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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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A quiet Christmas

Kavin and I are spending a quiet Christmas
over here in Los Angeles,CA

It's been a busy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day,
I played the piano in Church for Midnight Mass,
which only ended around 1.40 a.m in the morning.
I walked out to my car after that, and discovered that
the car battery was dead because I had inadvertently
left my lights on.

Thank goodness, Kavin was able to drive the VW
to jumpstart the dead battery. The winds were pretty
chilly and blustery too. Thank goodness for coats
and gloves...
By the time we got home, it was close to 3 a.m in the morning.
and then I had to wake up for the 8 a.m morning
Christmas Day mass to play for the morning masses.

I got back home and spent most of the early afternoon
taking a much needed nap. Got up for a home-cooked meal.
Kavin had cooked some stewed pork and carrots and
fried rice with egg and scallions and it was yummy.

The cats have gotten fed their favourite 'Chicken Feast'
canned food, so they're happy. I'm seriously tempted
to stick some plastic reindeer antlers over their
heads for fun :)

I called Mummy and Papa last night to wish them a Merry
Christmas. They had had a lunch gathering on Christmas
Day for both the Foo and Chua sides of the family
and about 60 people had gathered for the occasion.
I wish I could have been there, but at least I got back to Singapore
six times this year, so the homesickness is not too bad.

I'll probably spend the rest of the remaining hours
of Christmas having a quiet, reflective time...
it would have been nice to have some time with the blessed sacrament,
but I suppose playing for 4 Christmas masses will have to do :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Performance at Peets Coffee and Tea in Tarzana, CA

It was a lovely evening at the Peets Tea and Coffee in Tarzana,CA
I had written most of the songs on the album 'Beautiful Seed'
whilst sipping a cup of Darjeeling tea at Peets, so it seemed fitting
that I'd be singing the very songs I wrote at the place where
they had their creative birth :) Thanks to David, the store
manager for inviting me to sing :)

Ann and her aid Toni were already there, waiting for Kavin and I to arrive.
They had taken the bus from North Hills,CA and Ann was wearing a
little trinket that had frosty the snowman blinking from a necklace
and Toni had a similar one with Santa Claus. That was super cute to
see :)

We also met Steve and Glenn whose friend Gary had told them to
come and hear me sing :)

It was also great to see Phil again, who was there with his
girlfriend Audrey and his father. We had last met in Chicago,
so I was surprised to see him in L.A. Just so happens he's back
to visit family for the hols. He's still got about 2 more
years to go in his medical studies Madison, Wisconsin.

Also present were Angeline and her friend. She was visiting
L.A from Singapore and they would be heading to Vegas for a side
trip before she returned to Singapore. It was nice to hear
the familiar Singapore accent again :)

Lan, a lady of Vietnamese descent who lives in Germany
and her friend from Korea were also present.

Duc from church was there too with his daughters Vivian and Alisha,
so it was fun to sing 'Little Superhero Girl' for them :)

Eddie who used to be part of the Peets team in Tarzana,
and his brother Eric were there. I hadn't seen
Eddie in a couple of months, so it was great to see
him again and I'm glad that he managed to catch the show.

Beau and his girlfriend Dana were there and I was pleasantly
surprised to know that we shared a common friend, ie.
Jonathan Bowerman who happened to be their tai-chi teacher's

I also met Larry Kent who interestingly enough
used to sing with The Carpenters! wow.... that's
amazing to meet someone who used to tour with them.
It's such a small world.

Alana who usually works behind the counter at Peets
was there too and I thanked her for coming :)

And it was great to chat with Jack too. Hadn't seen
him in a while. He looked nice and festive in a red
jump-suit. Always nice to catch a familiar face :)

Altogether I had such a fun time singing tonight.
I also sang some Christmas carols, and almost forgot
the words to the Birthday Song (and had to look
at my lyrics! embarrasing) but the
audience was sweet enough to let me start the song over
and it was good to wish Eddie and Lan 'Happy Birthday' with the song.
Surprisingly enough, they both shared the same
birthday, ie. December the 20th! And they had just
met tonight :) Talk about coincidence.

It was good also to test out my new sound system.
I really enjoyed using it. I'd just bought it
a few weeks ago and it's working out pretty well. Yay :)
Kavin was also really sweet to help out with the setting
up and disassembly of the sound system, and with taking
pictures and video. So glad he was there to help :)

After my set, Mark Fossom, a guitarist-singer
did a lovely set. His guitar sounds so clean and pure
when he plays it. I'm going to check out his myspace page.

