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adventures of a sound.traveller

a space where i hope to share with you the hopefully interesting projects im currently working on / have worked on, the soundscapes all around me that i am constantly discovering and re-discovering (oh, what joys!!!), any other random and delightfully weird thoughts regarding sounds, music and its friends. share with me yours too, please do!

Filtering by Tag: magic

On Death, and Life

Yun Qi Wong

Seeing as how my life has been filled with death-related music this past month (both concerts in Singapore focus on this topic, purely by chance), I felt inspired today to share some personal thoughts on this. 

Many of us avoid talking openly about Death - some are pantang (Malay for superstitious), some have suppressed all too well their loss and grief, and most of us have an innate fear of our end. 

My mum recently became a volunteer at the Nectar Care Service and the Dover Hospice Park, and that has opened my eyes to so much and helped me a little in accepting and understanding this unknown and yet huge part of our lives. Knowledge and Awareness do help allay fears. And to cut a long story short: Death is inevitable to us all. 

Easy to say. And yet, when that moment arrives, it is never easy letting go. It will never be. 

Which brings me to this important daily reminder: To live every waking moment like it's my last, and to treat every relationship, no matter how brief, with the respect it deserves.

It reminds me not be too proud or ashamed to say (and to mean it!): I'm sorry, I forgive you, and I love you. It reminds me to be grateful, and not to wait till it's too late to thank the people in my life for every little bit of kindness that comes my way. Lastly, it reminds me not to be hurtful or say things I'll regret the next morning. Tough, but I will try my best. For these are what make it so hard for us to leave this world behind - the people, our relationships, and all we have shared. 

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While in Switzerland, this beautiful butterfly landed on my finger for the longest time - I took it on a walk and it flew back even after I attempted to introduce a plant as an alternative resting pad ;) It was magical. And it made me think of Inger Christensen's Butterfly Valley: 

"that white soul on whose wing-mirror is drawn / the evanescent nature of all things / what is it doing in this gloomy air? / Is it the grief my life has overtaken / concealed by the perfume of mountain brush?" (excerpt) 

The butterfly valley is not just a symbol of life's volatility and fragility, but also its beauty and transformational powers. I like to think of my swiss butterfly as a hello from the loved ones who have left us for another world. You are constantly in my heart. And I will always be grateful for having met you, for the time we spent together, no matter how fleeting. 

Here's to Life - one without regrets.



Die Stille

Yun Qi Wong

Die Stille - A word, an expression I find hard to translate in all its entirety from the german language. It expresses all at once, that exquisite feeling of time standing still, of being encased and cocooned in a rare moment of quiet and solitude, even as the world around you rushes and whooshes by. It could be peaceful, it could also be a little scary. In any case, its a powerful feeling. 

And yet, for all that multitude of 'silence-evoking' words, die Stille is constantly filled with music. Nature's Music. 

Schynige Platte: ever-changing through those gusts of fog

Schynige Platte: ever-changing through those gusts of fog

I visited the Berner Oberland of the Swiss Alps in July, and the hikes and walks we took whilst there were often filled with such moments. Moments where you are completely alone for hours. When you stop walking to take it all in: the wide open spaces all around, that incredible feeling of being free, and alive. And your ears and soul fill with a kaleidoscope of so many different insect-calls, bird-songs, and wind-whispers (or roars!). It is in such moments that I am completely at peace with myself and with the world. I could stay there forever. Just breathing as one with this raw, untouched Beauty of Mother Earth. 

The view from our chalet up in the mountains.

The view from our chalet up in the mountains.

What brings you such peace and quiet in your daily lives? I believe we should try to find such moments within us constantly, regardless of where we currently are and how crowded a place we live in. For these moments give us an inner strength that allows us to continue on in our daily lives, fully recharged and re-inspired. 

I find these moments through the momentum of walking, during my yoga practice, in deep concentration of practicing the piano and drawing, whilst reading, and in the quiet of the early (and late) hours each day. What are your moments? :)

magic.

Yun Qi Wong

what does music do to you? 

i never quite used to grasp that entirely, never quite used to consciously understand the effects of music. i never quite understood that me being able to make music and to appreciate it, is a rather big blessing. enormous, to say the least. 

after years in high school of me trying to be a 'normal' student and NOT wanting to study music (the irony of it, considering not many people have parents who actually WANT them to do that), i am beginning to grasp at the fact that yes, i am blessed. 

for music accompanies us through every single feeling we feel. it releases that surge of emotions and becomes an outlet for them, whether through music making or listening. it helps me begin my day right, lets out the tears i did not know were inside of me, makes my jaw ache from uncontrolled smiling, and brings each day to a good end. 

at times, it gets almost too much, you know? all that emotion. but most of the time, it just makes me marvel at how it is able to touch the coldest of hearts.

re-reading Jojo Moyes' Me before You (a fantastic book. please read it), a certain passage struck me. its what Louisa Clark, protagonist in the book, experienced, while accompanying her charge, Will Traynor to a concert for the very first time in her life, and i'll end off this post with that:

"suddenly the auditorium was filled with a single sound - the most alive, three-dimensional thing I had ever heard. It made the hairs on my skin stand up, my breath catch in my throat...I felt the music like a physical thing; it didn't just sit in my ears, it flowed through me, around me, made my senses vibrate...And it made my imagination do unexpected things; as I sat there, I found myself thinking of things I hadn't thought of years, old emotions washing over me, new thoughts and ideas being pulled from me as if my perception itself were being stretched out of shape. It was almost too much, but I didn't want it to stop. I wanted to sit there forever."