Listen up folks!
If you've never listened to live harmonica music performed by one of the TOP ensembles in the world, here's your chance to do so on 20 June 2017, Tuesday evening 7.30 - 9.30 pm, at the Esplanade Recital Studio. Tickets are still available; just contact Mr Lee Chin Wah 984 88 583 to book yours now.
We attended the first show this Monday evening and they really did chased all my Monday Blues away. Completely blasted out all my grievances and low opinions of local (and some from abroad) bands, soloists, ensembles.
I don't mean to be mean, but I think we local harmonica enthusiasts / players / supporters / family and friends of such people, really need to take stock of our own standards, expectations and aspirations.
This professional group of 5 has done it for Asia, and they come from Taiwan. Formed over 15 years ago, they've acquired accolades that will make any kiasu parents of musical children proud, any time.
The opening piece was a stunning energy dynamo. I could feel the power but I wasn't that impressed by the music - pardon my ignorance but I wasn't given a program sheet so I've no idea what it was. Turned out to be "The Bird in the Dust" by Roby Lakatos. Well, he's violinist and Hungarian, so forgive me if I think using harmonica may not have brought out the best of this piece.
The next few items were kind of a regular in harmonica music I guess, judging by the style and flavour, but I'd say the group played them well technically. I'm not an expert in harmonica music lah, just played percussion for two bands for some short periods in my life, so I'm unqualified to judge.
BUT THE REAL STUNNER that won my heart and praises for the night was their original score composed by Jang Li (李让) - The Map Painter 测绘者. There's plenty of flavours written into this set of 3.
If you love Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Out of Africa, The Mummy, Dances with Wolves, any stories, movies, music that will take your spirit away from your body (mind-travelling) even for a little while, this composition will do just that. Without a passport, visa nor luggage. Just go.
The night ended with them playing their famed performance piece - Romanian Rhapsody by George Enescu. And we continued to clap our praises, acceptance and admiration till they came back out for an encore. Well done!
I rushed out to buy a copy of their recording with The Map Painter in it - Live at National Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, on August 17th 2016.
And I queued unabashedly like a starry-eyed teenager to get their autographs. They've won the honour of being my first idol. They've earned it.
And they've taken 20 years off me, just by playing their harmonicas tonight.