Of Maggi and Music

Earlier in the night, at around 10.30pm, I had mad cravings for instant noodles (or instant ramen, or Maggi noodles as the generic term we call every type of instant noodles here, regardless of brand). I was really hungry because my dinner was so unsatisfying, and whenever I’m hungry I would crave for instant noodles.

I snuck out of my room and into the kitchen, grabbed a packet of instant noodles and a handful of ingredients I could find in my fridge, and began cooking. When it was done and I ate, I was extremely delighted and satisfied. At that moment, it felt like I had just made the best bowl of instant noodles in my life. I have never been more satisfied eating a bowl of instant noodles.

Momentarily, a thought popped up in my head. I realised that, when I really want something, everything else didn’t matter, but I was just focused on achieving the task at hand. At the end of the day, the result will be the best I’ve ever come up with. I really wanted to eat instant noodles, I was craving for the bouncy texture and firm bite of the noodles, accompanied with a rich oily soup broth. Straightaway, I got cooking with that in mind, and the result was the most satisfying bowl of instant noodle soup that I’ve ever had in a long time. Whenever I just felt like cooking a bowl of noodles just to fill myself up, I didn’t care so much about the refinement of the taste, and as a result I whip up a mediocre-tasting bowl of noodles. I feel full, but it doesn’t really touch me, or blow my mind.

It was from that same thought that made me wonder- isn’t that the same thing as in music making? If you know the music so well you know exactly what you want to achieve and how, which is to make music and let the score come alive, you’ll do everything to make things work the way you want. The result will be very satisfying as you know you have made music. However, if you just focus on playing a piece and wanting to get through it, the result will be very mediocre and unmusical. The output is the same, but the quality is totally different because the mindsets were varied.

For me, I definitely practice wanting to make music, but when it comes to performing I get so worried about playing wrong notes that I tend to forget or disregard music making in favour of feeling safe in my comfort zone. If I had the drive and strong desire to make music, I would have done whatever it takes to make my practice bear fruits, just like my desire to cook instant noodles exactly the way I was craving for.

There is a definitely a barrier for me to cross in order to really achieve musicianship in performance, but first I need to have the same desire/thirst for music-making, to be just as strong as my desire to cook instant noodles in a way that satisfies my craving.

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Xiao Long Bao [2017]

Words by Evangeline Ching

Last night I was so hungry,
I really wanted to eat.
Dialled boyfriend on my celly
And he said ‘Have something sweet to eat.’

If there’s one thing just for me,
It will satisfy my tummy.
If there’s one thing just for me,
It will just be X-L-B.

Xiao long bao,
Xiao long bao,
I wish I could have it now.
Pork and skin,
It looks a little lonely,
Soup will keep it company.

Xiao long bao,
Xiao long bao,
Just one bite and you go ‘Wow!’
Pork and soup,
Must go together.
This with that, not any other!

Am I Worth It?

I often ask myself,
Am I worth it?
Am I worth the pain?
Am I worth the trouble?
What is there to gain?

Why would you go all out for me
When I didn’t ask for it;
When I need someone beside me,
Without question, there you’ll be?

Every single time I apologise,
For every favour, every sacrifice.
‘Don’t say sorry, say thank you.’
Why are you so nice?

Am I worth it?
Am I worth the pain?
Am I worth the trouble?
What is there to gain?

January Musings & Books

The month of January onwards has been especially tough for me. January was the month of reflection, understanding my place in this world and among the people around me.

Recently I have been feeling very down, and my confidence is at a new low. I have been crying very easily, over every little thing that touches or hurts me.  Sleeping has become a problem for me, I cannot fall asleep until 2, 3 a.m. and I always wake up by 8 a.m, and it’s not because I have work to do, but of the constant tossings and turnings in bed.

As the new year slowly sinks in, the feeling of losing one of the most important people in my life is now greater and greater. How could I not feel significantly empty, when a huge part of me have been ripped off? I thought with time, wounds can heal, but I feel that it is only getting bigger, infecting every part of my body. Besides people, I am also adjusting to a same-but-different school environment, and it has not been good so far. For some reason, I feel like I have lost all sense of direction, and take no pride in anything I do. Overall, I seem to have lost myself and I wish I can find it back.

Sorry for the sappy intro, let’s end things on a brighter note by sharing with everyone two books I read in January.

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Thoughts on “The Greatest Showman” [May include spoilers]

Decided to just list down a few thoughts on this movie that surfaced in my mind while watching and after watching the movie. There may be spoilers from here onwards, so I suggest you read the rest of this post only if you have already watched the movie, or have no intentions to watch it at all. Also, I am not going to comment on the historical accuracy of the movie, as that will be another issue altogether. I will just be giving my thoughts based on the movie alone.

I only watched the movie yesterday, and it was pretty rare that a movie could still be rolling for more than a month in the cinema. While many of my friends have watched it before me, and having seen a few reviews, the general consensus regarding “The Greatest Showman” was that the music, visuals and cast were great, but the story was lacking. I have also heard several of the songs beforehand and I really liked them, so overall I was really looking forward to finally watch the movie.  Read More

THREE Revelations About Drinking

After a drinking session today I realised:

1. I get drunk more easily when I drink when I’m sad.

2. If I pretend to feel drunk while drinking I’ll really get drunk.

3. Found out that my limit is half a bottle of red wine (while I can still stay sane). Any more and I won’t be able to walk.