=677= Stories To Tell: God Provides

Mr Lim is a rich christian business man. He manages many companies and during his free time, he would donate a huge portion of his pay to the St Cloud home for the homeless.

Jackie is a church guitarist. He has many years of experience and after seeing an advertisement in church he decided to play pro bono in the home for an event in St Cloud, it was Christmas and they were having a party for the homeless.

Mr Lim decided to sponsor everything about the event. From the food to the decorations, Mr Lim paid for the whole party in full. Jackie pulled some of his friends over to play music with him and they pulled off an extremely good set.

Right after the performance, the organisers of the event went on stage to give thanks to Mr Lim and Jackie for contributing to this event. They told the homeless people to clap for them.

However, there was one homeless man not clapping. He wasn’t even looking at them. Both Mr Lim and Jackie felt urged. They both put in so much effort to love the homeless, but this homeless man did not even recognise them.

After the ovation, they went towards the man. They noticed that he was crying but smiling while he ate the food. Seeing tears, Mr Lim’s and Jackie’s anger immediately subsided.

They asked the man why was he crying.

The man answered, “I was just giving thanks to God for giving me food to eat tonight and beautiful music to listen to. Truly, God provides.”

-Kelvin-

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=676= Word: TW’s Wedding

Going for TW’s wedding feels kinda surreal. I mean, we all knew that it will happen, but so many years went by without us realising it and they have been dating for 8 years alr.

I still remember Footsteps(or me?) made a playful remark saying that it was surprising that he has a girlfriend! At that point in time, they were dating for 2 years and now, 6 years had gone by and they are now married.

After seeing such a big wedding, it just made me realise that I only knew one part of TW. I only ever knew the mentor part of him. I never saw the cell member part of him. I never saw the water polo part of him. Though he is close, I am really just one small part of his life and it amazes me. How does he maintain such a close relationship with so many people? It really isn’t easy to maintain a close relationship with even one person, but from what I saw, he managed to maintain it with so many people. It was really quite crazy.

I sincerely hope that even as a grow up that I will be able to maintain my friendships.

Oh well nevertheless, it really feels quite good to be the youngest in the band again. I remember how bad I was back in probation and probably the next year or so. That all the other musicians needed to compromise to play with me. This time round, I think that I was at least able to contribute as a Musician.

Praise the Lord! 🙂

-Kelvin-

=675= Five Word Post: Stale

Arguments

Logic

Possibilities

Inadequate

Conversation

~

Don’t get confused reading the title and content and realise that it has nothing in common. It does. Just not that obvious to you.

I wonder how people can get into arguments with no logic or any basis of getting angry. It is ridiculous. It is basically pointing to the sun and telling me that it is the moon.

Do people even know how to get into a fight? Tsk tsk. To be angry, you need substance. If you don’t have the substance to get angry, you shouldn’t.

Don’t tell someone they are late when they are clearly on time. You pointing to the clock was just an argument against yourself. Freaking heck. Do you even know what being late means? If you tell me to take over at 8 and I come at 7:55 to take over, am I late?

Just because you wanted me to come down at 7:50, it isn’t my fault that I came at 7:55 because you told me to take over at 8. Being an ass about something like that is just horrible. You only have yourself to blame.

Let us be clear ok? Being on time means taking over at 8, not 7:59/7:58/7:57/7:56/7:55. Don’t go around scolding people just because you wanted me to come down at this time but I didn’t.

Sometimes I wonder if getting the rank means forgetting that the people under you are humans too. Best part is, we aren’t even under you and you scold us. Wonderful.

One should never abuse authority. There is a time and place for everything. Is it that hard to be understanding?

-sigh-

Oh well.

It is over!

Patience is really such a hard virtue to own.

-Kelvin-

=674= Word: Musicality

Haha, it is a rather weird time for me now. It seems like there is really nothing much to update as of now. I mean several events did happen but I don’t see them having much significance to warrant a post. So yeah, I am just going to throw some stuff out and just go from there.

My music production has been a bit stuck. Several things has happened that made me a bit discouraged. My photoshop and lightroom has expired. So the single cover is never coming along. I have actually quite a few songs floating in my head as of now. To get them out and produce them as a track really takes quite a bit of time. Getting the chords out is only a small part of the story. There is so much work to try and generate like a demo track, think of what goes with what. Then finally ask someone to help. Then after recording is yet another hard process. There are hundred and one decisions on what to add. How to tune and edit the track. To generate a demo worthy track really takes quite a bit of time. It is true that I am my harshest critic.

Sometimes I watch people online talk about how they managed to make producing their career and my heart gets encouraged. I really wonder if there will be such opportunities for me. Ideally, it would really be a dream job. Mixing music for a living. Must be nice.

