Tuesday, 28 July 2009

FTL2009 Demo: Forevermore!

Here's a sneak preview of one of the demos I've done for Follow The Light 2009. It's a song between the Angel Gabe, the nervous wreck Joe, and the obedient Mary.

Formerly known by the rather tacky title of Love Your Wife, may I present the revised Forevermore. Music, arrangements, lyrics and vocals by Nick. Kindly forgive the occasional off-pitch moments, as the song has a rather wide range — wider than my voice was able to reach, heh!

[Demo removed on 19 Aug 2009. Thanks for listening!]

Forevermore
Music, lyrics, arrangement and programming by Nick Choo
© 2009 by Nick Choo. All rights reserved

GABE:
Joe. My friend. Why do you fret, asking questions in despair?
Buddy, don’t you know all that occurs is part of God’s will?
Joseph, you should not regret this, the child your wife will bear.
Yes, you heard me right. You should accept her and marry her still.

She’ll be your wife, so take her by the hand,
Please try to understand what this is for.
Love your wife; give her your very heart;
Say you will guide and guard her now, forevermore.
Love your wife, and love the life you’ll share.
Show that you’ll always care the whole way through.
Love your wife; give her your very soul,
And God will keep you whole and shower His love on you.

JOE:
Angel, friend, I hear your word and I’m longing to obey,
But deep inside my heart is a disturbance – this feeling of…
Pain.

GABE:
God has sent his blessings down upon you both — you’ll be okay!
As long as you believe,
And keep in mind the blessings you'll gain…

She’ll be your wife, so take her by the hand,
And try to understand what this is for.

JOE:
But I don’t know what this is for…

GABE:
Love your wife; give her your very heart…

JOE:
How can I do this?

GABE:
Say you will guide and guard them now, forevermore.

JOE:
It’s petrifying…
Can I trust this will work out? I hate to fuss, and yet I doubt:
In spite of angels, I don’t know if it’s the proper way to go…
I’m not in control!
Will God keep me whole if I shower my love on you…?

GABE (simultaneously):
Love your wife, and love the life you’ll share.
Show that you’ll always care the whole way through.
Love your wife; give her your very soul,
And God will keep you whole and shower His love on you.

MARY:
I see the pain upon his face. I want to hold him, tell him, “Joe,
This is a moment to embrace.” And then I’ll scold him for being so
Righteous and gorgeous in his ways: precisely the traits
That make him so great. So steadfast and straight.
And now I’m afraid he’ll start to hate me…

GABE:
Just love your wife, and love the child she bears.
Show that you’ll always care your whole life through.
Love your wife; give her your very soul…
And God will keep you whole, and shower His love on you.

JOE: (simultaneously)
What will the people say? What will the people say?
What will the people say? What will the people say?
My wife has a child! My wife has a child!
God, help me keep you whole and shower my love on you!

MARY: (simultaneously)
I see the pain upon his face. I want to hold him, tell him, “Joe,
This is a moment to embrace.” I should have told him long ago:
He is so gorgeous in his ways, with such a good soul.
I promise to keep you whole and shower my love on you!

Next to Normal!!

Hooboy, here's a musical I wish I'd written! The latest Broadway smash hit, Next to Normal, about a family trying to cope when the mother develops a mental illness. Six persons in the cast; a serious issue; tears-to-your-eyes by the end of it... it's really all I'd wanted to achieve with The Edge. And now this is motivating me so much more to revisit Edge and maybe rock it up just a little bit!! Here's a scene from NtN from the 2009 Tonys. Awesome stuff!!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Weight Loss Monitor #4 + Other Stuff

Quickie updates!

As of this morning, into week 12, weight is 84kg ... 21kg lost, and 9kg remaining!

As of today, four FTL2009 demos recorded, complete with dodgy vocals. 17 more or so to go! Oy.

As of today, three rounds of closed auditions held for FTL. Tomorrow and Wed: open auditions!

As of right now, surviving on about five hours of interrupted sleep. Joy.

Number of "big names" potentially in the new FTL cast: at least five.

Came in late to work today because of closed auditions round three this morning, which, as expected, ran overtime.

Was out the door aiming for work when I realised I had to cook a meal or go hungry. GAH, this diet. Arf.

Last weekend, a famed local tv and commercial director died of a sudden stroke and subsequent brain haemorrhaging. Twitter and Facebook world is in mourning.

Received new CDs in the mail on Saturday, much to my listening enjoyment: cast recordings of Next to Normal; Shrek: The Musical; Hair: The New Broadway Revival; 13; and the concert DVD of Chess, starring Josh Groban (!).

Dad and Mum were meant to back to Penang for the weekend, but Dad fell ill so they didn't go.

Grandpa hid US$300 in cash in his secret hiding place in his house, only to find out later that all the cash had been eaten by termites.