Kavin and I had dinner at Nippon Ramen later
with Olivia and Grace. Yummy Negi Ramen and
Curry Rice. yum.

Song-list : not in order

Angel in Disguise
In The Bleak Midwinter
Hark The Herald Angels Sing
Little Superhero Girl
Fly Away
Close to You
Mr. Beasley
The Birthday Song
Safe in A Crazy World
Five Loaves and Two Fishes
City of Angels
Shelter (Cherry Blossom Edition)

Babysitting for my nephews, Dylan and Ryan.

Uncle Kavin and Dylan

Uncle Kavin and Aunty Corrinne with Dylan and Ryan

Kavin's parents with their grandsons

Babysitting -

Kavin and I have spent the past week up in Northern California,
helping his sister to babysit her two-year-old
son Dylan and her almost 3 month old infant, Ryan, in the interim period as she looks for a nanny.

I've discovered that taking care of a kid requires patience,
a good amount of humour, and a willingness to view the world
through the kids eyes.

Everything becomes a kind of game, even the feeding
becomes a challenging creative exercise
"see! here comes a tiny tree! (read : broccoli floret)
See if you can eat the flying saucer! Eat this last
mouthful and you can have a tangerine!"

Kids have an innate fascination with the world.
Talk about repetition! The same game will yield
hours of fun way after the adults get tired of playing
the same game over and over again :)

And for such a tiny person, you cannot imagine
that their poop would stink so bad!

Ryan has begun to be responsive
to our conversations with him and loves to laugh
at the way I say 'Broccoli!' at him. Fascinating.

In this season of Christmas, it makes me reflect
about how much humility and trust the Lord Jesus
must have had in accepting the Father's will
to being born helpless, totally dependent,
as a human baby.

Friday, December 21, 2007

An Advent Reflection - A Gift For Jesus

The nights have been getting colder
and colder over here in California
and the days and moments of light have been getting shorter.

And yet, I find a lovely reflectiveness
in this season, this Winter season,

Nature is a great teacher and I love
listening to her sharing lessons about life
and death and rebirth, especially at this
winter season, where the trees take on the
barrenness of apparent death.

Indeed, life is a journey in discovering hidden truths.

I've always found it a blessing that stars shine
their brightest in the darkest nights.
And so it is, with our lives, oftentimes,
the darkest moments, the moments of despair,
the moments of feeling lost and confused,
can often be moments of grace, moments of intense
illumination where we re-discover ourselves, our goals,
our inspirations and the purpose for which we truly live.

It must have been a very dark night when
the brightest star shone for the 3 Magi, who
went in search of the infant King Jesus.
They must have been filled with thoughts of doubt
and despair, and yet hope must have warmed
their hearts as they travelled
all those nights in the barren desert,
eyes, turned heavenwards towards the star that
pointed the way to the infant Jesus.

They brought gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh,
but most importantly, they brought the gift
of themselves, and offered it to the infant Jesus.

Jesus says in John 17:24
"Father, they are your gift to me."

We are God the Father's gifts to Jesus.

Wow....I find that amazing. Especially when I think of the moments
when I've been weak, fragile, proud, hurt, selfish...
not the best type of gift at all.

Yet, we are Jesus's christmas presents.
The gift of ourselves, of our time, of our talents, of our being.
What type of gifts do we want to be?
What type of gifts are we to our families, to our friends?
What can we present to the infant Jesus when we reach the end
of this journey under the stars?

postscript :
[Indeed, in every mass that is celebrated in church,
the priest says in the Eucharistic prayer, "And so Father we bring you these gifts, we ask you to make them holy by the power of your spirit, that they may become the body and blood of your son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose command we celebrate this eucharist."

I never thought about it before, but we truly are bringing the gifts of ourselves to the Lord, and asking the Father to transform us into the mystical body of Christ. "so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another" (Romans 12:5)]

new ways of journeying

This is the full, un-edited version of the piece
on 'Globalisation' titled 'World Piece' that I wrote for the Vanilla
Magazine in Nov. 2007.

"With a single life
I will not learn enough.

