Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed) Digest

Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed) Digest

Welcome to weekly Pianovers Meetup, where joyous piano lovers converge to appreciate the music live performances and socialise with other like-minded individuals. Every Sunday, a group of fellow lively Pianovers come together at Piano Park @ URA Centre for a healthy dose of piano music. Music is the literature of the heart, and it begins when music lovers come together and unite.

Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Emmy Koh
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), May Ling
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Tricks or Treats

In the spirit of festive traditions, the 99th Meetup is a themed gathering to commemorate Halloween Day. We want to thank everyone who brought goodies, props, and especially to those who wore astonishing and exciting costumes in making the 99th meetup Halloween themed so successful. The piano was even decorated to fit the theme which makes the festive meetup even more joyful!

Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Drinks and cupcakes by Tan Chia Huee
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), May Ling, Lim Ee Fong, Adrian Huang, Catherine, Gregory Goh, and Teo Gee Yong
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Karen Aw, May Ling, and Tan Chia Huee

But before the 99th Meetup officially started, Hiro, Elyn Goh, Zafri, Eric Tian, Kendrick and Xin Hui went with ThePiano.SG founder, Sng Yong Meng, for a casual dinner at Maxwell Food Centre. They all enjoyed a quick yet delicious dinner filled with exciting conversations about piano music pieces. These dinners are traditions for the Pianovers. Everyone is welcome to attend the dinner before the meetup starts.

Time for an announcement! The festive season is not over yet, my friends as the next meetup - 4th November 2018 will be another celebratory themed meetup to celebrate and witness as we reach Pianovers Meetup #100. Thus, join us for this significant event so we can celebrate together for another lively event. Without further ado, let's get started on the pleasant mini-recitals that were performed during this festive "treat-or-trick" themed meetup.

Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Gavin Koh performing
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Emmy Koh performing
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Siew Tin performing

To start the evening’s Mini-Recital list was Gavin Koh, who began a dark, eerie music piece with Carol Anne's Theme (from Poltergeist) by Jerry Goldsmith. Poltergeist is a classic 1983 horror film widely regarded now as one of the best movies in today's popular culture. The next piece Gavin plays is Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns. This piece sets the mood toward the Halloween soiree as it is based on a legend that "Death" appears at midnight every year on Halloween. Then, Death calls upon the dead from the graves to dance with him while he performs using his fiddle. The dead dance with him until dawn and return to their graves until the next year. When Camille Saint-Saëns presented this beautiful musical piece, it was not well-received during his time. However, similar to the Poltergeist film, it is now considered to be one of the best masterpieces that have been reproduced in scholar musicology and popular culture.

Following Gavin's footsteps but in a gentler melody piece was Emmy Koh. She performed Itsy Bitsy Spider - a popular nursery rhyme that is based on an adventure of a spider as it ascends, descends, and reascends the downspout or "waterspout" of a gutter system. Here'a fun fact, this song was also used in 2014 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 film.

Shifting from eerie mood to a calmer melody Chinese song denotes to Siew Tin's turn as she performed 何日君再来 by 刘雪庵, which was used in the 1937 movie "三星伴月", initially sung by 周璇. Teresa Teng performed this cover in 1978 and it was popularly received back then. After Taiwan’s Nationalist government took over their country from Japan, the nation was riddled with corruption and chaos. The Taiwanese public longed for the stability seen during the Japanese Occupation and renamed the song as 贺日军再来 (Celebrating The Return Of The Japanese Soldiers).

Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Albert performing for us
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Kendrick Ong performing
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Corrine Ying, Yat Yun Wei, and Kendrick Ong performing

Albert then performed 岷江夜曲 by 高剑声 (李厚襄). This song was initially performed by 吴莺音, possibly written in 1946. Here's another fun fact about this musical piece. The author's artist name is 高剑声, but his original name is 李厚襄. He didn't receive formal music education but had displayed musical talents from a very young age. This echoes a similar background of Nobuo Uematsu who is also a self-taught musician, and they both continued to be an inspiration among all of us.

Up next was Kendrick Ong and he performed Requiem in D minor, K. 626 by Mozart. Interestingly, he presented his performance together with a slideshow showing Mozart's infamous history. Also, let's take a moment to thank Kendrick for helping out with the Halloween decorations at Piano Park today!

