Monday, 24 February 2020

My Musical Experience


Musical experience? Hey, the title is just a gimmick. Nothing great. Just something to share on what I try to do to put more cheer into my retirement life. 

In my last entry, I did mention in passing that I was getting myself into yet another form of recreational activity. Well, a retiree has all the time and it is such a boring thing to be doing nothing on a hot afternoon. Surely there is a better thing to do than just to laze.

You know what?

Got me this new toy. 

Crazy? ha ha.

Whatever for, you might ask.

To layan my music instinct, of course.

Bought this inexpensive one. If I ever follow my heart I would willingly spend more for a better one. Cautioned myself, if my interest breaks halfway then it will only become a white elephant.

Mmmm . . . I can play a bit. I stopped tinkling the old electric organ when that obsolete thing went dumb many years ago. Now I want to play again and learn more and to improve and it is on the internet especially the youtube that I go to. 

You can find so many music lessons there posted by the good people who are willing to share knowledge. But in order to be able to follow and understand well, I think one needs to be celik music at least a little. One must know what the music rudiments are such as tones, tempo, sharps, and flats, key or scale, triads or chords and so on.

As for me, I have a little music education in the past, in theory, and practical. So I can quite understand what the Youtuber is talking about. It also opens up my mind that there are many approaches to learning music.  How I wish all these were available before perhaps I would not have laid off learning halfway, not even halfway, I think :)

You see you listen to your favorite songs and happily can hum them but playing it on the keyboard is not so easy. The professional musicians, of course, can do that but not one who is just like me. It is tedious. I need a great effort. Oh, don't tell me this is going to be an agony rather than an enjoyment.

I just want to be able to play my favorite old songs. Those old songs like Seri Dewi Malam by the late Sharifah Aini, I like them so much. Some songs by Hetty Koes Endang are my favorites. Even at this old age I often hum them when I am in a good mood and now since having this new keyboard I now would try to pick out the melody and play them. 

My problem is to match what notes go with what chords so that the melody can have a harmonious accompaniment, play like real music. Actually, for simple rakyat songs, it is quite easy for me to get the melody and chords but not so for more difficult popular sentimental songs. Sometimes I got it right but sometimes it doesn't sound nice, then I know I got it wrong. So following the lessons on Youtube is a really great help.

And when I get everything right I would play it over and over again without getting fed up. Of course with my headphones on. People around won't get disturbed, those who think music is haunting or taboo or plain noisy.

I have no music notes of those songs I like so I would only play by ear. Memorize the tune. Try to figure out the notes through the lyrics, scribble it on paper. Then try playing the melody. Then try to get the accompanying chords to make the music sounds nicer. I may not get it in one sitting. It can take days. That also would be only in my version which depends on how I hear it. For self-entertainment, correct or not who cares. Of course, I try to correct as much as I can if the thing still sounds skewed.

In the music class, I attended years ago the teacher made a point that I look at the notes and not play by memory. That time when my hand-eye coordination was good ok lah can do it. But now everything has become clumsy ..... sigh ...

And this keyboard I need to understand more. There are so many functions, styles, and voices. So many virtual instruments available  If you are good you can play an orchestra. But I don't think I can come up to that level. Play the simple way and correctly on a C major is good enough for me. I would be happy with what I can do with this keyboard and I don't think I would be using the whole of the 76 black and white keys.

I have this keyboard with me for more than a month already. Every day I am fiddling with it, practicing the technique and trying to get the fingering right. There is one plus point here, the fingers are getting more exercises . . . aha . . . arthritic fingers . . . 

My progress is just so so. I must practice more to make my music sounds better if to let others hear it. As it is now I am not satisfied yet with my rendition, my right-hand left-hand coordination is still clumsy heh even though I sometimes use the single fingered chord ie when you need to hit only the root note when playing a chord (for example, you only hit the C if the triad is CEG, not use three fingers to hit the three notes all at the same time.) Still, I keep fumbling hah . . .

What genre of music do you like?

I like songs like this . . .