With the light of other lives,
many lives will live in my song." – Pablo Neruda

I was sitting at my usual table in the coffeehouse in Los Angeles the other day, when a couple, with their two young kids in tow and their grandparents, walked in. They all sat around, enjoying the afternoon, chatting in an Eastern European language I couldn’t understand as they drank tea and the grandparents smiled at their grandkids… and I thought about my own family, about my brother and sister-in-law and how, far away in Singapore, my own family was probably sitting somewhere having a meal together, enacting this same scene. And I didn’t need to understand the language to feel a kinship with this Eastern European family.

The more I see the world, the more I appreciate the things that bind us, beyond the superficial differences, beyond the lines drawn along the maps,
beyond the immigration questionnaires that are more keen to seek out differences and focus on the walls that separate us.

Strip away the accents, the differences in clothing, the demarcations, the lines, and one finds that we're not all that different after all.

One of my closest friends in L.A, Ann, is a 57 year old Caucasian woman who was born in the Midwest of the US. She is an American who has lived in Los Angeles for almost 30 years and due to unfortunate circumstances, is now wheelchair-bound and living on government support, in a one-bedroom apartment. I never thought we’d end up being good friends. After all, on first glance, it would seem that we don’t have much in common. But we were both in the church choir and so took the chance to start up a conversation, and over the course of many conversations about faith and about music, we became friends.

As a result of our friendship, I’ve learned to see the a different world through her eyes- The world of the handicapped. I see how tough it is for her to navigate the uneven sidewalks outside her house and the hazards she faces in contending with cars along the road that she travels in her motorized wheelchair. She’s been in and out of hospitals this past year, suffering one stroke after another, and yet every single time, she has rebound and pulled her life back together. I admire her for her strength and tenacity in life. She has shown immense courage in the face of almost insurmountable odds and she is a fighter.

Another friend I hold dear, Joe, lives out of his car. I used to notice Joe because he would sit in the middle of church, by himself, wearing crumpled clothes and sporting big bunches of cotton wool stuffed into his ears. (Later I found out it was because he thought the speakers in the church were too loud). He’d also have stacks of old newspaper stuffed in his car. But what really got me intrigued was the hand-painted pro-life message he had on his car bumper. It was a illustration of a foetus with the words ‘Let the little stinker live.’

Then one day, Joe, comes up to me after Mass. “I really enjoyed your piano playing at mass. You should sing more too.” And from that point on, I would greet him with a wave whenever I saw him at mass, and he would wave back, and over the course of the next year, we built up a friendship over the bits and snippets of conversation we had after mass. I found out that Joe, in his own-way, was an anti-abortion activist. He would hand-make his own flyers and stand outside abortion clinics in protest every Sunday from 7.30 in the morning to 2 p.m. Quiet in his own way, lacking the resources to even have a proper home, he nonetheless, had found a worthwhile cause to be passionate about, and I loved the fact that he had shared that world with me.

I guess the only real rule for living in a increasingly global world is the willingness to step into another’s shoes, to see the world through their eyes. It doesn’t even have to be a geographical border that separates us. Sometimes, a new world is just within our neighbourhoods. We just have to look and be willing to go on a different kind of journey.

November 10th 2007 - reflections...while sitting at Starbucks in Santa Monica,CA

Saturday, 10th November 2007, 9.15 p.m

A table opened up here at the Starbucks on 3rd Street,
in Santa Monica, so I figured I'd sit down and write.
Outside, people are streaming past, the tide of life washing by.
The homeless, with their heavy clothing and trollies of blankets
and plastic bags, pass by, mostly unnoticed
as girlfriends and boyfriends stroll by under the newly-strung
Christmas season lights.

The usual guitar duo playing a form of flamenco guitar is here
too as usual, blasting their melodic rhythms into the chilly
night air. I walk by, trying to blend seamlessly into the crowds,
like a shadow... and as I pass the streets, shoes, winter clothing,
all staring out of shop windows, cajoling people to part with their
cash, to either get new clothes, or put a tip into the plastic
bucket of a street performer, or the outstretched grimy palm
of a homeless man.

The homeless sit on the grilled metal benches, covered in blankets,
talking to their guardian angel who shivers along right with them.
The black man cajoling people to dance along to his boom-box music
is out here tonight as well as are the breakdancers,
and the homeless white man in a puffy-purple windbreaker holding up
a cardboard sign, chastising people in a fit of religious fervour.
As I sit here, I wonder about the story of the lady sitting at the table
next to me, dressed in a marshmallow black windbreaker, dragging a
suitcase, a perpetual traveller on life's journey.