Together with Xin Hui, he started to decorate the place for the occasion at 5pm. Everyone applauded passionately for Kendrick in recognition of his enthusiasm, hard work, and professionalism. With this in mind, it is incredible to see many passionate Pianovers in our community, doing their part to make every Meetup as cheerful and merry for all of us and we all are very proud to be part of Pianovers. If you want to volunteer your skills and talents towards our cause, we welcome you (photographer, videographer, sound engineer, etc.) to join and be part of Pianovers!

Next on stage was Corrine Ying, Yat Yun Wei and Kendrick Ong. First, Corrine and Yun Wei performed together on Attack on Titan Original Soundtrack by Hiroyuki Sawano. Then, the trio performed Ghostbusters Theme by Ray Parker Jr. The best part about this performance is Kendrick entered the stage, dressed as Ghostface, from the "Scream" film series, and stood close to the piano as Corrine and Yun Wei performed. It was presumed that Kendrick is the ghost from the Ghostbusters film. Later on, Kendrick (Ghostface) joined in the performance and played the upper register of the piano that appeared from a duo to a trio performance at the end. What an impressive display!

Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Li Zhijing, and Ten Xiao Qin performing
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Erika Iishiba performing
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Jeremy Foo performing

Li Zhiying and Ten Xiao Qin were up next. They performed Solomon, HWV 67, Arrival of the Queen of Sheba from Act 3 by George Frideric Handel. The music narrates the story of Queen Sheeba arriving at Solomon's kingdom. Furthermore, this piece was also featured at the opening ceremony of 2012 London Olympics where James Bond meets the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

The following performer after the duo was Erika Iishiba who performed the Pirates of the Caribbean Theme Song by Klaus Badelt, which was used in the 2003 film "Pirates of the Caribbean". Even though Klaus Badelt received most of the acclaim for the soundtrack film, it was Hans Zimmer who wrote most of the score's primary themes. In addition, other writers involved in the orchestrating works were not given recognition and credit.

Jeremy Foo then took to the piano performing Winterreise, No. 18 (The Stormy Morning) and Erlkonig, D. 328 by Franz Schubert. Beautifully executed, "Erlkönig" is a poem written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In 1815, Franz Schubert altered the song three times before publishing his final version in 1821. Erlkonig depicts the death of a child beset by a supernatural being, the Erlkönig (Erl-king). However, in the original version - the antagonist was the Erlkönig's daughter instead of Erlkönig himself.

Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), May Ling performing
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Chia Ming Hao performing
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Janice Liew performing

Back into the Halloween festive theme, May Ling played the next couple medley pieces, starting first with Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46, In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg. Then, she performed the Caprice in A minor, Op.1, No. 24 by Niccolo Paganini, whose "24 Caprices for Solo Violin" was composed in 1817 while he was in the service of the Baciocchi court. It was widely considered to one of the most challenging pieces ever written for the solo violin. Finally, May Ling played Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns and lastly, The Addams Family Theme by Victor Mizzy.

Next in line was Chia Ming Hao who performed superbly on Préludes, Book 1, No. 12, Minstrels by Claude Debussy. The Préludes are 24 pieces for solo piano, divided into two books of 12 preludes each. Unlike J.S. Bach and Chopin's Op. 28 and other preludes, Debussy's doesn't feature a strict pattern of key signatures. The headings of the overtures are highly significant, both concerning their narrative quality and in the way they were placed in the addressed score. The headlines are written at the end of each work. In this way, the performer can experience each sound world without undue influence from Debussy's titles.

After Chia Ming Hao's performance, it was Janice Liew's turn to take the stage. She performed Autumn Journey by Eric Chiryoku. "Autumn Journey" was released in 2012, written by Eric Chiryoku who is a new-age classical musician based in Singapore. As a matter of fact, Eric had released three albums, namely, “Spring of Life”, “Autumn Journey” and “Summer in my heart” which are very popular among new age and instrumental music enthusiasts. In 2007, he was nominated for International Online Music Award nominations for Best Composer and Best Male Solo Artist. A year later, he was nominated Best Instrumental Soundtrack for the song “Winter Story”.

Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Kayden Li performing
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Jonathan Lam sharing with us
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Lim Ee Fong performing

Thereafter, Kayden Li followed with another classical music which was The First Lessons, Op. 117, No. 17, Cradle Song by Cornelius Gurlitt. This was followed by Six Sketches, No. 5, Lullaby by Charles Villiers Stanford, who was an Irish composer, music teacher to Gustav Hols, and a conductor who passed away in 1924. Gustav Hols was the composer of the orchestral suite "The Planets, Op. 32".