All in all, quite a productive and interesting week, I suppose. How was yours?

Thursday, 23 July 2009

FTL2009: Open Audition Notice

Follow the Light is an original Christmas musical written by Nick Choo, to be directed by Colin Kirton, and staged at PJ Live Arts from 3-13 December 2009, with rehearsals starting in early to mid September 2009.

With a contemporary take on the Christmas story of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, manger, angels, shepherds and wisemen as the backdrop, the musical also explores (with some dramatic liberty and loads of humour!) universal issues of relationships, significance and purpose, among others.

The musical, which features a wide variety of musical styles, is 90% sung, with solo lines for ensemble as well as principal performers. As such, anyone interested in being a part of the cast will need to have a voice capable of handling solos adequately.

Open auditions will be held as follows for the 9 principal and 8 ensemble characters in the cast.

Time: 7:30-11:30 pm

Venue: A-11-12, Pelangi Utama Condos, Bandar Utama

To arrange an audition slot, or for further details, please email Cathy Chin at cathychinkl@gmail.com. All auditions by appointment only.

Auditionees do not have to prepare any material beforehand. Past singing/acting experience is advantageous, but not necessary.

Follow the Light is not specifically for a Christian audience. Auditionees likewise can be of any religious persuasion or none at all.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Something New, Something...

Quickie updates to prove I'm still alive! Hahaha. More turbulence in Malaysian political waters. Country. Hell. Handbasket. Join the dots. But beyond that, there's not been much else going on. Last Wednesday Colin and I checked out the venue for FTL 2009, and we were quite thrilled by the space that we potentially have. Pics and more info later. Unfortunately there was a miscommunication with the venue booking, so we had to reserve alternative dates for our show, a week earlier than we'd wanted. Ah well. It will do. ;)

Tomorrow and Wednesday nights we're having additional auditions for our cast, which should be interesting. And I've begun the new-demo recording process. Very exhausting but thrilling! So far I've finished one complete demo — Something New, Something Bright — and am quite pleased with it. It's similar to the original but noticeably different too, heh. Sneak previews on this blog in due course... watch this space!!! So... one demo down — 20 to go. OY. Arf.

Well, that's it for now. Food's cooking in the oven, so I shall go check on it now. Breakfasttime. At 1pm. Heh. Till later... keep on checking in for Tweet updates, k!! Cheers!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Election Schmelection!

Hey all. Just dropping in to update the main posts with nothing much, just to prove that I'm not going to be relying solely on the Twitter stream in the sidebar from now on, haha! (Oh, just in case any of you are wondering what it's all about, the Twitter sidebar basically publishes real-time updates from me at whatever point in time that I choose to "tweet"; you can't actually respond to it unless you start up a Twitter account and follow me. Sometimes I'm responding to fellow Twitterers, which is why the messages might not make sense. Capeesh? Awesome.)

So yeah, right now I'm sitting in the office. Looks like it's going to be a long night, what with yet another by-election taking place out East. It's, like, what, the bazillionth one in the past year? Oy gevault. Fatigued, we are. Fatigued!

Aaaand that's really it, to be honest. Tomorrow the director Colin and I are going to pay a visit to our prospective (and pre-booked) venue for this FTL incarnation we've been working on for three years. No updates yet since our producer, the lovely Cathy, is abroad at the moment... but like I've said, it's all very optimistic (cautiously so!) and we've been getting more and more people interested, so... fingers tightly crossed. Toes, too. And everything else is clenched. Believe you me.

Okay, work calls. Byebye!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Tweet Tweet

A new addition to the sidebar: my Twitter status updates! Yay! Anyone who's on Twitter, please feel free to follow @nickchoomk — that's me!

So yeah, check back in regularly to see what's new with yours truly... even if the main posts aren't updated, there will at least be updates in the sidebar! Whoohoo!!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

The Light Still Shines Brightly On...

On to better and brigher things...

Over the weekend, we finally had our first round of closed auditions for Follow The Light, the new 2009 version. Whoohooo! Let me tell you, it was quite a thrill, having these big names and local celebs in my apartment (um... we wanted to save on costs, so the auditions were held here)! Arf! Quite an exciting list of candidates we have lined up, and if we are able to have these well-known persons in the show, it would certainly be a boost! Fellow Malaysians who would recognise these celebs might notice I'm not naming names, but I don't wanna jump to conclusions and give away too much too soon. All in good time, my friends. All in good time.

How weird, about a week ago I was on the verge of giving up on FTL altogether — then I decided to let go and let God, and suddenly it all seems to be falling into place. The best example? We were unable to secure a venue... and at the last minute, our producer Cathy tells us she's found what seems to be the perfect venue: convenient, affordable and available for our proposed performance dates. How awesome is that?