We all carry suitcases...just that ours are not as visible.
Some of us hide our luggage and baggage in our hearts, under
our baseball caps, behind our smiles, or hidden behind sunglasses.
Aren't we all homeless in a sense? We're all here in exile till we
see His sweet face.

November 7th 2007 - Singing at the Thomas Newman Center in Columbus, OH

Erica and the rest of the students who helped me that day with the concert.
Wednesday 7th November 2007 - Singing at the Thomas Newman Center in Columbus, OH

It's been an intense day. So, I was scheduled
to sing and talk to the students at the St. Thomas
More Newman Center at Ohio State University about creativity,
faith and share about how these influence my music.
The talk and performance was scheduled for Wednesday, the 7th
of November at 7.30 p.m in the evening.

I figured I'd catch the direct flight on Skybus at 9 a.m
in the morning from Burbank airport, get into Columbus, OH
at 4.20 p.m and have enough time to get ready for the performance,
and be set to sing.

Little did I know my plans would be tossed out the window.

I reached Burbank airport at 8.05 a.m, and went through security
twice because the first time around, my shampoo and conditioner
bottles were deemed too large to bring on-board and so
I had to purchase TSA-approved bottles ($7.99 at the airport
store for a few flimsy bottles! ouch) for the toiletries and go
around through security again.

Thankfully, I got through security with no problems the second
time around and made it to the boarding gate with time to spare.
All the passengers were milling around the boarding gate and by
8.57 a.m, everyone started wondering why nobody from the
airline had boarded us yet for the 9 a.m flight.

Finally at 9.10 a.m, the captain made an annoucement saying that
one of the crew members was incapacitated and thus they only
had 2 out of the 3 federally-required crew members needed for the
flight. Hence, they were going to look for another crew member.
In the meantime, the captain told everyone to take a 20-minute
break and that we would board the plane as soon as they resolved
the crew-member issue.

I walked to the hamburger stand and got myself a nice hamburger
so that I would have something to eat on the plane since
it would be a 4 hour flight and there would be no food served

Finally at 9.30 a.m, the captain made an annoucement that
the flight was CANCELLED because they could not get another
crew member for the flight. "This the first and last time I'm ever
going to fly Skybus!" I thought to myself, wishing I'd flown out
the day before instead of the day of.

Oh no....I thought, there goes the performance, there is
no way, I'd be able to get a last-minute flight out
to reach Columbus, OH on time for tonight's performance.
I called Tom, the student campus minister to tell him
the unfortunate news, but also told him I'd be trying to get
another flight out.

Next, I called Kavin and asked him to check online to see
if there was any other flight available. I was not too hopeful
about my chances though and started thinking to myself that
there was no way I could possibly make it to Ohio on time.

At 9.40 a.m, Kavin called back. "There's a flight leaving
on Southwest Air 1776/991 at 10 a.m. It will get you in
to Ohio at 7 p.m. It's the only one available. You'd better get
moving." (it felt like a Charlie's Angels moment)

I ran to the Southwest Air counter, reached the counter
at 9.43 a.m and told the ticketing agent my predicament.
She said "You're looking for a miracle." But she managed
to get me a stand-by ticket at $379 (ouch, one-way!)
and told me to hurry to the gate. It was still not guaranteed
that I would get on the flight. Only if someone didn't show up
for the flight would I get on the flight.

It was a blessing that I didn't have any baggage to check-in,
that there was not much of a line at the security-counter.
I ran to the boarding gate and told the staff there I had
a standby ticket and asked if I could get on the flight.
'Yes, there are seats available.'. YEs! I messaged Tom
at Ohio and told him I'd be there at 7 p.m, so that he'd
be ready at the airport to pick me up.

Got on the plane. Stopped-over at Vegas for an hour, where
I took the time there to change and put on make-up because I knew that
once I reached Ohio, I'd basically be hitting the ground running
to make it to the gig on time.

Thankfully, I got to Columbus, OH on time and TOm was there
to pick me up. We got to the Newman Center by 7.35 p.m
and by 7.45 p.m, I was sitting at the piano,singing for the students.
I got my miracle.


So here I am, sitting in the guest room of the Paulist Father's house.
It's a comfortable room, simple, with everything I need. I'm thinking
back to tonight's performance.