Happy listening.

 bye . . . 

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

20 Minutes To There


I am behind time catching up on blogging these days. Now I am spending more time with yet another form of pastime, I just rediscovered.  I won't call it a hobby for me now though at one time in my younger life I had a great interest in it. I hope to blog about it if my interest sustains.

Today it's just about my outing with the family . . .

When it is festival time you would not want to be stuck lonesome in the house while crackers and fireworks are blasting away and everyone else is having a good time.

So during the CNY holidays recently when the children asked me to join them for a day fun at the hotel resort, yes! Why not. That it did not involve traveling far and it was for only a day stay, it suited me fine. You know how hot the days were around that time, I did not want to leave my plants dry.

There was not much prep and packing we just hurriedly put a few things in a basket small luggage and then drove 20 minutes to there, the Lexis Hibiscus.

When we reached the hotel as expected at festival time there was a crowd at the lobby. But I was not to worry the son who booked two on-water chalets for the whole family has checked in earlier and so we headed to the rooms.

Wait. You got to get a buggy, too far to walk.

It was also a very hot day. Seen earlier someone was near faint being pushed in a wheelchair. Many people were wearing the face mask too and that got me to be a little worried, you know, with all the news, but that negative thinking soon been wiped off by the sea air. With the efficient buggy service, we soon reached our chalet.

Wow! The chalet was spacious, to me, quite luxurious, good lightings to create ambiance, plush, with two king-sized beds, a flat-screen TV, a sofa,  working table etc, as usually provided. The other end the chalet opens to a balcony that has a dip pool.

 At the wardrobe/dressing area adjoining the bath area, there is a thick solid glass panel on the floor through which you can peep view the marine life below. It might be interesting for a little kid.

Further back there is the spacious bath area which comprises two washbasins, the 'small' room, the two designated areas one for the shower and the other for the bathtub.

Adjoining the shower area is the steam/sauna room which also opens out to the balcony where the dip pool is.

So from your bed, you can come out, plunge into the dip pool. After dipping and exercising until bored or tired you can go straight to the steam room and relax. How good is life hah . . .

If you don't like to wet yourself you can just relax and have your coffee there and enjoy the scenic view, especially in the early morning. I even had my Subuh prayer there at the balcony, the sound of water and the calming spaciousness of the open sea evoke such a peaceful feeling.

The hotel chalets are positioned in a hibiscus pattern in the sea. Ours were in the stamen part. It is quite a long walk to go to the main hotel building, say to go and have your complimentary tea served at the lighthouse. It is good if you walk before loading yourself with calories from their afternoon teatime spread and the coffee or the free-flowing fruit juice but riding on the buggy with the whole family is fun.

 I am not very sure what the hotel programs provided for the visitors apart from those activities like cycling and biking. Those funny types of bicycles and bikes that you don't ordinarily found on our roads. Fun to ride them. Or if you want to be more adventurous you go for the boat ride or the jetski. Or take a helicopter ride to view the Lexis Hibiscus from the top. Of course, all these activities don't come free. Free activity is walking of course. Quite a distance but with a nice view.

A day of stay won't allow us to explore whatever more there is the hotel could offer but of course, sigh . . . the $$$$$ . . .

Breakfast time was meriah. Nearly all the seats in the big hall were taken up and the atmosphere made more festive by the CNY music songs and dance by the hotel staff. Little Adli also got entertained by the catchy music.

After the heavy breakfast back at the chalet, we went for another dip in the pool but just a short while because check out is at 11.00am which I think is too early.

Sharing with you pictures and videos here . . .

Adli and sisters enjoying themselves in the dip pool

Morning scene

Evening scenes  

Adli's father and sis no 1 went for a helicopter ride

Going to the Lighthouse for tea

To the hotel main building

The hotel logo

All in all, it was quite an enjoyable stay. Nice chalet, prompt service, friendly staff and not to forget the good food.

And most thankful to the one who generously belanja . . .

Well, I would like to go again someday . . . only 20 minutes, you don't call it travel, right?

Happy holidays.