It's not a done deal yet, though. The biggest concern we now have is about the money: the way we're looking at it, we would need a six-figure sum for our budget — that's discounting the expectated salaries that these famous persons would command (edited to add note to self: "expectated" is not a word) — and at this late stage, specifically during a difficult economic year, it's going to be quite a miracle if we get it. That said, if there's one thing I believe in and which this show's about, it's that miracles can happen, with some hard work, and a little bit of faith. Oh yeaah.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Holy--

Every so often I like to write about a serious issue on my blog. Okay, I lie, I hardly ever do it. But there's been an occurrence here that just warrants my making a few comments on. It's a news story that appeared on the website I work at, and I quote a couple of paragraphs:

... The two Catholics who lodged a police report against the Al Islam magazine over an article in which the journalist took the holy communion wafer out of his mouth and photographed it, have started a peaceful protest campaign against the magazine.

... Xavier and Stanley in a press statement said they were "outraged that these Muslim men consumed it [the communion] only to spit it out later, have it photographed, and have its image published."

Read the rest of the article here, complete with pics and scans of the original offending article (in Malay).

I can't believe how insensitive and downright disrespectful some people can be. And for the absolutely disgusting reason of wanting to "see if Muslims were being converted in churches" (sic)?! What on earth would Muslims be doing in a church to begin with (apart from despicable journalism)?? And as my friend Meesh says, if I were going to be converting Muslims, why would I do it in a church?? But hey, you know what, maybe it's a positive thing. It raises the bar for appalling behaviour, of which there is no shortage in this flailing nation. The message is clear: it's okay to randomly walk into someone else's place of worship and be sacrilegious. What a terrific example to set for the peoples of Malaysia who are already useless enough in handling faith-related discourse and are prime candidates for religious disunity; let us all storm into mosques and temples and do as our petty, insecure and immoral hearts desire.

Jesus. And I'm not saying that in vain.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

All That Glitters!

Aaaand I unveil the latest blog re-design. This time around: golds and yellows. Hope you like it. Comments in the sidebar chatterbox would be awesome. Thanks!

Major Lee Downe + Weight Loss Monitor #4

Hey all. Still nothing much happening here. Oy. Been pretty depressed the past week, but today I'm feeling much better. Sometimes I think I need to go for therapy. Y'know, like Fran Fine the Nanny did, with the therapist who picked his nose and then offered her candy. Anyhoo. Sometimes I feel like I've got a wide horizon of opportunity ahead of me; and then, like the last week, I feel like I've been nothing but a total failure and that I'll never become the person that I'd like to become. Yes, this has to do with music. Okay, and a little to do with personal life. But anyway. Today's a happier day. Thank heavens. Moving on.

I was thinking ten days ago that I should go ahead and get myself registered as a small-time business to make it easier to pursue music and theatrical projects (after all, people would rather trust a business than an unknown individual). Then I was down and felt like it would just be a waste of time. Today I'm thinking it might be a worthy step after all. See how fickle? Almost bi-polar (without intending to trivialise the condition)? Sheesh. So the other day I came up with a prototype logo for myself. It's still rough and might need some tweaking to make it easier to decipher, but the idea's somewhat along the lines of:

See what I did there? With the N and the C? Clever? Stupid? Either way. That's the concept.

Well, I guess I oughta get ready to go to work, sigh. Meanwhile, weight is now at 88.4kg, down 1.2kg from about a week ago. I guess that's pretty ok. And it occured to me that by losing another 1.4kg, I'd be only 10kg away from my minimum target weight (77kg). Of course, my desired target weight is 13.4kg away (75kg). I don't think I've been 75kg since I was a bloated, waddling 13-year-old who was once commented upon by a teacher in front of the whole classroom, "Aiyooo you're soooo fat!" Didn't even get to 75kg during the crash-diet-extreme-exercise-regime of 2004 (but was this close!). But never mind, I'll get there (God willing) before I know it... Can't wait. If only just to start eating (in moderation!) "regular" foods again... trust me, when you're depressed, it's so tempting to say "screw it all!" and drive-thru the KFC and binge on a bucket. Mmmmm. Chicken.

Bye.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Meh. And Weight Loss Monitor #3

Hey everyone! Sorry I've not blogged for a while. Nothing much happening here. Well, I've been working on some music as well as pursuing that still-elusive revival of Follow The Light (which I still have hope will happen). Um. Apart from that... well... that's it really. Oh, I managed to get my website updated, so check it out yea? But apart from that ... well... that's it really. Lately I've been feeling kinda bored. Tired of dreaming but not achieving. Itching for different views, new horizons and all that. Instead I'm stuck here in a routine and in an environment that's not really doing much to inspire me. But anyway. Weight loss blog: current weight is 89.6kg. 15.4kg lost. 14.6kg to go. Woooooot.