=408= Words of Joy: Great Weekend

It had been one of the best weekends i had in such a long time. First, grateful for someone. Really give thanks for the conversation we had on Saturday. Really nice sharing and learning from each other. Okok, i will watch out and set clearer boundaries. HAHA!

Then, I bought $70 worth of cameras. 2 cameras! The Canon AE-1 with the 50mm f1.4 and the Yashica Electro 35 GT. REALLY good deal considering how good the conditions are. I bought my first roll of film. The Ilford HP5 plus. I really hope the shots i have taken will turn out well. The Yashica’s focus, just stuck though. 😦 Hope it will be cheap to fix.

Then, nice dinner with the cell. I give thanks for people that I can just spend time with.

Then, last minute upon last minute stuff, I wanted to teach Faith sound and let her try like the board during service. The plan was that i let her try then I supervise/advise. However, Daniel hurt his knees, So he asked me to sub him for drums. So i just played lor. I then asked a few people if they could come down to help Faith with sound. Thank God there were. Javier is really cool and willing to learn and help. Andre taught them quite a few things as well. Then, there was actually this part where only Faith was at the board, so i just thought that she would do it, but she backed out because she wasn’t confident. I honestly believe that she can do it one. I mean, she picked up SOO fast. It was just a pity. I have faith that she will do a decent job, but she was just very unwilling. 😦 Come on!

Then during soak, I did visuals again. I am honestly not the best visuals guy, but because i am a technical with enough exposure, i kinda understand how to do stuff, so I was still able to do enough. I am thankful for so many gifts from God. I was able to manage both sound and lyrics.

Worship was nice, I mean, we made SOOO many mistakes. Oh well! More important that we worship God. SO yeah, stop looking at your flaws Kelvin, look at God.

Then, cell was AMAZING i tell you. We had the most wonderful discussion with my cell, tackling questions about our faith and answering hard questions. One thing that was cool was us giving examples and characters from our lives. We told them stories of spiritual giants that went before us. We told them about K and how he tried to honour both God and his mother even though he was called to full time. We told them about E and how she gave up a scholarship to go for a mission trip in a land where she was in SOOO much danger. They were all in respect when they heard stories about what they had done or sacrificed. There was a drop in volume when they heard about what E went through. Yes, it is good to learn from such spiritual giants.

A question about why God let’s such hard things happen to us and not just let us have not so hard things not so hard things. Wouldn’t that make us worship Him more? My answer was that he was thinking to linearly. His thought was God gives me what i want, then i will worship him more that if God give me a hard time. My question is this, if you only worship God when he gives you stuff, will you still worship him when he stops giving you stuff? How sure are you that such gifts won’t become idols? Next is, which one will build more faith? Simple things that will just make you thank God or hard times that will cause you to rely on God? It is like buying a kid a game console so that your kid will spend more time with you, it doesn’t make sense. your kid will be so happy and thankful to you for the first minute, then the next, he will be so engrossed with the game he forgets what his name is.

It was interesting to see that the kids has so many questions. Love the fire! I wished that someone would have let me asked all these questions when i was younger. I mean, when i was a kid, i wanted to know all this stuff as well. I just lacked someone that would give me his/her attention to my doubts until Aaron Kok. So I am really grateful to Aaron for keeping me in church and loving me and mentoring me back in Cool! Without him right, i doubt i will be half as serious as i am now about God.

Then, I am now a part of the Emerge Camp Comm. AHAHA! Well. Wah. I am so excited. HAHAHA! Just when i said i wanna be part of an event(back with Alpha Kick off) God provided! HEHE! Cool i guess. I am thankful for the chance to do such a thing. Kinda cool cause like i am now following the footsteps of Kiat. doing logs in a camp siol! The comm is wonderful! Looking forward to more stuff. I can’t believe that they are actually using the name that i came out with! AHAHA!

Lord, thank you for this nice weekend!

-Kelvin-

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=407= Words Of Melancholy: Tired

Right now, it is a feeling of weariness wearing me down. Honest! Not any spiritual burdens etc etc. I am literally tired.

I never thought that I would get used to this kind of lifestyle, but it honestly isn’t that bad. I mean. Yeah. From a bystander point of view, it is like a hard labour contractor kinda job, in some ways it is! However, it isn’t really that bad at all.

I really think everyone should at least try such a job once. Learn how to carry stuff properly, react to problems and danger quickly and be alert to see who needs help. Be a technical basically.

Life skills I have learned ever since I became a technical:

  1. How to push flight cases without it swaying to the left or right.
  2. How to load cases up without it falling down.
  3. How to react quickly to danger or problems.
  4. How to walk fast and how to offer help.
  5. How to lift heavy items without hurting your back. (Thank you Esplanade)
  6. How to follow instructions. (Oh you have no idea how hard this is)
  7. How to interact with co-workers.
  8. How to speak when someone is helping you. (learned from a negative example by the way, you have no idea how freaking annoying some people are to me when all I want to do is to try to help them. Tsk. Unappreciative fishes.)
  9. How to tolerate people. (You have no idea how irritating some people are)
  10. How to watch out for others even though you are doing your own tasks.

