Wednesday, March 29, 2006

M! reviews.. Letters From The Road.. and an epiphany!

Here I am at 4-frickin' something in the morning, supposed to be asleep but not yet.. but I'm actually just inspired to write something right now.

Let's get this first thing over with..

M! for more M!...

Out of curiosity, I've decided to Google around for reviews of M! The Opera. Yeah, yeah, I know what some of you are thinking, despite what I tell people, there's a part of me which has connection with it. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel that much for this show. But as I'm part of it, it's really as simple as that: I'm part of it. And being a musician (and a learning jazz musician, as well), I always try to relate and be part of whatever I'm doing at the time. That's also my own very nature. I cannot be disconnected from whatever I'm doing at a particular moment in time. That's the antithesis of jazz.

Anyway, after Googling and checking the obvious websites, like Kakiseni.. I was right about one thing: I expected very polarized comments and reviews for the show. There are some who hate it, and love it. And only a handful that states pros and cons of the show.

On one hand, you've got really nonsensical comments from (obviously cowardly) reviewers who go by anonimity of name and email address in the Kakiseni site... one objective review by Antares...

... and more sensible (almost, at least) straight-to-the-point blog reviews and comments - here, here, here and here.

I'm actually quite amused, after reading them! LOL.. can you blame me?

I may - on a less concerned level - agree and disagree with what some of them have to say about the show and the cast, but I will give credit to the cast for actually spending so much time and working hard on this production. And I think they did a wonderful job of it, anyhow.. irregardless of how the show went. Kudos.

Five more shows to go.

Reading (again): Wynton Marsalis, To A Young Musician - Letters from The Road...

I got this book sometime almost two weeks ago, while hanging around KLCC in between rehearsals for M!. It was recommended to me by my new-found soul-brother, sax player friend, David Muehsam. I've seen that book in Kino for quite a while, and thought briefly about getting it, but never got around to it until David mentioned it.

I finished the book in about 4 hours on the same day, hanging out at CM's place and finishing the last couple of pages just before the night rehearsal.

To say the least, it's such an inspirational book... especially for us budding jazz musicians. But it's really more than just a person's writings about jazz... but it's about jazz and life. And I could relate to some of the things that are mentioned by Wynton. And one of the things I subscribe to, on a very subconscious level.. is that life and jazz are one and the same! It's the quest for something larger than one's self, but at the same time, the quest to discover one's voice, and it's relationship to the world and the universe.

When I read the book.. I could relate it to some of my experiences over the past 5 years as a musician, not just towards music, but how experiences in life co-relate with the learning of jazz, and the very nature of jazz. I've mentioned before.. this music has changed me. It has definitely changed (and in quite a few cases, reaffirm) my view towards life.

For some of you who are really interested in jazz (and more than just a money making effort... although jazz and money are absolutely non-synonymous!), check the book out at Kinokuniya at KLCC.

Footnote: After checking out some books, I'm really psyched about getting back into some heavy reading. Looks like I might be spending quite a few bucks on books soon. I absolutely love reading.. although I'm not a real reading scholar like some others, but it's something I really enjoy doing.

An epiphany...

As I mentioned earlier, I just felt compelled to write about this, even at such ungodly hour.

I had a very interesting conversation with my good friend, soul-brother and trumpet player, Eddie, a few hours ago over several cups of teh ais limau and a cholesterol laden egg-cheese-planta thosai. We talked about some important matters, of real concern to me. I will not disclose the nature of our conversation, but it's something that has been brought up from time to time, throughout the course of our friendship - both personal and musical.

The nature of my epiphany is such that it's based on a very old simple concept - learning from mistakes, and increasing one's wisdom.

I used to voice certain concerns and issues with Eddie, but I have realized that the way I used to approach talking to him used to turn out rather condescending and rather patronizing. That's primarily out of my own ego.

Tonight, we talked about the same issue again. But I had spent a big part of the previous night thinking of a way to talk to Eddie and voice out my issues and concerns.. minus the ego and all of that b/s. And the only way I felt appropriate was to just tell him the truth about how I felt about it. Just plain honesty and sincerity. But all in all, we had such a great conversation tonight, and more! It's like we both connected very deeply, and I really feel that we were definitely both connected in our past lives, somehow, as well. And I feel really fortunate, and grateful for that.

What I'm plainly trying to say, is that I'm glad over a few things - a successful conversation that would hopefully result in a positive implication for the future, but also the fact that I am learning to avoid mistakes that I've done in handling certain situations. In a way, I think I've grown a little. And I would like to continue growing, and just becoming a better person.

Thanks, Ed.

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