It's the first time I've been asked to talk about how
my faith has influenced my creativity and my music,
and to sing my songs too. It was lovely to see the faces
of people getting the points of what I was trying to convey,
It was lovely to see Erica's smiling face, to see Fr. Larry
Rice smiling and nodding along to what I said. It was also
nice to see some fans from Indonesia there, including Hendry
who had emailed me about 'Close to You' sometime back.
Janelle and Robert had driven 3 hours to be there, and Dennis
Simpson and his wife had driven 100 miles to be there too.
It was so heartwarming to know that they had made the time
to be there.

The Simpsons and I

There were moments of real connection where I really felt
the joy of proclaiming Mary's help to me and the Lord's
hand in my life; then there were other moments I felt myself
stumble and fall into the water, like Peter, who doubted
and sank into the water he had previously been walking on.

I said what needed to be said, but a part of me wishes I could
have said more. But let me put my fears, my inhibitions, my disappointments,
my joy into the Lords' hands and offer it up to Him.
Let Him have the work of my hands, no matter how meager
I may imagine it to be.

After the performance, I spent some time chatting with
those who had come, and sold some cds and took some pictures.

By the end of the evening, it was close to 11 p.m and I was
starving. Fr. Larry was so sweet in helping to whip up
an omellete with chicken and tomato for my supper.

He is quite the cook. I also met his pet Ferret
Quark, named after the Star Trek character!

Altogether a wonderful day filled with many challenges
and blessings.

November 3rd 2007 - Songwriters-in-the-round with Kyler England and Andrea Stolpe at Genghis Cohen in LA

3rd November 2007, Sat. 12.40 p.m

Had a good gig last night with Andrea and Kyler
at Genghis Cohen. We started at 7.45 and ended
around 8.55 p.m. Sang about 5 songs each.
I sang Shelter, Scars, 5 loaves, Love song
and Slow Down. It was lovely to sing with
them and we sang a bit of background vocals
on each others' songs.
It felt like a nice sisterhood kind of thing, as
we were all singing about relationships and life,
like some musical Oprah show.

Kyler's voice still sounds amazing even though she says
her voice is hurting. Andrea sang 2 new songs and
her song about a couple growing old together was
really nice and got me a bit teary.

Lucy was there with her friend and there were
a couple from Singapore there, Adrian and his wife
Ping and their son Lucius.

I hung out with Andrea later at Canters.
It was so nice to talk with her, to swop stories
of frustration and hope in the music industry.

November 1st 2007 - My island - Flying from Singapore to LA

1st November 2007

Never realised how tiny Singapore is till just now...
Looking out the window as the plane climbed higher and higher,
my tiny island; I could see all of it from my vantage point in the sky,
the stacks of HDB blocks like coloured, stripped (?) birthday candles
on that dark green cake, slowly becoming mere toothpicks...
I could see Sentosa, Pulau Ubin and the whole outline of Singapore.
Merely a dot on the geographical map, it struck me that Singapore too,
seemingly small, is a beautiful seed that has blossomed on the global stage.
Yes, there is much to be grateful for, much to feel blessed and proud about...
how a tiny island, about the size of Manhattan, has made its existence
known on the world stage.
The plane then reached layers of fluffy clouds and here we are,
skimming the tops of frosty peaks, enroute our 15 1/2 hour flight to LA

October 30th 2007- 'Live The Dream' judging in Singapore and Mediacorp event

30th October 2007

I flew back to Singapore this past week to, among other things,
be a guest judge on final episode of the television show 'Live The Dream',
which is a talent show based on the concept of 'American Idol', but
with both band and solo categories.
The other judges were Ken Lim, Dick Lee and Eric Ng. It was quite a fun
experience, and it was good to catch up with all of them.

I also performed at a industry event for Mediacorp
at the One15 Marina on Sentosa.

The view from my hotel room at One15 Marina on Sentosa.

The performance went well
and it was good to have Wei Ming, Aloysius, Jit Min and Sharon
accompanying me as a string quartet. Hugo Boss was nice enough
to sponsor a black evening dress for the event. I sang
Love Song for #1, Beautiful Seed, Shelter and Angel in Disguise.

