Sep 25, 2012

Bruno Mars - It Will Rain (Cover by Cynthia Ng)

Cynthia Ng Yi Xyann, the name one always heard in primary school (Penang Chinese Girls' Primary School), owing to her title of the 'flower of the school' (校花), whom I have not been keeping in contact with for 11 years!!! ever since Primary 6, whoolala. We're in the same class for 2 years (4H, 5H) anyway.

I guess after watching my Happy Birthday A Cappella, she intended to do a cover with me when I got back to Penang, and thankfully when I flew back to Penang from Singapore during my recess week, we managed to make one cover in one night at her house. It's a cover for Bruno Mars - It Will Rain.

Can you imagine how insane Bruno Mars is? The key I played for Cynthia (D major) is the original key Bruno Mars sang in, without her realization. He's just totally singing a female's key. I bet none of his songs is probably comfortably singable by normal guys, except The Lazy Song, I supposed.

Recording the audio was quite an impromptu. Luckily the clavinova at her house which she hasn't been touching for ages is a Yamaha clavinova, I know how to record the playback. Well, the reason of recording the playback is basically, the keys are making too much noise, it could've been louder than the musical notes produced by the keys.

The next fortunate and unforeseen thing was, she has a karaoke system at home. So having no mixer and stuffs, the smart way (or rather unprofessional) is to record her voice with my iPhone, by placing my phone in front of the one of the speakers. But sadly she has no pop filter, and it took me a while to bring down the volume of the 'p' and 'k' air.

Editing the video transition was another pain in the ass, as she kept having different postures (of the way her hands were holding the mic stand) when I was shooting her lip syncing with our first successful recording.

Well, I love collaboration, when you get to halve your effort for publicity.

And I have to say that she has a very voice, which she utilizes well. That's why I didn't even want to harmonize, because my voice just won't fit hers in any way.

So please do check out our cover for It Will Rain!

Javin Tham A master's degree graduate in engineering, a musician at heart, loves playing with soft toys.

Sep 24, 2012

The More We Get Together (Piano & Harmonica Cover)

There's a Chinese phrase that I've been hearing since young, 「吃飽沒事做」, lit. eat full nothing do. Wow, they rhyme.

So this time it's the retarded me playing instruments in the unusual way.

I just need to play the harmonica by biting without moving it horizontally because this nursery rhyme (a British folk song actually) uses only two chords. So I just blow for a C chord and draw for a G chord (although it's actually a G7add9 without G itself).

I crossed my arms and faced away from the piano to play and that's really obstructive to my movements, but if you noticed, my right hand was still on the side where is should be and so did my left hand, so it's still not too challenging, unlike those performed by professional entertaining pianists who're able to switch their hands' role.

But still, it's not easy for mine. You can try and see.

[The More We Get Together]
The more we get together, together, together,
the more we get together, the happier we shall be.
For your friends are my friends,
and my friends are your friends.
The more we get together, the happier we shall be.

Javin Tham A master's degree graduate in engineering, a musician at heart, loves playing with soft toys.

Sep 22, 2012

iPhone 5

On the very 1st day (21st Sep 2012) of iPhone 5 launch in Singapore, we managed to rush to Paragon at 3:20pm, with the funny us queuing and thinking "oh, the queue isn't really as long as expected at all", without realizing that we're in the first 'section' of the queue (ya, it's so long that it's 'sectioned').

Let's make things clear before proceeding:

1) Why Paragon?
My SingTel 2-year-contract has ended 1 year ago and I'm signing a contract with M1 to get an iPhone 5 32GB at $580.
I'm also able to port my number from SingTel to M1 to retain the same mobile number since it's from postpaid plan to postpaid plan.

2) Why M1?
Currently only M1 offers Multi-Line Saver and 3 of us (Isaac's cousin, Eugene and me) are signing under a main line holder (Isaac's cousin) and each of us will enjoy 25% off our respective monthly bills.

3) Why bother to buy on the 1st day and queue like crazy?
Well, I didn't really want to but the key point here is, the main line holder has to be a Singaporean or PR and Isaac's cousin is a Singaporean and she wanted to recontract as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I'm flying back to Penang on the next day so I have to get it done on that only possible day to be a sub line holder.
Besides, since the main line holder must be a Singaporean or PR, we don't have to pay the $800 deposit.

4) Must you get iPhone 5?
OH YESSS!!!! A lot of people have been criticizing iPhone 5 for not being a much improved phone compared to iPhone 4S. But hello, I was using an iPhone 3GS ever since I signed contract with SingTel, and I waited so long for iPhone 5 since my contract with SingTel ended. 3GS to 5 is at least a big leap.

5) How long did you queue for?
The first part of queuing is just to get a queue number, which took 2 hours.
We're told that we need to wait for perhaps 2-3 hours after we got our queue number (5317). At that time, the number served was 5198, means around 120 more people before us.
The truth: we waited for 7 FREAKING HOURS!!! Eugene and I bought each a drink from Starbucks (oh ya, I topped up $80 to my Starbucks Card and got a free 8GB thumbdrive) and studied, until they're closed.

The next day at Penang International Airport
Thankfully the contract was signed smoothly and we got our phones and tablet (Eugene signed for a Samsung tablet, so not mainstream) at around 12:30am.

I think they also expected that they had to work overtime, because they have to serve until the last customer whom they gave the queue number to.

For your info, I didn't have data plan during my SingTel contract, I'm now more survivable, and it's 4G some more. But I only have 2GB of free data to use, have to be thrifty.

Sometimes when I use my 3GS again, I feel that 3GS is so short and fat. Oh, and finally I got a functioning home button, unlike my stupid 3GS's broken home button which you have to press so hard to get back to the menu page (that's why I used AssistiveTouch).

Apart from that, the loading speed is so much faster now compared to my stupid 3GS (fat, short and slow).

The camera hor, forget about it, photo quality is still to lousy, I'll just use my Lumix GF3.

Nothing really too fancy about iPhone 5, but it's elegant to me (thin and tall), love it so much. I can play Scramble With Friends anywhere anytime now. :)

Unlocked iPhone 5 in white and black are now available at Amazon for only US$709 and US$690!

Javin Tham A master's degree graduate in engineering, a musician at heart, loves playing with soft toys.