Recently, there have been quite a few people exploring the world of recording. More and more people are trying to record what they play. It is such a great thing! If more people get more aware of how they sound being recorded, it will only result in better musicians and they will be more aware of how to arrange and mix.

I am humbled whenever I start on my music production. There are so many people that are WAY better than me when it comes to playing music. In fact, it downright envy people who can play a pitched instrument. It really isn’t easy to remember so much of theory, having the muscle memory to play stuff. It is really amazing. I wonder if having drums as my first instrument was meant to make me a whole lot more humble. Not that drums is any less of an instrument, don’t get me wrong, but if I were to play guitar or piano as my first instrument, I probably would be able to produce all these songs with more ease.

Recently DL posted a video of him covering a song. He had friends that helped him with the shooting of the video and all. DL really made me rather self conscious. I mean, he started off as a vocalist and then he made his way all the way up to being one of the most talented musicians in CAMY. In fact, the tracks he produced are really impressive. His voice and guitar playing. Man, how I wish I sounded like that.

I then think about the people that have been trying so hard to post covers and originals over the years. CK, KY, PS, PB, DC, etc etc. Wouldn’t it be weird if I posted a song out of the blue with me singing?

I made a cover recently and it is really somewhat of an afterthought. I just tried whatever I thought was cool, mixed it together and that was it. I feel kinda ashamed that I did so much editing. It kinda makes me feel that I didn’t honour all the hard work that people have been doing all these years trying to get a song to sound good; all the vocal training that they had.

Don’t get me wrong ok, I really don’t want people to think that all you need to make a song or a cover is some engineering tricks. You definitely need musical training one. I am struggling to learn music theory now. Seeing music as a formula based thing really isn’t that helpful. It is extremely tedious. I am exploring a work around recently. There is a plug-in called the chord trigger. It is amazing! HAHAHA! I used to click all three notes to make a chord, it was REALLY tedious. Now I can input one note and it plays the chord for me.

Sorry got derailed by cool technology.

I would much rather play those notes than to rely on dead MIDI stuff. MIDI definitely has its own place, but there is really nothing like a musician playing those notes. Working on how to sing, how to play, etc etc really helps. There is a limit to how much I can edit. Just imagine an underexposed photo. No matter how hard I edit, the noise will still come out even if you use photoshop, perhaps you can rid of some noise by really cutting the layer and pasting it to a different background, but the cut layer will still have noise. It would be better and so much simpler to take a photo that is properly exposed.

What I am getting at is that musicality is really important. In fact I would put that above the engineering side of things. Engineering technicalities are way easier to grasp after you nail down the musicality part.

For me, Engineering is my strong suit. I learned it in school about the same time I got better on the drums. Just like how they put in effort to work on their singing and playing, I put in effort in my engineering. Perhaps the issue isn’t honing musicality over engineering, I think it is doing whatever you can to get the best results.

There are million of ways I can go about making a song or cover. One should focus on their strong points and really drive it home on those while working on what they are weak in.

The self consciousness, I guess, I will just have to deal with it eventually. Oh I saw the video and I thought to myself that I could film that MV much better! AHAHAHA! Not because of anything luhh, it was just too shaky. Just use a tripod and everything will look better.

I give thanks for all that God has blessed me with! Thank you for so many gifts oh Lord! 🙂

-Kelvin-

=673= Word: Context

Even in percussion, there are pleasant sounds and unpleasant sounds. There will be times when you will say something sounds disgusting.

For example, I bought a spiral stacker recently, it makes whatever I stack on top sound absolutely dry and trashy. If used as a main crash and I foresee many people will dissuade you from using it. However, if used as an accent kinda cymbal, I think that people will find it new, refreshing and interesting.

I think every thing has its own place. Feedback, though annoying when you don’t want it, can be rather pleasant if you used it right. Same for distortion. Clipping may not sound good, but using distortion as a supplement sure does wonders to the sound.

I think as long as something is used in context, it will be pleasant. If it is brought out of context, everything will be bad.

When you believe in a lie, the entire context of what you are living for will be wrong. Perhaps only when you are corrected will you be living in truth; perhaps only then will you play your part and live a life that is in the right context.

-Kelvin-

=672= Word: Artistic Preference

Music is such a heart thing. I may enjoy one song and think that it is the best song of the album, while another may find that song strange.

Best example, one of my favourite artist is Phillip Phillips and one of my favourite tracks of his is “Get Up Get Down.” It is such a zingy fun track. I was so certain that D would love it once he heard it. To my surprise, no sia! He found the track weird. I was so surprised.