But the best part about being back in Singapore this time around
was that I got the chance to celebrate Jerome's 3rd birthday with my
family. We had a good meal at Ivin's Peranakan restaurant in
Thomson and also had a nice cake for him and Jerome had a great
time blowing out his three candles :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

October 26th 2007- Chin Mei Chin / Visiting the Columbarium / Botanic Gardens

26th October 2007

Sitting here at Chin Mei Chin in Katong. Can't believe
that this coffeehouse has been here for about 80 years!
All it sells are simple cakes, nice and buttery,
kaya on toast bread, cups of tea and coffee, half-boiled
eggs...yet just sitting here, on this old wooden
chair, smooth marble table top and tiled walls, it feels
like I'm reconnecting to the past, having tea and conversations
with the memory of people who have long passed on;
it hints of a simpler time, and there is the consolation
that this is a spot that time has not brushed aside,
unlike a lot of other buildings and establishments in
Singapore that seem to change ever so quickly.

CMC, as its popularly known, still has a very
loyal clientele. People come here from all parts of the island,
and the old man, his torso so bent that he looks like an inverted
'L', well, his voice is still resonant and strong as ever as
he echoes back the orders for kopi and teh.
Apparently, he is the son of the original owner who
first opened the shop in 1925.

I like hearing the familiar strains of Hainanese
wafting through this place. There's something
almost ancestral about it.

Outside, buses, cars and taxis drive past while
people walk by, going about their daily lives.

Earlier in the day, I strolled around the Botanic
Gardens and wandered a bit on the rainforest path.
I saw the nice huge Kapok tree, marked as a Heritage
tree. It had huge tree roots. How amazing that
it was probably a small sapling sometime ago when
it was first planted in 1933. Over time, it grew
into the huge tree that it is today. Majestic and strong.


Back at the Columbarium. It's nice to see Kong Kong's niche
again. Seeing the faces of those who have
gone before me, marked by the sign of faith. It somehow gives me
strength to re-focus, to keep my mind set on the fact that above
anything, love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind,
all your strength and love your neighbour as yourself.
What other things matter? In the face of death, life gains clarity,
and that is why I love sitting in the presence of souls who now know that truth,
who can see His face. His beautiful face. Wouldn't it be cool
to ride on our guardian angel's wings when we are called home;
for our guardian angels know the path to God.

October 1st 2007 Monday - Reflections on the Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church

October 1st 2007 Monday - Reflections on the Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church

"The Lord nurtured and taught her. He guarded her as the apple of his eye.
As the eagle spreads its wings to carry its young, he bore her on his shoulders.
The Lord alone was her leader." [based on Deuteronomy 32:10-12]

Just so happened that I went to morning mass just now
and it was the memorial to St. Therese of the child Jesus.
I don't think it was a coincidence that I got woken up in time
for mass. Funny thing was that I woke up because I thought someone
was calling my name 'Corrinne!' in a loud whisper.

After mass, I was praying the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament
and got to the 3rd decade of the Joyful Mysteries, ie.
the birth of Jesus, and I got to thinking about my fears
and frustrations that this gift that I've been given,
ie. this album of songs 'Beautiful Seed', might be hidden
in obscurity, that perhaps it would not see the light of day
the way I wished it to be, ie. widely heard here in the States...
maybe that may never happen and I do get frustrated wondering
why God would give me these songs, but yet not wish the songs
to be more widely known at this point in time.

Then again, I remembered that someone once reminded me that
God does not call us to be successful. He calls us to be faithful.

I wonder how Mary must have felt,
ie. this King, this God, born in a humble stable,
his birth, not known at all to the world, except for
a few select people, the shepherds, the wise men, the animals
in the stable, the angels singing from on high.

God chose to wait 30 years before He allowed His son to begin
His ministry. How did Mary feel about that? What was her response?
How can I learn from her? She must have had so much patience, faith
and trust in the Lord and in His plan for both her son and for herself.

The Lord must have had a lot of patience and trust and obedience
to His Father too. After all, He, who was found preaching
to the elders in the temple when he was boy, must have had
all the wisdom in the world to begin his ministry then, as a teenager.
But in obedience to His Father's will, he followed Mary and Joseph
back home and was obedient to them, till He began His ministry at
the ripe age of 30.

Oh Lord, help me to trust in your plans for me, help me to
let you lead the way and not run off somewhere on my own.
Grant me patience and faith and help me not to despair,
but to wait upon your commands.

What a beautiful image from this morning's readings
from Deuteronomy; for as you carried St. Therese upon
your shoulders, carry me upon yours O Lord, that I might
travel with you, and trust in where you choose to fly
and take me. Help me to rest under your wings and to watch
the beautiful view from the vantage point of your wings
as you fly me to where you wish me to be.
Help me to remember, Lord, that in my journeys, I am
never alone, for you are with me. Yes, even till the end
of time.