These are honestly very very very useful life skills that will stay with me (I hope) for years to come. My mum told me that my temper had been worse ever since my internship. Probably bah. I mean, technicals really have very short fuses. I try to be patient most of the time, but I honestly cannot stand bad attitude, hypocrisy and anger at simple/ridiculous things.

I know it is ironic, anger at anger. Just hear my out ok? I mean, COME ON! Can you please save your anger for something more worth your time? I don’t get it. Use your anger for more serious stuff please! Why get angry over things that can be solved easily? I hate it when people just cannot be a bit understanding and patient.

May I never be a person that I cannot be proud of. Lord, make me a man of God. A man after your own heart.

Thank you Lord for this 5 months.

-Kelvin-

=406= Words of Melancholy: Realisation

Today, I had a very hard realisation that we are really very different.

I honestly just wanted some attention and care from you. Well, looks like I am just always on the giving end. Does being stable and giving all the time equate to people thinking that I don’t need prayer and care from people?

Lord, I long for care and concern from people. Father, will you provide that?

Father, will you please satisfy me? May I never look to the left or right, but to you Lord. Father, stay with me, hold my hand, guide me, lead me to walk those few steps on water.

Thank you Lord! 🙂

Oh on another hand, I realised that I haven’t posted anything on Flickr for a while. Not because i haven’t shot in a month, but like I felt like I haven’t posted my works so i needed to get the output out. Like it is posting out, showing my work, then go make some more. SO yeah!

Here are 11 photos from Retreat 2016 that I am pretty proud of:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskDkSq5h

You will see some blur movement, I actually REALLY like it. A hand being blur doesn’t equate to a bad photo. Sometimes blur can help a composition. It was my first time shooting for a church event too. SO yeah, like I said, it was very different from street photography. It was capturing precious moments of posture and of people coming back to God and how the church loves people. Some of my proudest works. Haha! I am actually proud of most photos I post on Flickr. SO YEAH! Hope you will like them!

You can see two of my lens in action. the Canon FD 50mm f1.4 that flares and annoy the heck out of me and the Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN that focus annoys the crap out of me. Annoying lenses that I still love because they do give me good photos. So yeah! It is nice!

Thank you God for providing me financially for this hobby and passion.

All praise to God.

-Kelvin-

=405= Reflections: My Mel Years

Today, someone new came into our service. He was very friendly and was really interested to learn more about Christianity.

Then after service, he asked a bunch of questions. Like questions about Christianity and like how if he accepts Jesus, what would be the consequence of that. I started going through the whole bible history, trying to explain concepts of like justification and sanctification. Honestly, I would have been unable to answer all of that if I haven’t went through my Mel years.

What are my Mel years? It was a period of my life when I was only interested in the concepts and apologetics. As a result, I started reading SOO many books. I started reading about what we believe in. It was interesting. I mean, after being Christian for so long. I still didn’t understand a lot of concepts.

As a result of that, I began understanding and could at least explain and say what I believe in.

I still do ponder and think about hard questions. However, now, I have a deeper understanding about the history and could understand certain concepts. So now, when asked, it is a matter of thinking before speaking. I still cannot quote like statistics off hand of course.

I also began to realise that knowing and understanding doctrine isn’t as important as experiencing doctrine. So yeah! Though I still love a good insight about our belief, I believe love is more important than knowledge. So I will pour out more love than I will argue. If explaining and discussing such things is showing love, then I will.

You can check out my more Mel days on my blog! The earlier years are more intellectual and concept stuff!

Oh God, please protect J. May he be healthy and well.

-Kelvin-

=402= Reflections: Drum Cover

https://youtu.be/2vjXrS3KTDE
Just like the description says, I really wanted to do this for a very long time already. I wanted to do this even before I could play drums!

When I was in secondary school, I grew up in this era of YouTube stars. It was just this explosion of talent online that just wowed everyone. Everyone in class knew who Sam Tsui was and how cool his clone accapella for Michael Jackson was! Everyone knew who Tyler Ward was and how super duper nice his version of California Girls was. Back then it was the ship Tyler Ward and Julia Sheer days. It was the non-mainstream instrument battles, the incredible talents online just kept flowing.

Then I remembered one day, I watched Tyler Ward’s version of Club Can’t Handle Me featuring Cobus Potgieter on the drums. It was incredibly exciting hearing how the instruments blended into this very nice video!

Then, when I was Sec 2, my mum wanted me to learn something during my holidays. My mum was thinking of drawing, because, you know, I was taking D&T the next year. However, NAHHH, I told my mum I wanted to learn how to play drums and the rest was history!

I wanted to be the cool Cobus, I wanted to be as cool as Leb, so that was why I picked up drums! Haha!

It is interesting to see how my playing had developed over the years. First, I was only a score person. I couldn’t improvise or lead the band, because I was only used to playing to MP3s and following them. It is okay to speed up or slow down, because the song is static and won’t speed up or slow down, so you can still bounce back!

