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Joined: Nov 2006
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PART 1

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 I’ve corresponded with, and some of Wzkit’s and Alvin’s piano friends.

For lunch I had a buffet catered. The menu was all peranakan cuisine, also known as nonya food. For those who aren’t familiar with peranakan cuisine you can find out a little more about it HERE and 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 ‘real’ 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 didn’t matter whether you played well or not. Everybody was welcome to have a go.

Now, for a few pictures.

[Linked Image]

The caterer had just left, and Alvin had finished tidying up my tuning.

[Linked Image]

Right after I snapped this shot the first visitor arrived. It was my neighbour Jonathan with wife and young daughter.

[Linked Image]

Jon has fantastic facility on the keyboard. I can sometimes hear him pounding out Rachmaninov and Chopin (the ‘Military’ 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.

[Linked Image]

One end of the buffet table.

[Linked Image]

The other end of the buffet table.

[Linked Image]

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!).

[Linked Image]

Some of the people in this shot are PW members, but I won’t associate person with PW nick, other than to say that in this shot you see snoopycar, cmk, and Roxane.

[Linked Image]

Lynette playing for her lunch! She played short excerpts from Bach’s ‘Loure’ (Partita #3), and the second movement from Bruch’s 1st violin concerto.

And Jonathan was humming loudly!

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PART 2

[Linked Image]

Listening to Lynette.

[Linked Image]

More people listening to Lynette play.

[Linked Image]

One of these ladies is the PW member ‘Warus‘. All the PW members present had thought that Warus was a guy. We were very wrong!

[Linked Image]

Wzkit at the piano. He’s great company, and a really good pianist. Here he’s playing Tchaikovsky’s ‘Octobre‘.

[Linked Image]

And here he was playing Bortkiewicz’s ‘Consolation‘. The microphones in the foreground show that I had actually set up to record the piano. But mild stage fright caused me to forget to start recording before my stint at the keyboard. After that we collectively decided to just forget it this time around.

[Linked Image]

The leftovers!

So how do we finish all this food? The prawns weren’t touched at all the whole afternoon, probably because shelling them would have been a nuisance. So a few of us sat around and nibbled at the food until about 20.00h. Then I packed some to take to my parents for their dinner. We ate some more at around 21.30h (when the prawns were completely polished off!) and then some more late in the evening. We never did finish up all the food.

How long did people stay? Well, Roxane left around 18.30h while Wzkit left at 20.15h when I stepped out to take some leftovers to my parents for their dinner.

By all accounts the afternoon went well. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. I certainly did!

Will there be more? Maybe. I suggested to Lynette that if there is another piano afternoon that she bring an accompanist with her and play a violin sonata. Well, why just stop at violin, she said. How about having different instrumentalists visit on each occasion? Now that’s a thought, isn’t it.

One more thing I forgot: Norman, the jazz pianist, also played for us. To be honest, I am personally jealous of jazz pianists and their great musicianship skills.

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Hey D!
Looks like it was great fun -- wish I had been there.
Alvin is one of my favorite people in the piano business (and favorite people PERIOD). Did he play, also?
I hope to meet you someday in person.
Enjoy your fabulous Sauter!
best,
Cathy


Cathy Harl - former piano dealer and tech.
Currently making and designing jewelry.
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Looks like a fantastic time! Beautiful piano and I'm drooling looking at that fantastic spread of FOOD!!! laugh

Cheers


Nicholas B.

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Reeling in envy....

Wondering if my wife would remember the neighbourhood from her time in Singapore....

Norbert wink



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Wow...dinner time!


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Quote
Originally posted by Catlady:
Hey D!
Looks like it was great fun -- wish I had been there.
Alvin is one of my favorite people in the piano business (and favorite people PERIOD). Did he play, also?
I hope to meet you someday in person.
Enjoy your fabulous Sauter!
best,
Cathy
And your presence would have been very welcome if you could have made it Cathy. Alvin has only good things to say about you too. smile And no, Alvin didn't play. I forgot to put him in the hotseat!

The 'meet you in person someday' bit could happen you know. My youngest brother lives in Fairfax, and I sometimes drop in if I happen to be passing through. So....

The Omega sounds better and better all the time. It's only 6 months old now, so the voice will still open up some more over the next year or two.

