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陈洁仪:我的音乐之旅 (Kit Chan: My Musical Journey)

February 16, 2011
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I believe our Singapore songbird warrants a place here, so here it is.

Title : 陈洁仪:我的音乐之旅 = Kit Chan: My Musical Journey
Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall
Run: 12 & 13 February 2011

As part of the Esplanade’s Huayi Festival 2011, Kit Chan performed at 2 sell-out concerts with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO). I won’t say I’m a fan of hers since I didn’t buy all her albums or keep close tabs on news about her, but I believe she’s one of the best female pop singers from Singapore. The versatility in her voice is admirable and it’s good news she’s getting active again in the arts scene after her 6-year hiatus. Fortunately, they added 1 more show and I managed to secure tickets for that.

As the title of the concert suggests, it brings the audience through her musical journey, structured in movements, starting with her early days, her breakthroughs, her explorations into other things like musicals, turning points of her life, and finally, her comeback.

Opening the show was a prologue, DJ-style with Danny Yeo (杨君伟) seated on the 2nd level of the stage (it was an interesting set-up). Her voice rang out first as she opened with Amazing Grace, and as we searched intently for her appearance, she came out on the gallery on the upper level, joining the choir in that first movement where she sang 3 songs – Amazing Grace, Something Good from “Sound of Music” and Mr. Turner.

I don’t think I’ll go into every song. There were covers, her memorable songs (金曲), and also her own songs. Yup, she writes songs too if you didn’t know. I liked “Mr. Turner” (her 1st composition) which was rather catchy. I believe that’s in one of her albums.

The 2nd movement heard her performing her early hits 《喜欢你》 (Liking You)、《担心》 (Worry)、《拔河》 (Tug of War) and 《心痛》 (Heartache). She was fully warmed up (me too) when she reached 《心痛》, her 成名曲 (breakthrough song) that brought the mood in the concert hall up a notch. On another note, I always felt 《拔河》 was a challenging song to sing, with the “tremolo” portions if I can call them that, and the need to have good control of the voice tones.

The highlight came in the next movement when she re-appeared with 《等了又等》, from Snow.Wolf.Lake (雪·狼·湖). The audience started clapping the moment she opened the song and me? I found myself tearing. This had got to be the best song or climax for the night. I must say, it’s so different when she sings Cantonese songs…they seem to sound more melodious than her Chinese songs. Maybe because the Cantonese dialect has more intonations and she seems to use a different voice when singing them. She went on to sing 《月亮代表我的心》 and 《炫耀》, which saw the first appearance of Jimmy Ye (叶良俊) as guest pianist. Not often would you get to see Jimmy Ye playing on stage, I think.

I wasn’t familiar with the 2 songs from the 4th movement, 《懂得》 and 《东湾土星》, but the last and 5th movement had 《天冷就回来》, which I think is a beautiful heartwarming song by 梁文福 (that also inspired a musical of the same name). And of course, how can she leave without singing 《家》 (“Home”), our 1998 NDP song. She sang the Chinese version.

It didn’t end just yet, and for the encore, she sang one song (only) – “Home” by Michael Buble (yup, not the NDP song, but she did switch to that halfway and back again) which is found in her latest album of cover songs 《重译》. It was quite an apt closing of the concert actually, with lyrics like “I wanna go home” and “let me go home” as she “encouraged” us to be on our way.

Gee, I don’t really know how to rate it…should I give a biased or honest opinion? Well, I felt I would have enjoyed a real 演唱会 with more of her songs and less of a classical concert set-up. Strange seeing everyone sitting prim and proper at a pop (well, almost) concert . I had a “where are the light sticks?” thought and had to control my “sing/hum-along” compulsion. Ha! I think the audience started to loosen up at the encore, which was too short really.

Anyway, the SCO performed a nice interlude with a “mash-up” re-arrangement of her songs after the 2nd movement. Maestro Tsung Yeh (叶聪)is a great conductor.

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