I hosted a piano party in my home this past Saturday, 21 February. This report is an edited cross-post from my blog.
I had originally considered making it an open house event for PW members in Singapore, but the lack of space in my flat ruled that out. So, it was an invitation-only event. The invitees include some PW members whom Iâ€™ve corresponded with, and some of Wzkitâ€™s and Alvinâ€™s piano friends.
For lunch I had a buffet catered. The menu was all peranakan
cuisine, also known as nonya
food. For those who arenâ€™t familiar with peranakan cuisine you can find out a little more about it HERE
Twenty-two people turned up, and we had a really fun afternoon. The piano playing was in a way secondary to the whole event. It was more an excuse to get some people together to have a good natter, some good food, and also some music.
There was a rather eclectic mix of non-musicians (some close friends of mine), classical pianists, a jazz pianist, and a violinist. The range of â€˜realâ€™ occupations was interesting. They included piano tech, piano dealer, economist, computer scientist (ex-academic), mechanical engineer (academic), music teacher, professional musician, IT project manager, HR officer, IT systems analyst, marketing executive, student (forensic science), school teacher, finance director, IT sales rep, and lawyer.
The professional musician was the violinist, Lynette Seah, co-leader of the Singapore Symphony. She was kind enough to attend, and was thoroughly delightful. She even obliged with a couple of short excerpts from Bach and Bruch. Sadly the cheap violin and shrill steel strings were not up to scratch. Lynette said that she would have gladly brought her own violin if I had told her that she had to play for her lunch!
The caterer arrived at 11.05h to set up the buffet table and start warming up the food. Shortly after that Alvin arrived to (a) fix a clicking damper pedal; (b) touch up my tuning; and (c) change the una corda from 2.5 strings to 2 strings.
Lunch commenced at 12.45h, and people kept eating from the buffet throughout the whole afternoon.
Myself and several guests played during the afternoon. Some were initially too shy to play, but eventually it became clear that everyone was there to enjoy themselves and not be music critics or snobs. It didnâ€™t matter whether you played well or not. Everybody was welcome to have a go.
Now, for a few pictures.
The caterer had just left, and Alvin had finished tidying up my tuning.
Right after I snapped this shot the first visitor arrived. It was my neighbour Jonathan with wife and young daughter.
Jon has fantastic facility on the keyboard. I can sometimes hear him pounding out Rachmaninov and Chopin (the â€˜Militaryâ€™ polonaise mainly) on his Yamaha upright. He says he plays loud to relieve stress. :-) Jon did a lot to help me relax the guests. He got me, Wzkit and Roxane to play duets of solo pieces with him. Interesting. It turned out that Jon and Wzkit have known each other for many years, since the time when they were members of the Piano Ensemble at the National University of Singapore.
One end of the buffet table.
The other end of the buffet table.
Lynette and Clarence.
Lynnette always looks glamourous, even when dressed casually! Clarence is a close friend who lives nearby with his family. His whole gang (plus extras) came over to enjoy the company, music, and food (not necessarily in that order!).
Some of the people in this shot are PW members, but I wonâ€™t associate person with PW nick, other than to say that in this shot you see snoopycar, cmk, and Roxane.
Lynette playing for her lunch! She played short excerpts from Bachâ€™s â€˜Loureâ€™ (Partita #3), and the second movement from Bruchâ€™s 1st violin concerto.
And Jonathan was humming loudly!