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Quote
Originally posted by Nicholas B.:
Looks like a fantastic time! Beautiful piano and I'm drooling looking at that fantastic spread of FOOD!!! laugh

Cheers
We did have a good time. Four guests brought a bottle of wine each, but no alcohol was consumed. Otherwise we would have had an even better time! laugh laugh

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Quote
Originally posted by Norbert:
Reeling in envy....

Wondering if my wife would remember the neighbourhood from her time in Singapore....

Norbert wink
It depends on when she was here. This place changes over time....

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Quote
Originally posted by pno:
Wow...dinner time!
For some of us, that spread was lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, supper, and late supper. As with many Asian cuisines, some dishes actually taste better when re-heated. Burp!

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Is your face in any of those photos??? wink


Nepotism: We promote family values here - almost as often as we promote family members.
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Quote
Originally posted by chihuahua:
Is your face in any of those photos??? wink
Umm, nope! Actually it's hard to be in a picture if I'm on the other end of the camera lens. A friend did snap some pics of me when I was playing, but they came out all out of focus, so I didn't select them. laugh

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Figured out who WzKit is ... but Roxane - purple blouse and staring at her foot?


Nepotism: We promote family values here - almost as often as we promote family members.
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Heheh...can't say lah. Don't know if the PW members want to be identified laugh

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Snoopycar identified himself on his website ... smile


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Digitus was the perfect host! thumb

His Sauter is beautifully responsive, with a sparkling treble and a bass that speaks with more substance than one might expect from pianos of the same length. But what I seriously covet is the bubinga contrast lining the inside of the lid, fallboard, cheek blocks, as well as the subtle horizontal trim above each legs. Oh, and all the hardware is in chrome, instead of the usual brass! Truly gorgeous in sound and sight.

Wzkit and Jonathan are amazing pianists, and it was such a treat to hear Lynette Seah (for free, I might add! wink ) , who managed to coax a beautiful tone even on a dinky violin! Alvin was lovely to meet in person – very knowledgeable with a true passion for what he does, and yet ever so humble.

Thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a stormy Sat afternoon.

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Quote
Originally posted by chihuahua:
Snoopycar identified himself on his website ... smile
Yes, but I don't know about cmk and Roxane mah. But what I can tell you about her is that you would never have guessed her profession. I was blown away when I found out what she does for her day job! wink

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Quote
Originally posted by Roxane:
Digitus was the perfect host! thumb

His Sauter is beautifully responsive, with a sparkling treble and a bass that speaks with more substance than one might expect from pianos of the same length. But what I seriously covet is the bubinga contrast lining the inside of the lid, fallboard, cheek blocks, as well as the subtle horizontal trim above each legs. Oh, and all the hardware is in chrome, instead of the usual brass! Truly gorgeous in sound and sight.

Wzkit and Jonathan are amazing pianists, and it was such a treat to hear Lynette Seah (for free, I might add! wink ) , who managed to coax a beautiful tone even on a dinky violin! Alvin was lovely to meet in person – very knowledgeable with a true passion for what he does, and yet ever so humble.

Thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a stormy Sat afternoon.
Thanks for coming Roxane. See, there was no need for your anxiety about playing.

So now that you've seen the bubinga veneer, you know what to do for your next piano (Steinway C? heheh). Here's a link to a page about bubinga .

The dinky violin is actually not so bad. Its a Suzuki that I bought from Lynette a few years ago when I started my abortive attempt to teach myself the violin. (She was nearly doubled up with laughter when she heard what I wanted to do, but sold me the violin anyway, for not very much at all. :p ) Its those darned strings that were the problem -- awful screechy steel ones.

Yes, the heavy downpour in the afternoon made being indoors all the more cozy eh!

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Quote
Originally posted by Digitus:
Quote
Originally posted by chihuahua:
[b] Snoopycar identified himself on his website ... smile
Yes, but I don't know about cmk and Roxane mah. But what I can tell you about her is that you would never have guessed her profession. I was blown away when I found out what she does for her day job! wink [/b]
You were blown away ...

[Linked Image]

Let me guess ... she's a demolition specialist? laugh

[Linked Image]

Hiyah, my guess she's probably one of the "elite in white uniform," or a big shot CEO. Seriously. eek


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Quote
Originally posted by chihuahua:

Hiyah, my guess she's probably one of the "elite in white uniform," or a big shot CEO. Seriously. eek
I'm not saying! laugh

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