Pianovers Meetup #52 Digest

Pianovers Meetup #52 Digest

In what seemed like a continuation of the Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration at the weekly Pianovers Meetup, Pianovers gathered this evening to enjoy Part 2 of the festivities. ThePiano.SG aims to bring together a community of piano lovers, be they pianists, aspiring pianists, people related to the piano trade or just anyone with a passion for the piano, and to this end, the community meets every Sunday evening without fail to listen to the piano, to bond and to network.

Pianovers Meetup #52, Goodies brought by Pianovers
Pianovers Meetup #52, Eating goodies
Pianovers Meetup #52, Zhi Yuan, Chris, and May Ling

After the early dinner group comprising Yong Meng (Founder of ThePiano.SG), Albert, Zafri, Aisham, Elyn, Wayne and Choon Qi (who arrived for the the first time) had had its fill at the Maxwell Road Food Centre, these members joined the rest who had arrived at Piano Park @ URA Centre. They found not just two refurbished upright pianos, but a whole set of Mid-Autumn Festival goodies! Even though Pianovers had already celebrated the weekend before, generous Pianovers took the time and trouble to bring mooncakes and other delicious snacks this evening. One Pianover, Elyn, even brought traditional paper lanterns for the kids! Thank you so much, Pianovers, for your generosity!

Today, we have a mix of regular as well as newcomers joining us. We welcomed a family William, Brandon and Summer; Gideon and his wife Yan Mi, as well as Jaeyong, who was to perform later this evening. Welcome back to Meetup, too, Chong En, Will and Benjamin. Last but not least, we also saw a group of regular Pianovers who would be playing later that evening, namely Chris, May Ling, Zhi Yuan, Gwen and her parents, Isao, Siew Tin, I-Wen and her parents, and Jonathan.

Our resident photographer Nicholas currently has other commitments, and we would like to thank him for all the wonderful pictures he has taken, and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. Today, we have with us a volunteer, Christina, together with our engaged photographer Ken.

The weekly Meetup usually starts at 6:30pm, with Yong Meng giving an introduction of ThePiano.SG and what the Meetups are all about. He also takes this time to make important announcements as they come along, like the newly launched Pianover Rewards card. Following the introduction and welcome speech, Yong Meng would take a moment to get the equipment ready for the Mini-Recital.

At 7:00pm sharp, the lights at The URA Centre came on and it was time for the performances to begin!

Pianovers Meetup #52, Gwen performing
Pianovers Meetup #52, Isao performing
Pianovers Meetup #52, Siew Tin performing

Kicking off the Mini-Recital was Gwen, who performed My Grandfather’s Clock by Richard Clay Work. This 1876 composition tells the story of a grandfather clock, told from a small boy’s perspective. This innocently-looking clock first arrived on the same day as the birth of the boy’s grandfather and has been working perfectly for ninety years. Strangely enough, this clock seems to have a life of its own, associating itself closely with its owner. It rang 24 chimes when the grandfather got married and brought his wife into the house. Later, as the elderly man was dying, the clock rang an errie alarm, upon which the family members gathered by his deathbed. Following his demise, the clock never worked again. 

Isao came up next and performed Impromptu Op. 90 No. 3 composed by Schubert in 1827. The Impromptus, meant for solo piano, were published in two sets of four impromptus each. The first set was published as Op. 90 during the composer’s lifetime, and the second set was published posthumously as Op. 142 in 1839. Zhi Yuan, one of our regular Pianovers, would find this piece close to heart, as he had performed it for his recent DipABRSM piano examination.

Siew Tin played 我只在乎你 by 三木刚 Takashi Miki. This song was popularly performed Teresa Teng, who had an unbroken record of three consecutive wins of two major awards in Japan (albeit with different pieces). 我只在乎你 was compiled in a 1987 album of the same title and was first published in Japan in 1986. An adult piano learner, Siew Tin has been making good progress in her piano learning. Keep it up, Siew Tin!

Pianovers Meetup #52, Wayne performing
Pianovers Meetup #52, I-Wen performing
Pianovers Meetup #52, Chris performing

Wayne came up to the piano next with and performed his rendition of Irish Tune from County Derry by Percy Grainger. This piece was based on the now-famous tune from the Irish county of Derry (which is also known as Londonderry). This classic arrangement is special, for it features beautiful, delicate part-writing for both woodwinds and brass. As the music progresses, each family of musical instruments is highlighted, introducing its special characteristics to the listener.

