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Friday, January 4, 2013


I am proud to be associated with Tze, a self taught pianist and award winning composer, whom I met during the premiere of "Hentak Kaki".. He sent me a newsletter over the new year which made me realise why artistes continue what they do and how they ought to keep their focus. Here is what he wrote:

2013 marks a new beginning for me. Not so long ago, I wanted to leave music completely, believing it was merely an act of self-indulgence, that it was self-serving and does little more than satisfy one's ego. Yes artists/musicians create to express themselves, but does it do the world around them any good? There are people who help to make the world a better place - doctors, scientists, teachers etc, people who make a difference. But I didn't think I was one of them. 

Then someone came along one day, a member of the audience at a performance to be exact, who said something I would never forget. He said "that was a spiritual journey for me", naming one of the pieces. At that moment it suddenly occurred to me, that if an artist/musician chooses to sincerely tell the stories he knows through his art, not performing to show off/impress, not playing to win applause, then his creation is like a mirror, a reflection of not just himself, but of the world around him and of each person in the audience who's intently listening. 

That was how the name Tze n Looking Glass came about. I wanted a name for the ensemble to mean something, to be about what I hope the music is/does. Since that day, I never stopped believing that by letting everyone see the good in us/Mankind/the world through the music, we can make a difference, perhaps make the world a better place (in small but significant ways). If you understand there is much precious beauty in this world, you will do everything you can to protect it. Sometimes in our busy lives, we allow ourselves to be swept away, never pausing to take a breath, never have the time to truly appreciate the love we are given, blessed with. All that is around us. In a way, music is like a time machine, it slows life down, and gently brings to mind, the simple beautiful things in life, we may have forgotten. 

So, starting from this year, these little email digests will include little stories about things in life that has inspired me, and my music :) 

First Little Story of 2013
It is never about the music. As a musician, or student, you study how to play an instrument, study theory of harmony and scales, but it doesn't prepared you for the truth, which is basically that all this is totally useless, unless you know what you want to do with it. Friends often ask, "where do you get all that inspiration for your music?" I always answer "how can you not get any inspiration ?" The reason being, basically, inspiration is all around you. (If you know where to look)

Since the beginning of time, Man has found the most elegant solutions to problems in life in the natural world around them. From something as basic as wings of birds inspiring design for the first planes, to the hunting bow inspiring internal curve support structures for massive modern column-less convention halls. Creating music is a big WHY as a starting point for me always. Why do I want to write something? Do I have something to say ? Sometimes it's like a problem looking for a solution, that's where the nature part comes in. If I want to "talk" about freedom, how am I suppose to express something which is basically.... nothing/formless? I would often find solutions in nature. The sound of the wind would serve as a template for finding sounds on the piano. What kind of harmony, movement on the piano gives you the feeling of being afloat, un-restrained? (ok, to get the harmony part, you need to have done your homework.. haha). If I want to express a forest, I would need the birds in the trees, so what rhythms/pitches would they be chirping in ? If I want to tell a lonely old man's story, I will need to understand how he hears the silence. Is it warm, or cold ? Does he hear cold distant echoes of footsteps which are no longer there, or does he feel the bittersweet warm memories of a voice who used to be by his side? Every cloud or leaf dropped, every longing gaze or tear dropped is a story waiting to be told :)

Tze n Looking Glass (TLG) Orchestra's first concert of 2013 : In Time Love Comes 
28th Feb Thu  730pm @Esplanade Recital Studio.
Tickets at Sistic (soon).

Join us for an evening of original love songs inspired by love through time, space and across cultures. Travel with us back in time to experience the story of Satyvaan Savithri and how her courage and love rescued her husband back from the brink of death and explore what love means to us - from love for our partner, friends, family, for nature, our hometown to love for the world around us, and life itself.


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