering time.

We got done only at 9.45 p.m by which time I was
hungry. We had a good ramen dinner at Chabuya, with
yummy miso chashu ramen and that got my spirits up

[11th July 2007, Wednesday, 7.25 p.m]

Just taking a breather at Peets now.
This whole crazy scheduling, to finish up
the cd on time, mixed in with a good measure
of jet-lag, has me sleeping at 7 a.m and getting
up at 3, I'm least
I'm almost done taking care of the cd project.

At the end of this, I just want to go for a swim
or something, maybe take a hike or bike and de-stress..
take a drive to Valyermo and stay for one night.

Ah...the first flush Darjeeling Tea tastes so good
today and I'm glad that Peets is having it's
extended summer hours...

Have to do vocal warm-ups afterwards. Also need
to scan lyrics for the cd artwork. Oopps...put
too much milk to the tea...but it still tastes
pretty good.

Lord, help me to remember that even in these times,
in fact more so in these times...when it feels like
I've drifted away from you, when there are so many things
to take care of, you are ever closer by my side.

Help me to lift my hands off the steering wheel
for just a little while and let you take over.
Help me remember Lord, that you, the creator and
maker of all, you are in control, that there
is a master plan, and no matter how far I stray...
I will always be in the palm of your hand.
You hold my heart in your hand.

[Thursday, 12th July 2007, 5.35 p.m]

Feeling more rested today. Thank goodness
for eye-shades and ear-plugs. I'm also
done with getting the liner notes and lyrics
to Metaleap Design.

Bob is coming over later to work on the mix
for 'Shelter' later at 6 p.m
It's all sounding good and everything is coming

[ Friday, July 20th 2007, Friday, 5.35 p.m]

So we've been working really hard over the
past week. Thank God everything got done in time.
The mastered cd sounds great and I finally got the artwork

Gene Grimaldi, mastering the album at Oasis Mastering

Kavin and Gene at Oasis Mastering

Now, I just have a couple of interviews I need
to get done, then comes the preparation for our
concert on August the 3rd.

Can't believe we're flying back to Singapore
in a week.

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Trip back to Singapore to receive the NUS Young Alumni Award [3rd July 2007 - 9th July 2007]

I can't believe how many times I've made
the long flight to Singapore from Los Angeles
this year...

Well, thank goodness for the non-stop flight
on Singapore Airlines from L.A to Singapore.
It definitely makes the long flight more

This time around, I flew back to receive
an award from my alma mater, the National
University of Singapore, an award for
being a 'Outstanding Young Alumni'.

According to the programme booklet that
was given to all attendees, "The Outstanding
Young Alumni Award recognises the achievements
and contributions of young alumni, aged 40
and below, who have distinguished themselves
nationally or internationally for their excellent
and sustained contributions and achievements
in their chosen fields, exemplified the best
attributes of youth in today's world, and rendered
excellent and sustained service to NUS or its
alumni community."

It is heartwarming to know that my alma
mater is proud of me for my contributions
in music :)

The awards dinner was held at the
Regent Hotel in Singapore and President
Nathan was the guest of honour and also
the recipient of the Eminent Alumni

I went to the event with my parents and
my two grandmothers. I believe Popo
and Mama were among the two most senior
guests there that evening, and it was
lovely to see them enjoy themselves.

Especially Mama, who was ecstatic to be
able to take a photograph with Singapore's
President Nathan.

we shared the table with Woon, an accountant
from Ernst and Young and also Viswa, who
is a veteran in the news media and who I remember
hosting the tv programme 'Feedback' some time

The dinner was delicious and I had the
'Steamed Cod Fillet with Yam, Golden Mushrooms,
Pumpkin and Chive Sauce'.

The moment soon came to receive the award
and I was proud to be able to receive it
with my fellow award recipients and especially
glad to meet up again with fellow award
recipient Ms. Eunice Olsen. The first
time we had met was when we were both
having teochew porridge at a HDB estate
and my mother had introduced us to each
other. It was a casual and yet delightfully
spur-of-the-moment meeting and it was nice
to be able to formally meet again in
the context of the alumni awards.

The other person I recognised who was also receiving
a young alumni award as well was Dr. Benedict
Tan. I remember seeing his picture in the papers
for he represented Singapore in numerous
international sailing regattas and had done Singapore

Parents and I

My performance for the evening was scheduled
as the last item during the event and as the theme
for the evening was 'recognising excellence', I
decided to sing "Little Superhero Girl" and
"Beautiful Seed" and I was happy that both songs
were well received.

It was also great to know that Alan, Eugene
and Daniel were working the soundboard for the evening.
They had helped with the sound for the February 2006
'Strings and Serenades' concert that I had at
the NUS, so it was nice to work with them again.

