New music to calm your soul: Giovanni Allevi

The piano solo music of Giovanni Allevi is so addictive that I had to find the sheet music and play it. Once I got started, I couldn’t stop. It’s like an ear worm that digs into the core of you.  Continue reading

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I Left My Heart in San Francisco for solo piano

One of my oldest friends requested me to play “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Not that he and I have ever travelled together to this city of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the cable trolley. I did, however, stay at Queen Anne Hotel before touring the Napa Valley in a rented green convertible Spring of 1997. Years later, I would visit ‘Frisco each consecutive summer for work and play. One of my fondest memories was the sight reading workshop, part of my Call for Scores project.
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Anak for piano solo

When I lived in Singapore in the late eighties, I hung out with my Malaysian neighbors off River Valley Road. One of their friends, named Cel, sketched me (below). I’m not sure if he was the one who introduced me to Freddie Aguilar’s song. The cascading F major, G major, and A minor chord progression has haunted me ever since. Continue reading

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Minimalist, frugal living, and the path to zero waste management

The one-way airmile ticket to Amsterdam in mid-June led me to the Dutch lock-keeper’s house in Utrecht, a place I had called home  for a decade. Void of furniture and furnishings, it felt small. In fact, everything looked smaller than I had remembered it.

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All things Dutch and wonderful

When I first visited a local supermarket in the Netherlands, I complained that the only soy sauce was the wrong kind. The bottle was too small, and the soya sauce was Indonesian. I honestly thought I would starve.

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Moving out, moving over, and moving on

During the pressure-cooker months of May and June,  I often wanted to wave a magic wand and make everything disappear. My tendency to collect, accept what others give me, organize, make good, and keep meant that I didn’t like throwing things away.  Yet at the same time, I was reluctant to pay for shipping and extra baggage fees to transport all my belongings from Maui. Continue reading

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Like-minded souls and their passion to collect sheet music

“If Bart were still here, he would never let me go through his sheet music and take what I want,” I said to his widow after spending hours looking through the densely packed shelves downstairs and upstairs. Continue reading

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A rolling stone gathers no moss but eventually will meet others

I can count the number of friends who visited me during  my five-and-a-half years on Maui. The first to visit was a couple who flew from California and stayed for a long weekend in my first apartment while attending a wedding in Wailea. I invited my long-time friend from Denver for Christmas, and she stayed in my cottage while we house sat my colleague’s home nearby in Wailuku. My friend from Taipei and another from Honolulu also visited and stayed with me. The last visit culminated in a concert in an autoshop. Continue reading

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The monument house: piano room

I didn’t get to say goodbye to my Steinway A, for I didn’t know when I would return to see it. Continue reading

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Planning travel: Maui to Boston, Utrecht to London

Nearly six years after flying to Maui and getting a job there, I booked a one-way ticket to Boston and started planning my exit from paradise.

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