BEGIN – the island sounds from Okinawa

27 04 2010

I seldom listen to Japanese songs but there is one band I have always liked and listen to.

They are called BEGIN and hails from Okinawa. Some of their songs have been covered by singers like 梁靜茹 (Fish Leong), but other than that, they are not widely known outside Japan. BEGIN uses an instrument called 三線 (Sanshin) that is native to Okinawa that makes the most beautiful sound, it’s strange but the “twang” from the instrument is so right for their songs. Their songs are very different from the J-Pop tunes that are out there. You will get what I mean, just listen:

The next song is called “Nada Sou-sou” 《淚光閃閃》. The melody is composed by BEGIN & the lyrics is written by Ryoko Moriyama. I found the chinese translation of the lyrics! For those that wanted to know:

古いアルバムめくり ありがとうってつぶやいた
翻著古老的相片簿 對著總是總是

いつもいつも胸の中 励ましてくれる人よ
在心中鼓勵著我的人 囁囁著謝謝兩個字

晴れ渡る日も 雨の日も 浮かぶあの笑顔
晴空翊爽也好 大雨滂沱也罷 那時時刻刻浮現的笑容


おもかげ探して よみがえる日は 涙そうそう
我依然追尋絲絲影跡 當他甦醒時總讓我 淚光閃閃

一番星に祈る それが私のくせになり
對著第一顆升起的星星祈禱 已經變成我的習慣

夕暮れに見上げる空 心いっぱいあなた探す
在黃昏時仰望的天空裡 滿心尋找你的蹤跡

悲しみにも 喜びにも 想うあの笑顔
悲傷落淚也好 歡喜雀躍也罷 你的笑容總會浮上心頭

あなたの場所から私が 見えたら

きっといつか 会えると信じ 生きてゆく

晴れ渡る日も 雨の日も 浮かぶあの笑顔
晴空翊爽也好 大雨滂沱也罷 那時時刻刻浮現的笑容


さみしくて 恋しくて 君への想い 涙そうそう
如此孤單 如此眷戀 對你的思念讓我 淚光閃閃

会いたくて 会いたくて 君への想い 涙そうそう
想見你一面 想見你一面 對你的思念讓我 淚光閃閃


Her name is Erika

27 04 2010

Dreams are such strange things. The emotions you feel are real but the reality of the dream is just an illusion. Sometimes at the moment of waking, we remember; sometimes we don’t. I haven’t thought about you in a long time.

You said your name is now Erika. I liked your real name better. You came back because the company you are working with have sent you here. I wanted so much to touch you. But your guests have arrived. A Caucasian man came to you and gave a friendly hug in greeting. More Caucasian men walked in, some bearded, most looking lost and sad, their eyes said that they are searching for something. I guess they are here for your workshop, and you look busy. I quietly walked away. I wondered if you have noticed.

Erika, Erika……When did you started calling yourself Erika?……



15 04 2010

Was having lunch with a friend a couple of weeks back. Haven’t seen her in quite a while and was catching up. Our conversation slowly turned to how I am slowly cutting back on smoking. And suddenly she asked “你有抽煙,為什麼牙齒還那麼白?”

Eh….I really don’t know. So just stupidly said “我有刷牙啊!”

“有抽煙的, 每個人也都刷牙呀 !不見得他們的牙齒還可以那麼白!”

Well, my teeth are not that white, but still passable! haha.

Didn’t think about this much until was having lunch at Bedok Hawker Center on the way to Victoria School to teach a documentary workshop. It was one of those days that the sky is really BLUE, clouds are thin and high up in the stratosphere. You know it’s going to be a HOT day. The drinks store Auntie came over and ask “要不要喝水?”

I look at her store and saw the Sugercane stack beside the crunching machine; what is better on a hot day than a Sugercane juice drink? So I ordered one.

At the same time, I can’t help but remember the days when I was kid, on a hot day like this, what is better than to crunch some Sugercane to quench the thirst and have a brief respite from the heat? You know, with the skin chipped away and chilled, the white hard sap of the Sugercane is so good for crunching! I can still recall holding a few sticks, crunching to get the sweet juice, and running around with my neighbourhood friends. That must have strengthen my teeth and kept it white until now! I don’t see that nowadays, maybe some parents think that it is not hygienic to do that. But look at what strong and white teeth I have!

Now I know the answer “因為我小時候啃甘蔗!”

Do you know that some species of Sugercane blooms and flowers as well? The flowers look like La Lang……


13 04 2010

More videos of Teresa Teng! Here are another two of the best loved song!


13 04 2010

Last week, while I was reading the newspapers and the TV was on and just droning away, a familiar melody caught my attention. An entertainment news program was reporting that Malaysian singer 梁靜如 (Fish Leong) will be appearing for a Teresa Teng (鄧麗君) remembrance event, and  she just sang a little bit of 《南海姑娘》for the reporters.

This is one of my favourite Teresa Teng songs. For me, it conjures an image of what I call “Tropical Romanticism”. Palm trees swaying in the tropical breeze, a lone person singing for a lost love by the beach, and the men still wear suits under the hot sun! And the time period is back in the days when Malaysia and Singapore are collectively known as “Nanyang” (南洋).

In my younger days, it would be unthinkable for me to listen to Teresa Teng! I would rather listen to New Order, Sister of Mercy or The Cure. I was crazy about The Cure – one of my good friend back then even has a joke about it. He would ask “Do you know what is better than The Cure?” “Really? What?” “Prevention!” – duh….yeah I know haha. It is a real testament to Teresa Teng as a singer that her songs are so timeless and well loved.

I managed to find an old video of her singing 《南海姑娘》, enjoy! 🙂

2nd Cut of my Showreel

7 04 2010

Well, I send my 1st cut of the showreel to Shanghai and they say need more of my fiction stuff and cut faster, the pacing is slow. So I re-cut it again and voila! But its longer now, 1min30s. We’ll see what they say again. This is normal, usually in commercial stuff anyway 🙂

My Documentary Showreel

4 04 2010

Had to cut a 60s showreel of my documentary work for a pitching job in Shanghai. It is for a Mercedez Benz SUV cross-country documentary. Thought maybe I will share it 🙂 Here’s it is: