We were so pleased Oon Eng Sin found the time to meet some of his old time buddies and 'flames' on October 2, 2011 when he was in town for a personal visit. He is presently based in Melbourne, Australia.
And of course, our happy wanderer Loo Ming Jui was also with us to welcome Eng Sin. Where were you Wan Ahmad Kamal??
Excerpts from his speech in 2005 at Stanford...........
"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
"JOHANN Sebastian Bach’s oratorio masterpiece St Matthew’s Passion, first performed in 1727, stands as a monumental work and was considered the most dramatic large scale work of the composer from the Baroque period."
"Written according to the Gospel of Matthew, St Matthew’s Passion tells of the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus Christ through narration and dialogue, arias and chorals. The piece of work contains many important theological thoughts and reflects the solemn, noble and reflective music created to honour God’s love.
Lovers of sacred music will have the opportunity to enjoy St Matthew’s Passion in a concert staged by local sacred music group Yin Qi Music Centre. St Matthew’s Passion will be the finale of the Yin Qi’s Sacred Music Festival 2011, a biannual event that aims to promote awareness and understanding, and raise the profile of sacred music in Malaysia.
St Matthew’s Passion will be a large production comprising a double choir, double orchestra, a ripiena youth (or children) chorus, and as many as 10 soloists. There are 78 songs divided into two parts. The songs will be sung in German, the original language in which they were written, with subtitles in English and Chinese.
The soloists are Solomon Chong as The Evangelist, Eddy Chin as Jesus, James So as Judah, Samuel Lim as Peter, and other soloists namely Cecilia Yap, Anna Koor, Ashley Tan, Stephanie Wong, Choy Jenn Wai and Chin Vun Chieh."
“We are privileged to have guest performers Eddy Chin and Anna Koor. Renowned soloists like Solomon and Eddy carry significant roles in the act, while soprano Cecilia and Mezzo Anna will be singing ‘weighty’ arias. The rest are mainly members of the Yin Qi Choir,” says conductor and Yin Qi music director Elaine Pao.
“The research and studying of the work began more than a year ago and the rehearsals started from the beginning of this year. As we are performing in German, it took a longer time for the choir members to learn the music with its unfamiliar diction and to understand the meaning,” says Pao.
The 55-member Yin Qi choir was established in 1993. They come from different churches of different denominations through auditions. More than half of them have not had any formal musical training.
Eddy Chin, who sings the part of Jesus, is known for his German lieder repertoire and has performed various sacred music works such as Handel’s The Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Mendelssohn’s Elijah (the baritone solos), Mozart’s Coronation Mass and some cantatas for solo voice by Bach.
“It’s the first time I’m singing all the lines of Jesus, and in German,” says the baritone. “The uplifting nature of the music as Bach weaves cleverly and beautifully the story of the final days of Christ on Earth as narrated in the book of St Matthew in the New Testament. It’s a piece of inspiring music for solo and choral singers.
“There’s an Evangelist who narrates the passion of Jesus and introduces Jesus at each stage of the music composed just right by Bach.” St Matthew’s Passion concert will be held on Oct 7 (8pm) at PJ Luther Centre, 4, Jalan Utara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. For enquiries, contact Yin Qi Music Centre (03-7982 1576, 016-337 0997 / email@example.com / www.yinqi.org.my). Tickets are priced at RM65 and RM100.
By CHOW EE-TAN
(For complete Report, please refer to The Star on September 20, 2011)