Archive for the ‘my passion’ Category

Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, the “Resurrection”, a very very hauntingly beautiful piece which sends me into tears each time I listen to it. I performed with the London Philharmonic Choir in 2009. At the time, one of our sopranos had just lost her husband, also an esteemed member of the choir and we dedicated the concert to his memory. There was not a dry eye in the house when we were done.

Fast forward almost three years later, with me now living as a semi recluse in a quaint little stone town, I had the honour and pleasure to see my dear friend return to the University of Nottingham to perform with the University Philharmonia and University Chorus, the epic Mahler Symphony No. 2.

I will share with you a few precious snapshots of the University Park- which I had wanted to visit for ages (but in the past, lets just say I gave myself more excuses to not go, then to think of a reason to go.) but had yet to tick off my list of to-do things.

Blessed with beautiful weather, I took a couple of snapshots of the artfully landscaped grounds. Here are some for your viewing pleasure:

You probably must be wondering what on earth the poor child is doing? Well before I came, I painted the graduation photograph of my friend when he was conferred with a PHD, almost six years ago. Thought it would be a good idea to hold up the small painting against the actual background. Artists’ quirk if you like.ย  Also for someone who is rubbish at directions, I had to show this painting to the taxi driver to let him know where I was going. Yes, it may not happen to most people but I think the fateful taxi driver must have been scratching his head, wondering where I’d come from. A tardis maybe?

Picture perfect!

For me the trip was a real eye opener as I had been debating going back to full time study for a while now. Safe to say, I felt right at home on campus. I could picture myself living and studying here for more than a year, I think. It was quite a revelation for me personally- as I never really had similar sentiments when I visited other campuses. It was a very nice, warm and comfortable feeling.

I even had about 45 minutes to do a quick sketch of the iconic Trent building. It is unfinished so will probably make its appearance once I manage to finish it ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway lest we forgot the whole point of this blog post, back to Mahler. A quick whirlwind tour of Beeston and Nottingham on car, snapping photos along the way later, it was time for the concert.

I am not a music critic so will only describe the feelings which went through my mind as the performance unfolded. First and foremost, I had recently lost my grandfather so the principles which guided Mahler when he wrote this piece, death, life, suffering and resurrection struck a strong chord with me. I realised that one part of me will never get over not meeting my grandfather for the last time before he passed away. Perhaps this was how he intended it to be.

Being a singer myself I am partial towards the fifth movement. As the choir sang “Auferstehn, Ja Auferstehn” (Rise again, yes Rise again) I could literally feel the melody and words penetrating my core. I can completely understand why the second soprano who lost her husband had to take time out from the rehearsal before she could return to sing with us, a good couple of minutes later. Mahler is a true genius and this piece, every single time, certainly for me, will evoke emotions of pain, hope, resilience, acceptance, all mixed into one.

It was a beautiful beautiful concert. For me, I finally fulfilled my wish to visit Nottingham, and more importantly, to see my friend in concert. I did this in the same day. Secondly, Mahler’s Symphony No.2 is very special to me and always will be- for the reasons which you now know.

The fragility and unpredictability of life transcends into an art form which would touch anyone who has a spiritual soul. I am one of those people. As my brother used to say, I must be made of water as I get touched very easily. I like to think that this side of me is beginning to manifest itself a lot more as I get older. My mother was and still is at her grand age, bless her. We are who we are, I suppose at the end of the day.



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The desert is mysterious in many ways- at best, it is dry, barren andย one simply cannot fathom the possibility of living in such harsh conditions. However, amidst the sandstorms, if you slow down and observe your surroundings, there are signs of life everywhere in the desert. From the flirty eyelashes of the camel, to the sparkling eyes of an Arabic lady, the expectant wife of a merchant, the struggle and final victory of a flower blooming from a cactus, and also, the amazing belly dancers, when brought together into perspective on one single canvas, sends a strong message: Life is abundant, life is strong and life will persevere, no matter how harsh the conditions may be.

I hope you will like this as much as I did. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Keeping in tune with the seasons and also my personal interest in doodling flowers, here’s another one for you to enjoy:

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In the last episode we saw the princess on her wedding day. Like most people who attend weddings we only see the happy side of couples and not the hardships they went through to be with each other.

Sze Ning’s search for the perfect man almost left her in despair. So much so that she wondered why, couldn’t she find the man of her dreams, by just using a simple bow and arrow?

Stay tuned for the next instalment of the Accidental Princess!

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