Saturday, March 25, 2006

M! far! And the first show of Top Room@Top Hat

In case some of you readers wanted to know what's happening at M! The Opera so far, here's a little take from me.

We just did the second day of M!, and it has been quite interesting! After all the craziness in the few weeks leading to the show, it has managed to pull through... from the music, the acting, and everything else. As Mike V (he did quite a number of arrangements for the orchestra and the asli group... very good and interesting arrangements, by the way) was saying, "We have a show!".

The opening show (yesterday Thursday) went quite well (give and take a few slight mishaps). And the second show today (Friday), was definitely much better, with the cast getting more comfortable in their role and being more in character, than the first night. The orchestra was also much more comfortable with their parts, and the fact that the sound guy didn't turn on the monitors in the Pit, during the first half, didn't stop us from playing.

My only bug was that I wish I could see what was happening on stage. As all the musicians are in the Pit, there was no way we could see what was happening on stage. So that leaves us with having to watch the conductor(s) and just using our imagination (through listening to the dialogue) to know what's going on... not to mention checking out some of the female cast.. *snicker* *snicker*.

In retrospect - in spite of all the funny things that happened leading to the show (which I will not disclose here) - I may have a slightly shifted, different view towards this production, and my feelings towards my involvement in it. One of the few key things, I have to say, is that it's largely a new experience for me, being part of a big production like this - and an opera as well! - and I'm learning quite a number of new things in terms of playing in an orchestral setting like this. At first I was almost indifferent to how the music and the story relate to each other, especially during the earlier part of my involvement, which was just about almost three weeks ago. But after reading, and later HEARING, the whole story, I think I may have greater appreciation for it... and the music that has been arranged for it. That's why I said earlier, that the only drag about the whole thing was that I couldn't see what was happening on stage. At least I can feel the music more if I can see the visual part of the show. I hope they'll make a video so I can see and hear it for myself later.

Secondly, it's probably the first time that there's a Malaysian production of an opera, that's not just an opera by itself, but it's uniquely Malaysian, as well! The show combines various styles of music - from classical, jazz, rock, and even asli music! I think it's quite amazing. Hats off to Saidah Rastam for such amazing music.

Thirdly, this show isn't for people who are "square-headed", ie. those who do not think out of the box. The story itself, and the concept in which it is presented, is quite stimulating... it's probably art-house, if you will. It seems like it is one of those shows which is meant to evoke emotion and offend, and not pander to typical theatre stuff. It's in this respect, that it may be quite interesting. Out of curiosity, I think I'll be expecting very polarized reviews to this show... either people will like it or they might hate it. Who knows..?

Hmm.. on a lighter note.. the sax section does quite a fair bit of waiting, there are parts which does not include saxophones. So what do we do.. eat Mentos, and practicing drum patterns. LOL! I'm thinking of getting one of those Sudoku thingies to crack my brain over, while waiting!

David Gomes Trio @ Top Room

After the M! show, Mike V, myself, Ben, Brian and Eugene from AllDatJazz.Com headed down to Top Room @ Top Hat to check out the David Gomes Trio and Junji Delfino. We managed to get there just before the second set, and it kicked off with Mike V and myself playing the first three songs! Talk about letting steam off after M! !! We just played like there was no tomorrow (and at the same time, getting rid of some really annoying LOUD and DRUNK guests!!).

There was David Gomes on piano/vocals, with AJ on drums and Roslan Imam on double bass.. and of course... the effervescent Junji Delfino on vocals!

Anyway, there's still TONIGHT, Saturday 25th March to catch the swinging trio. So if you're not busy, get your butt down at Top Room @ Top Hat, 7 Jalan Kia Peng and check out real good jazz music from the most happening, swinging, jazz musos in town (and the voice to boot!!)!

Music starts at 10:30pm, and cover charge is RM50++ two drink minimum!

You'll probably see me and few cats there again, as we're just fresh out from the M! show... so if you're around, do say hi!


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