Then, I was recommending John Mayer to my Sergeant today, I was so surprised that he did not know who he was. I recommended Continuum to him, “Waiting on the World to change” is one of the hits. He did not enjoy it as much as I did. Almost every musician I know loves John Mayer and would be surprised if you did not know who he was.

So my question is, is it a good song? Or is it just artistic preference?

The question goes further, when is an engineering feat wrong and when is it artistic preference?

Things like these goes into worship/song mixing too. When is a delay distracting? What if I as a sound engineer and music producer love that delay? Who should tell me that it is a mistake and it is wrong?

What is wrong? On what basis am I wrong?

Let’s say, if I cut a funny frequency like let’s say 600Hz. People will definitely question, why cut there? What are you doing? It doesn’t cut any boxy frequencies and it doesn’t cut any nasal frequencies either, so why are you doing the cut there? If I am cutting a funny frequency, it is most likely that there is a buildup in that frequency and I am clearing space. It may not seem to be doing much sound wise, but I did it because of the meters.

So while it may not be right suns theory wise, it is certainly right engineering wise, so who is to say who is right?

If a film photographer say that digital photography is not true photography, because you are not in the moment and you can edit what you have taken, that is cheating! In the film photographer’s heart, he is most definitely right, a photo should be taken and that should be the end goal. So in his heart editing is wrong. However, in the digital photographer’s heart, editing is just another step to make a better image. Editing is just as important as the shooting. Who is to say which photographer is wrong?

The line gets even more blurred when we analyse what we say is a good photo. One photographer may say that a good photo MUST be in focus, another will say a good photo doesn’t need to be totally in focus, it is what it portrays that matters. Who can say who is right?

Now let’s get into operation, as a photographer myself, I would never go into an ISO higher than 6400 on my A6000. That is a rule that I have set for myself. So if I see myself accidentally shooting higher, I would scold myself for a mistake. However, another photographer may just shoot auto ISO and it may go higher. It may be noisy but he might be able to accept it when I totally can’t. So who is to say who is right?

I have found myself more and more encouraged when I realised that I didn’t like my teacher’s mix. Not because it wasn’t balanced well enough, oh no, in fact, it is WAY better balanced than mine, but it was because that my heart preferred my own mix.

I preferred my mix because of my artistic preference. Beyond that, our source tracks were the same, but we have two different products. Who is to say which is right?

That is why I always say that as long as it works, it is fine. However, if there is a better way, why not right?

If mix 1 works, fine.

However if mix 2 is several times better, perhaps I should learn how to do mix 2.

Perhaps it isn’t about who is wrong, perhaps it is about who is better.

Perhaps there is no “wrong” but there is always “better.” Always go for “better.”

It is like choosing a snare for a song. A days that the track should sound like snare 1, but the drummer say it should sound like snare 2. Both aren’t wrong, just which snare is better for the song. Who is to say that I have to use Snare 1 for this song, because snare 2 is wrong?

Just because one person does something one way, doesn’t mean that it is necessarily wrong. Just perhaps there could be a better way.

-Kelvin-

=671= Reflections: Retreat 2018

Let me reflect upon the first retreat in 4-5 years that I did not serve in any way. This year was a legit retreat.

This year’s retreat just came without me expecting it. I think not being in youth this year also reduced the amount of hype. Before I knew it, retreat was already happening. Nevertheless, it was a rather nice time spent.

There were many things that I was very thankful for.

First, let’s give thanks for my room mates. Dan and Jun Kang, thanks for being my room mates for the whole retreat. It was very nice to have you guys to talk to and chat about everything under the sky. Going really deep every night and working out together, it was a really fun time.

Then, my cell, haha, it is really nice to have a group of friends you call your own. Really nice to hang out and do so much together. Thank you so much for being family! 🙂

Thank God for rest, like I mentioned, this year I did not serve in anyway. Not a leader or a Musician. I was just a trooper on this one. Thank God for blessing me with so much rest. I could glean from every single sermon and enjoy worshiping God off stage.

Having Pastor Leon and Sis Regina leading us in worship was wonderful too!

The food this year was fantastic! There was the usual buffet spread, followed by soup, some hams and salads, pastries and cakes and a live station. First retreat that I wasn’t sick of the food.

Dr John Andrews was extremely good at expounding the word and was able to speak and explain new revelations every sermon. I was very blessed.

Thank you God for helping me. Thank you for giving me this time to rest and enjoy my time with you. Thank you God!

May every retreat be a great time where I can meet the Lord and worship.

Thank you God.

-Kelvin-

Just a man struggling to live a God led life in a God strayed world