Today was Kayden's first appearance at Pianovers Meetup as well as his debut performance. Well done! He was brought along by his piano teacher, Trina and we hope to see him perform for us again. On the side note, we encourage piano teachers to bring their students here to perform, so that they benefit from the out-of-classroom experience. Not only do they gain confidence from the public playing, but also they learn and connect from fellow Pianovers to widen their perspectives and engage in constructive musical discussions.

Up next was Jonathan Lam who played the mysterious tunes of Gaspard de la nuit, M. 55, 2nd movt, Le Gibet by Maurice Ravel. This piece was composed in 1908, and it has three movements, each constructed according to a poem from the collection "Gaspard de la Nuit — Fantaisies à la manière de Rembrandt et de Callot" completed in 1836 by Aloysius Bertrand. "Le Gibet" (The Gallows) is based on an observation of the desert. In the deadly surrounding, there is a corpse of a hanged man on a gallows. It is contrasted against the horizon, complete with the setting sun and the ringing of a bell tolls from a distant city. What a great piece to get you into a spooky spirit!

Thereafter, Lim Ee Fong performed the infamous Star Wars Theme by John Williams, composed in 1977 for the original Star Wars Trilogy. John Williams wrote a series of themes and motifs to accommodate certain characters and ideas in each of the Star Wars films. The multiple instalment series allowed John to compose at least 50 themes to this date. In fact, John Williams won the Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", in the 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony that was held on February 12, 2017.

Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Hiro performing for us
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Tan Chia Huee performing
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Yan Heng performing for us

Hiro's turn was up next as he performed remarkably on a famous classical tune, Three Concert Études, No. 3, Un sospiro (“A Sigh”) by Liszt, which was written between 1845 to 1849, and it was published as a collection of three piano études. As the title indicates, the structure was intended to show the acquisition of better technique in expressive melody as well as for concert performance. Also, many pianists consider this étude to be one of the most beautiful piano pieces ever composed. In fact, Hiro had taken over Kendrick's Ghostface mask and performed in it, and many Pianovers were excited by his performance and cheered him on as he played.

Tan Chia Huee took over and played 你的倒影 by 梁文福. Written in 1989, 你的倒影 is an epitome love song that brings music closer to the heart. Besides known for his credentials as a successful singer,  梁文福 was one of the pioneer figures in Xinyao movement in the 1980s and 1990s. In fact, he is also an adjunct associate professor in the Division of Chinese at Nanyang Technological University. In addition, Liang has written hit songs for Cantonese and Mandarin pop stars such as Jacky Cheung, Andy Lau, Leon Lai, Tony Leung, Alex To, Eric Moo, Kit Chan, Joi Chua and Stefanie Sun. To commemorate the spooky spirits of Halloween, Chia Huee was seen wearing a ring with a spider on her right hand!

After Chia Huee's fantastic performance, Yan Heng took the stage and performed Nightmare Journal by ZUN. This piece is used in the game Touhou 16.5, specifically at the title screen. With this intention, Yan Heng has been introducing Game Music to Pianovers. As a matter of fact, his last two performances were different pieces from the game as well. There is nothing more beautiful than the richness of musical diversity redefining our musical experiences.

Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Chris Khoo performing
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Chris Khoo, Karen Aw, Lim Ee Fong, and Amos

Last but not least, Chris Khoo performed Somewhere in Time by John Barry beautifully on the stage. This piece is known for its musical score which made the film of the same title very popular in 1980. The film was a movie adaption of the 1975 novel "Bid Time Return" by Richard Matheson. To make his performance more interesting, Chris shared the background of the movie with us. It's a classic tale of romanticism meets science fiction to create the dramatic flair which compliments the tune itself.

With that, the Mini-recital ended, and we thank everyone who joined us for a delightful Halloween-theme meetup. The open segment began with a customary group photo. The feature wall was also cheekily arranged to show an evil-looking pumpkin. Then, our Pianovers socialised and interacted with one or the other, complimenting each other's outfits. If you are new and wondering if you can join in the fun, don't be shy and come for the next meetup!

Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Ten Xiao Qin
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Eric Tian, and Zafri Zackery #2
Pianovers Meetup #99 (Halloween Themed), Karen Aw, Lim Ee Fong, Tan Chia Huee, and May Ling

We love to have new piano lovers to be part of the big Pianovers family. Above all, the Pianovers Meetup is a place where not only you share the love of music with others, but it is also a community to forge and grow strong friendships built upon the aspiration of music.

To end on a good note, this meetup was definitely a fun themed-meetup to remember! We can't wait for the next meetup. See you all there!