Then, in order to get over myself and have more confidence, I started to sing and play, this is so that I could keep time! Cause last time, no metronome one! So I asked Jon Wong how to keep time and he told me a unofficial way, that was to sing to yourself and play! So I practiced that! It did work for most songs, but for some songs, there is just this tendency to speed up when you are excited! Haha! Though, because of this, I started having more confidence and started to lead rather than follow! Playing drums to lead is hard I tell you! It was a journey full of self doubt and disappointment because I honestly knew quite little of music then. The lingo that they used was just confusing. I mean, what on earth is a walk up? Why are they spouting numbers? Aren’t I punching already?

Then, it was constant feedback from Leb, Josh and the worship leaders. I am blessed to have such leaders willing to teach and sharpen my skills! Though I admit that I do get a little scared whenever I see like Leb come towards the stage to debrief me! Though it is good! It means that I have more to work on and improve on and it is only because of all the advise and suggestions that I have gotten over the years that I could play the way I could today.

Then, it was the desire to teach. I started teaching quite a few people how to play drums and it was good! Like I uncovered some really good talents. Like Bro John, HuiShi, etc they could play Beats before I even instruct them! Too bad that I have gotten so busy over the years that I really don’t have the time to do so anymore… 😦

Teaching drums also made my ground my basics! I started practicing all the rudiments that I haven’t practiced since the first lesson of drums.

Then, Leb started using the click track during worship. So I started using it too. It was tough I tell you. FREAKING TOUGH. I know the metronome should be my Wife, my lover and my beloved, but wow, just cannot Sia! It was difficult, because by now, I was already used to playing drums while singing and following my tempo. Sometimes when we do like stop starts, we would slow down a bit, then when we go to the chorus, we would speed up a bit. All these felt natural, but now, I have to follow a standard time and learn how not to speed up or slow down. It was really hard because it was unlearning what I learned.

Sometimes I feel that learning music is about learning, unlearning and relearning stuff. When you first start out playing, they would tell you to use your wrist only. Then when you get better and have better technique, they start to ask you to use your fingers. Then when you feel like your technique isn’t stable, go back to the wrist. It is all about going back and forth.

However, slowly slowly I was able to! With two exercises! The ghost click and the offset click exercises. Both very fun and rewarding click exercises that everyone should know!

Then, last year, I took grade exam, so I tried to ground all the 40 rudiments and work on score reading and details.

That led me to change my preparation for worship sets. I used to just listen and go to set to play. However, during this time, I have to start to let the probationees try out, so I honestly don’t have enough time. So what I did was that now, I will sit down and write down notes for the songs. So that the grooves I play will be accurate and not just by instinct! By instinct is good, but, it might not be the best! So yeah!

That practice actually made me very sensitive to the details! Like I started hearing lines of guitars that were supposed to be played or like how certain notes were supposed to be sung differently for a particular stanza.

Then now that I am doing sound, I also start to understand how frequencies work with each other. How we need to fill up all the frequencies to make it sound fuller. I began noticing when the mix was a bit muddy. I began understanding quite a few things. It was good!

I can now support the band a lot better than I ever could.

The idea of this cover was a simple realisation that I actually have enough right equipment! I really wanted to film a cover when I was younger, but I didn’t have the right equipment. Like even with my phone, I still lack a tripod or a holder so that I can film! Then the problem of the audio as well! Like I can use my phone and put it very far away to capture the audio without clipping, but then, how do I film myself?

Getting into photography was a good choice! 😀 I mean it is still probably my most expensive hobby, but I enjoy it so much and I can do this now!

The video on my camera was really good and the in-cam mic is awesome! The compressor works wonders! I mean I am hitting really rather loud, but the audio was still acceptable! 

I wanted to do a Tenth Avenue North song, just because they are kinda like my favourite christian band right now. Oh yes, I do like them more than Switchfoot!

I think the most difficult thing about this cover was finding the right angle and lens. I wanted to use my Sigma 30mm, just because my ISO can be lower, but it was too tight. Hence, I went back to my kit lens. The composition was either too tight or the background was too ugly!

So yeah! I did some changes to the background! I overexposed the shot by 2 stops just so that I will be properly exposed, but I honestly didn’t expect that details in the highlights was so hard to recover. So yeah a mistake I didn’t expect! Something to note!

I did a few Creative improvisation. Like for the first part, the original had a triggered snare. I don’t have that, so I used the hats instead. Then I added some Toms to the verses just to add some flavour and my own playing into it! Recently, I have been doing the crash both one and two thing! Like I can get more dynamics and it sounds freaking cool! So yeah! Love that! The only fill I actually planned beforehand was the stop start fill! I actually like fills like this! Not too busy and perfect for the music! It’s when it isn’t busy that it is harder to be on time. 

The rest of the fills were played on instinct. That is really what it means to play in a band. To practice a fill so often that it becomes second nature to you to use that fill.

The audio editing process was good too. Learning sound really benefitted me. I learned how to cut the right frequencies and not just blindly cutting!

Well, I am pretty happy with the reception so far! Not a lot, but it is good! 🙂 so yeah!

I really cannot believe so many people dunno who tenth avenue north is!

Thank God! May I always be humble and serving you Lord!

-Kelvin-