Sept 19th-21st 2007- Around the World - Stage 2 : Singapore to Montreal for the CAAS event at the ICAO in Montreal.

Sitting at the airport lounge in Frankfurt in transit while waiting to head on to New York. We've flown about 12 and a half hours from Singapore to get here.

The snack bar has cups of stick pretzels, peanuts, german beer with brands such as 'Bitburger', Krombacher, 'After 8' chocolates,Pepsi-Cola in glass bottles,
rolls with butter, Quint brand cream cheese, Langnese brand honey (or honig),
Hag instant coffee and juice in carafes sitting in the fridge.


Got to NY JFK on time at 12 p.m and thankfully, SIA had someone there to assist us in catching our flight to Montreal. We had been most worried about the transition flight from New York to Montreal, so it was a relief that everything went smoothly.

We got to Montreal around 3 p.m and Tony, the driver was there to greet us
and ferry us from the Montreal International Airport to the hotel
where we checked in, had a quick shower, changed, put on make-up and went straight to soundcheck.

Soundcheck took a little longer than expected, but by the time we ended at about 6 p.m, it was o.k. It was great to see Eric, Craig and Andrew again.
They had flown in from L.A to join us in Montreal for the performance.

By 7.15 p.m, we were all in the 'Green Room', which was one of the meeting
rooms in the building. All of us musicians were pretty hungry by then, so
it was good that the organisers sent a couple of platters of food for us
to have in the room. There was lobster, satay, crab, spring rolls, curry lamb....yum.

The food platter in the Green Room. Yummy.

Andrew and Craig at the Green Room before the show

There was a jazz trio from Montreal on before us, and by the time we played
our first set, it was 8.15 p.m. The first set went well. There were people
milling around, mostly delegates in suits, drinking wine, eating finger foods
and chatting. Swarms of women dressed in SIA sarong kebayas were helping
to serve the food. The stage background had the picture of the Esplanade and Marina Bay as a backdrop, so that was a nice touch of home, albeit thousands of miles away.

Our second set was at 9 p.m and it went well and all of us had
a great time performing.

The performance with the band in Montreal.

Group photos with the Ministers, delegates and organisers at the event in Montreal.

Eric Holden, Kavin Hoo, Corrinne May, Craig Macintyre and Andrew Doolittle after the show in Montreal.

The next morning, we caught a plane to Japan for the start of our
Japanese promotional tour in support of the release of the 'Beautiful Seed'
album. Whew.....

September 16th 2007 - Around the world - Stage One : L.A - Singapore (singing for the Rolls-Royce event, launch of the Phantom car.)

16th September 2007 - Around the world - Stage One : L.A - Singapore (singing for the Rolls-Royce event, launch of the Phantom car.)

On Sunday evening, Clinton gave us a lift to the airport at LAX.
The 17-hour flight landed us in Singapore at 5.30 a.m, Tuesday morning,
the 18th of September 2007.

We checked in to the hotel at 6.30 a.m and Kavin slept for an hour while I had a shower and then checked out the breakfast buffet. The buffet was pretty good and I had tomato salsa chicken with rosti potato, grilled eggplant, zucchini and some fresh fruit and tea.

Around 8.30 a.m, we met Papa and Mummy at Alexandra hawkers centre for
breakfast. I had the minced meat noodles and a good cup of teh, then headed home to practice for the performance I had the next day.

We had lunch at Ghim Moh and Kavin and I went shopping later with Vivienne and Rowan. Rowan got a little hungry, so we had an afternoon snack of Mos burgers.
After this, Kavin and I headed to Vivocity to pick up some shoes, some clothes and then had dinner at the Food republic. I had watercress pork rib soup and also a stewed meat noodle from the Formosa handmade noodle stall. It was quite good.
Kavin had fishball noodles and also chatted with the Aussie guy sitting at our table who was on the last leg of his world travel tour.

Then we headed back to the hotel for some much needed sleep.

The next day, we had lunch with Papa and Mummy, and after lunch Mummy helped me to iron my dress for the performance in the evening.
We got picked up after this and headed to Labrador Park where the event was to be held in the evening for the Rolls-Royce event.

The marketing lady Alexis was there to meet us. I did a soundcheck in my frumpy T-shirt and spectacles:) The piano was good and once the soundcheck was done,
it was time to get changed and put on make-up.

