Sunday, 26 August 2007

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Dinner gathering at Kampong Glam



On 20 Aug 2007, a few double bassists, Dinah, Emily and myself, met for dinner at this part of Singapore that is commonly referred to as Kampong Glam. You can check out this site for more information about Kampong Glam: http://www.malayheritage.org.sg/history.html

Emily would be leaving for US for the students' exchange programme and the dinner was a farewell dinner for her. Here's wishing her a Bon Voyage.

Our original plan was to have dinner at Restoran Tepak Sireh. The restaurant is housed in a historical monument called Gedung Kuning ("Yellow House" in Malay) built more than 150 years ago. However, when we were there, we found out that the restaurant was closed.



Gedung Kuning

In the end, we had dinner at Alaturka instead. This place serves Turkish cuisine. Food and the company were good. Now, let the photos do the talking.







From left to right, top to bottom: Turkish coffee (worth trying), Hummus, Lavash (cheap and good), Musakka (mutton, must try), Spangile (chocolate mousse), Karisik kebab, Sultan's Pleasure.

Alaturka
Turkish & Mediterranean Restaurant
16 Bussorah Street Singapore 199437
Tel/Fax: 62940304

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Holding the bow



How does one hold a double bass bow?

Michael Hopkin's String Pedagogy Notebook gives an interesting and easy-to-understand guide to holding the bow.

In particular, readers who are interested to learn how to hold the bow of the double bass, may like to visit the following pages from Michael Hopkin's String Pedagogy Notebook:
It is hoped that you will find the above resources helpful.

***
Another helpful resource to refer to on this topic would be Dr. Mark Morton's Double Bass Technique: Concepts and Ideas.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles



If you like Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles, see if you like this rendition performed by a double bass orchestra from Athens. I think it is interesting to listen and realise how versatile a double bass can be. Many thanks to Jason Heath for pointing me to this video.

There is a site that provides an interpretation to the lyrics of Eleanor Ridgby by The Beatles for those who are interested to read more: http://entrypoints.com/RockLyrics/EleanorRigby.html

Source of video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKUoF8N1FjU

Does anyone happen to know the name of this double bass orchestra that had played in the video shown above? I hope to give the due credits and acknowledgements to the group for its nice rendition of the work.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Fantasie Passionée




If you are keen to listen to a Symphony Orchestra play music from King and I, Phantom of the Opera and others, then you may be interested to attend the following free performance:

Beyond Campus
Fantasie Passionée

By the NUS Symphony Orchestra
(a member of NUS Centre For the Arts)
15 September 2007 (Saturday), 3pm
National Library Plaza (Ground Floor)
100 Victoria Street
Singapore 188064
Free Admission



Programme:

1. G. Bizet's Carmen Suite No.1 & Carmen Suite No. 2 (selected movements)
2. C. H. Gounod's Faust (selected movements)
3. Selections from King and I (Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Music by Richard Rodgers, Arranged by Bob Lowden.)
4. Selections from Phantom of the Opera (Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Arranged by Calvin Custer)

The performance is about one hour in duration.

Synopsis:

Join the NUS Symphony Orchestra for a relaxing afternoon of flowing melodies from popular opera and theatre. Enjoy music with themes of passion and fantasy, from the fatally seductive Carmen and the deadly passionate Faust, to the royal fantasy of The King and I and the romantic phantom of the opera house.

Established in 1995, the NUS Symphony Orchestra has grown under the baton of Maestro Lim Soon Lee. The orchestra comprises over 80 students, alumni and guest players all passionate about making music.


In conjunction with Expressions, organised by the National Library Board.
***

If you wish to know, a number of the members from d'Bassists will be performing in this performance.

Taken during one of NUS Symphony Orchestra's concerts. Photo credit: Jay.

Poster designed by Chua Chong Han.
The photos in this post were taken during NUS Symphony Orchestra's concert held on 16 Mar 2007. Photo credits: Jay.

This post was updated on 6 Sep 2007.

Where to find a double bass practice mute in Singapore?

Double bass with a practice mute placed onto its bridge.
The practice mute dampens the sound of the double bass.


In Singapore, the majority of the people are flat-dwellers who live in fairly close proximity to one another. As such, a practice mute can be a useful accessory for a double bass player in Singapore to have. It can help a double bass player play on his/her instrument with minimal noise-production even during the wee hours of the night. Of course, the neighbours must not have very low tolerance level for the sound of the double bass.

Admittedly, I do not particularly like playing using a practice mute. When a practice mute is placed on the double bass, the instrument would sound muted and fairly nasal when played. Yet, a practice mute can be one of the most neighbour-friendly and useful items to have if one were required to practise on the double bass during the wee hours of the night.

For those who need the information on where to find and purchase a double bass practice mute in Singapore, here is a listing of the shops that sell double bass practice mute:

Synwin Enterprises
845 Geylang Rd, #03-01 Tg Katong Complex, Singapore 400845
Tel: 6743 7865
Fax: 6743 4862
Website: www.synwin.com.sg
Email: reubennsons@synwin.com.sg

Frank Brothers Violins
1 Esplanade Drive, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, #02-08 Esplanade Mall, Singapore 038981
Tel: 6883 2581
Website: www.frankbrosmusic.com

Gramercy Music (S) Pte Ltd
293 Tg Katong Rd, Singapore 437076.
Tel: 6345 3815
Fax: 6440 4513

Please take note that the above-listing may not be comprehensive as it is based solely on my own personal experience. Please do call the shops in advance to check on the availability of the practice mute.