“To live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in your veins. Everything living has a rhythm. Do you feel your music?” – Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson, the king of pop, went way too soon for me back in 2009. I’ve loved his music and his moves, and so, one day, I decided there was not enough singing in my life… with my friends, and family. Karaoke was so smokey, and expensive. Been there, done that, with all those cheesy songs with cheesier videos.
I got it into my head to start a singing group in Bangsar. Tired of the bathroom, I guess.
I didn’t want to join a church choir cos I am Hindu, and you know, it wasn’t church songs I wanted to sing out about. I wanted to see if we could do this to get the older folk to sing along, and not watch tv serials, maybe.
How to do, what to do? Before I started the FB page, I asked the music people I knew fairly well about this idea. Paul Augustin, ever supportive, tried to help me out. Kumar Karthigesu actually took on the leader role for a few sessions. Well, one actually in August 2017. Bloody impressive guy!
But I salute my friends, and the residents of Bangsar, really. My friends for being there for this hare-brained idea. Friends like Lim Ang Nei, Eu Hooi Khaw, Alistair Tan, Marica Van Wynen, Maliq Taufiq, S. Meena and you know who are.
I cari-ed the venue all over for a free joint. Tough but I eventually got one at the RT place in Lorong Kurau, through Baba Low’s Vincent.
For the first meetup, when the group post went up on FB, friends and some residents came. I was so chuffed that they did. Kumar was great for that first session at the Temple of Fine Arts. Kalaivani was impressive with her sweet voice.
Then we moved to the Rukun Tetangga Lrg Kurau. Kumar was busy, and I hadnt managed to get Cheryl Teh, a fine leader, as yet.
A bunch of us just got together and tried out hand at Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of SIlence. That was a hard song. Why that one? Who knows? One Sadie from the Enclave was so young that she didn’t know the song. Sadie from Pakistan.
I had posted the meetup on The republic of Bangsar FB page. Lots of likes. No one came.
Eventually, Ms Teh got some of her Harmony Hall choir — a 100-strong group — to pop over. Soon, we moved to Wangsaria for an air-conditioned room. Free for residents.
We learnt some nice songs like Breath In, Breathe Out, under Ms Teh. But, you know, on a Saturday evening, people have other things to do. The group went down to 4 people. Ms Teh was so disappointed. And so was I.
She quit. And I stopped the singing group, closed the FB page, in July 2018.
Being in the era of listables, I took away some lovely lessons from the group:
- To breathe properly to sing a line
- To listen to other people in a group voice
- To tr and coordinate movements while learning new lyrics!
My stalwart friends tell me I should join a group, rather than start one again… easier la. They may be right. Looking for one that does not do church songs. We’ll see.