By the time of the performance, it was 9.10 p.m.
I sang 'On The Side of Me' and 'My Little Nephew' for the dinner banquet guests, then later on, sang 'Angel in Disguise' on the roof-top garden, accompanied by Kenn Chua on guitar.

Kenn Chua and I singing "Angel in Disguise"

The new Rolls-Royce Phantom. $1.6m will buy you one of these!

After signing some autographs and taking some pictures with the guests,
Kavin and I said our good-byes to the organisers and took a cab to the Changi Airport around 10 p.m as we had to catch the flight to New York that same evening,
so that we could get into Montreal on time to perform at the CAAS event on the 20th of September.

Thank goodness we got to the airport on time and a rep from CAAS was there to help smoothen the process of checking in.
The flight to Frankfurt on-route to New York was pretty smooth.
(although the AC on the plane was freezing!)

Sept. 15th 2007 - Beautiful Seed CD release show in Los Angeles / AADAP 14th Annual Benefit Show at the Aratani.

15th September 2007 - AADAP 14th Annual Benefit Show at the Aratani.

Well, I'm having my concert this evening at the Aratani Theatre
in Los Angeles. I'm headlining the 14th Annual Benefit show
for the Asian American Drug Abuse Program.
Should be fun although I've been feeling a little
more stressed through these past few days. Lord, help me to leave
this day, with all its burdens and joys in your hands.


So the concert at the Aratani went well. We got there for sound check
around 2 p.m. The sound guy was nice and he got the levels we needed
pretty quickly.

Trying out an 'artsy' pose at the piano during sound check

Kavin at sound check

Craig testing out the kit

Eric looking cool

Andrew at soundcheck

Adrianne and her 'dragon' cello

Eric, Andrew, Kavin, Natasha and I had dinner later at a Japanese
restaurant across the street from the Aratani. The food took
such a long time to come. Poor Andrew waited for his food for at
least half an hour before it came. Kavin and I had the char siew ramen,
which was pretty good. The pork was nice and succulent. Eric had spicy
tuna and california rolls and Ntasha had some hot veg. salad and spring
rolls. The food was good. The service was tardy though.

Next up came meetings with Lincoln (videographer) and Nat (photographer).
After this, I went about doing my make-up and got changed.

'On Ensemble', a taiko drums ensemble were the first act to perform.
Following this, the AADAP (Asian American Drug Abuse Program) had their
presentations and Pastor Ken was presented with an award in appreciation
of his years of helping with the AADAP.

The band and I went on stage at 8.30 p.m. We had a good show
and the audience really loved our performance of 'Little Superhero Girl' :)
I was glad that, having had the experience of singing at the 1600 Esplanade
Concert Hall, singing for a 800-seater theatre audience was not as nerve-wrecking.







After the concert, I walked out to the foyer to sign autographs for the 'Beautiful Seed' cd. It was lovely to see Willy, Olivia and Grace, and many other fans
who had come out to support the release of 'Beautiful Seed' at the concert.
Clinton, Regina and Joe helped to sell the cds; bless their hearts :)


I posted the rest of the photos of the evening here.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oct. 5th 2007 Genghis Cohen gig with Andrea Stolpe and Mike Shmidt


Thank goodness I got through my gig yesterday.
With a cold and all, I was feeling worried that my voice
would sound horrible, and that I would let down the people
who'd come to see me.
What was worse, I found out that a Music Connection reviewer was
going to be present to review our show and I feared that my cold
would cause the reviewer to give us a less than stellar review.

But thank goodness everything worked out o.k
The first few songs I sang were rough, but after sucking
on a lozenge, my throat felt better and it became a little
easier to sing and emote.

Quite a number of people came. Ryan from EBCLA and Talin, who'd
heard me on Pandora Radio, and some people from Singapore who
were in L.A for a holiday.

I was happy that Clinton and Darlene were there too. It was sweet
of them to come. I especially appreciated it because I was
feeling bad about being sick, and just knowing that there
were people supporting me, helped me out :)
And Kavin sweetly gave me a 'well done' hug. Awww....

We hung out later at Wokcano to have some sushi with Andrea, Jan,
Clinton and Darlene and Clinton mentioned that it took courage to put my weaknesses
out there for all to see. That affirmation from him truly gave me comfort.
Thank you Lord, for blessing me with friends who remind me
of your love and of your gifts to me.

Postscript : The music connection magazine review has been published and it's a lovely review. yay :)