Following Wayne’s performance, I-Wen, our youngest Pianover,  came up to the stage and performed "May Song". I-Wen has been joining us since May 2017, when she appeared in Pianovers Meetup #36. For a young girl, she must have had one of her proudest moments when she and her mum, Jenny, performed to a full house at Pianovers Recital, our first Recital event held in August 2017.

Chris played 忘情水 by 陈耀川. This piece was made popular by Andy Lau and was compiled in the 1994 album of the same title. "忘情水" was also used as the ending theme in the 1994 movie "天与地" (Heaven and Earth).

Pianovers Meetup #52, Aisham performing
Pianovers Meetup #52, Zhi Yuan performing
Pianovers Meetup #52, Albert sharing with us

Aisham was up next and played 透明な世界 Transparent World (from Glasslip) by Jun Sasaki. This piece was performed by nano.RIPE and was the ending theme of Glasslip anime series, released in Summer 2014. It follows the story of a 17-year-old girl, Tohko Fukami, who dreams of being a glass artisan.

After Aisham’s performance, Zhi Yuan went up to the piano and performed 李香兰 by Koji Tamaki and performed by 张学友 (Jacky Cheung). This song was compiled in Jacky’s 1990 album "梦中的你".  Zhi Yuan also performed another Jacky's piece, 月半弯 by Koji Tamaki, compiled in his 1985 album "遥远的她 AMOUR". This piece easily became the most popular track in that album, and was also used as the theme song for the 1986 movie "痴心的我" (Devoted to You).

Albert, another regular Pianover, entertained us with サヨンの鐘 (Sayon's Bell - 月光小夜曲). During his sharing, Albert enlightened us that this song was used in the 1943 black-and-white Japanese film of the same title.

Albert performed a second piece, 月夜愁, that has its origins in the folk songs of 平埔族群 (Taiwanese aborigines). This was a Hokkien song arranged by 邓雨贤 in 1933.

Pianovers Meetup #52, Brandon Yeo performing for us
Pianovers Meetup #52, May Ling performing
Pianovers Meetup #52, Jonathan performing

Brandon Yeo played Jesus Loves Me by William Batchelder Bradbury. This was based on a Christian hymn written by Anna Bartlett Warner. The song appeared in two parts, first as lyrics that were used as a poem in an 1860 novel, Say and Seal, and spoken to a dying child. Two years later, the tune was added by William Batchelder Bradbury. Bradbury added his own chorus to the tune, "Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus Loves me...". Following the song’s publication, it became one of the most popular Christian hymns in churches around the world, especially among children.

May Ling came up next to perform "Reverie" by Debussy. This piece was written in 1890, the same year in which "Clair de lune" was composed. This was the third and most famous movement of Suite bergamasque. Following the composition of this song, Debussy began to develop his own musical language, largely independent of the style belonging to Wagner, who had somewhat of an influence on Debussy.

Jonathan played Montagues and Capulets by Sergei Prokofiev. This was the first one in the Suite No. 2 from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64ter, a ballet written by Sergei Prokofiev and based on William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. Interestingly, "Montagues and Capulets" was related to death, and was used as the Introduction of Act III, that was played after the fatal duel between Mercutio and Tybalt.

Pianovers Meetup #52, Jaeyong performing
Pianovers Meetup #52, Group picture
Pianovers Meetup #52, Elyn, Summer, and Brandon

Our last performer was Jaeyong, who performed My Heart Will Go On by James Horner. This piece first appeared in the movie "Titanic" in 1997 and has since gained widespread popularity. It is now featured in Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. Celine Dion, the singer who sang the song for Titanic, performed it again at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards to honour the 20th Anniversary of Titanic.

After the last performance in the Mini-Recital, we moved into the Open Segment. This is a time when Pianovers usually jam on the piano, network and bond over food and music. This evening, some children were seen holding the lanterns that Elyn had brought along. At this time, AJ, one of our members, joined us. He was in the area with his friends and wanted to introduce Pianovers Meetup to them. Thank you, AJ, for coming over! Other Pianovers were seen chatting and sharing tips about music. We are happy to be able to connect people with a deep passion for music.

Even though Pianovers Meetup #52 soon came to an end, some Pianovers stayed on even after the lights had been turned off. Thank you, Pianovers, for attending tonight, and see you at next Sunday!