At the end of the evening, all the awardees
posed for a group photo and exchanged greetings
with each other. It was altogether a very
warm and fulfilling event.

3 generations of women in my family.

I was glad also to be in Singapore around that time for
my friend, Adrian Song's wedding.

It was great also
to be reunited, albeit briefly, with some of the members
of our former RJC chorale, PUNCH acapella group.

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Trip to Singapore to receive the COMPASS Young Composer of the Year and the Wings of Excellence Award [18th May - 24th May 2007]

Photo courtesy of The Straits Times. Copyrighted material.

Papa and Mummy picked me up from Changi on Friday,
the 18th of May at 6 a.m and since it was too early
for breakfast,we went for morning mass at St. Iggies.
That was nice. I looked at the Tabernacle and felt
awed that the God that made those twinkling stars
that I'd seen from 30,000 feet up outside my plane window,
was willing to humble himself to be present in that little
golden box.

One of the highlights of the flight was just looking out
the window and seeing the stars many stars
with the cloudy milky way curving around the background;
and just to think, that He made it all, perhaps, I'd like to
think, just so I could look out the plane window that night
and enjoy the beauty of the constellations.

I had a good week in Singapore.

The COMPASS music awards was held on Sunday, the
20th of May. The soundcheck was scheduled for 1 p.m
and it went well. The piano was set up below the main stage
and the microphone they gave me was the Shure Beta 87A.

The event was scheduled to start in the evening around 7 p.m
and Papa, Mummy and I got to the venue at 6.30 p.m

We shared a table with the members of the band Electrico
and it was nice to meet up again with Desmond, Amanda,
and William. The last time I had seen them was when
I went to support their gig in Los Angeles. Marcia,
Electrico's manager was also there and it was lovely
to catch up with her too. It's such a small world.
When we met in Los Angeles, we realised that we
were both from RGS, and just a year apart in age.

Danny Yeo was hosting the event and it was great
to catch up with him too.

It was also great to see Iskandar Ismail and his wife
again and I also met with a friend I hadn't seen
in 16 years, Corey Nonis.

[Corey and I chatted and said we'd meet up
the next time I was back in Singapore.
I was shocked when I received the news just a week
after we met, that he had passed away from kidney
failure. How sudden the hand, the swift hand of death.
Now I wish I had put aside some time to meet up with
him while I was still in Singapore.
It definitely drives home the realisation that
we should not put off anything we plan to do today,
for tomorrow might not arrive in the way we expect it to.]

The rest of the evening went well, although the event
stretched to pretty late into the night.

It felt good to be affirmed by my music peers in Singapore
and it was great to receive the awards for 'Young Composer
of the Year' and the 'Wings of Excellence' award, an award
given to recognise the musical contributions of the award-recipient
to the regional music scene. I was glad that Papa and Mummy
were there to share my joy and Papa was so sweet when
he mentioned later that my awards were the best birthday
present I could have given him. *grin* (his birthday was the day
after the award ceremony)

I performed two songs as the last performer of the
evening and sang 'Journey' and 'Beautiful Seed'.
It went well and I was glad.

The rest of the week was spent catching up with friends.
I also had another appointment to do a post-ablation
check up with Dr. Teo and I did a threadmill test
to make sure my heart was back on track.

It's funny how taking a threadmill test makes
one feel like a hamster on a wheel. There was
a poster of some painting of a scenic forest image on the
wall in front of the threadmill, giving me something
to focus on as the speed of the threadmill got
faster and faster. It was funny also to see that
there were padded cushions positioned on the wall
behind the threadmill. I guess some unfortunate
soul had lost his footing and fallen off and hit
the wall behind the threadmill and so the cushions
were placed there as a precaution.

I managed to get up to 100% of my maximum heart rate
and so that was good that I passed the test
and that my heart tested out o.k.
Definitely helps with giving me a greater peace
of mind.

The next day, I had a photo-shoot and interview
with Vanilla Magazine, a new magazine for Singapore
women in their 30's and Sandy came over to the house
in the morning to help with my hair and make-up.

We then went over to Holland Village, to Bunalun
where I also met with Vivienne and her son Rowan.
They were also going to be featured in the photos.
It's hard to smile and laugh on cue. The photographer
wanted photos of Vivienne and I chatting and laughing
as we usually do when we meet up. We ended
up coming up with a word to help us smile! Everytime
the photographer got ready to snap our photo, we would
both say, "Spicy!" instead of "Cheesy", which is
probably how we felt...

But altogether, we had fun and it was lovely to
meet up with everyone and also to take photos
with Vivienne and Rowan. I can't wait to see
how the photos turn out.

I flew back to L.A on the 24th of May and
had jet-lag for about a week. Altogether
an eventful trip.

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