Sunday, October 24, 2010

BIG AND BRASSY– KLPAC Symphonic Band concert

BIG AND BRASSY celebrates the diversity of band music with an eclectic programme that will be brought to life by the 40-strong klpac Symphonic Band under the baton of Music Director & Resident Conductor, Bruce Lee, and Guest Conductor, Mitsuo Nonami.

Sit back and enjoy this wonderful journey that will take you from classical pieces like Mozart’s The Magic Flute rarely heard in band repertoire to almost forgotten band favourites Incantation and Dance and to Broadway numbers like Seventy Six Trombones. In addition, the Tsun Jin Choir under the guidance of Wong Wai Quan will also be performing Cantate Dominum, Chinese folk song Alamuhan and I See You from the epic motion picture Avatar with the band.

Mentor and protégé will be reunited in this upcoming concert once again. BIG AND BRASSY promises to bring you on a fascinating musical journey. For more information, please visit

Presenter: KLPAC
Conductors: Bruce Lee & Mitsuo Nonami
Artistic Director: Joe Hasham OAM
Executive Producer: Dato’ Faridah Merican
Featuring: klpac Symphonic Band
Guest Choir: Tsun Jin High School Choir

Show Details
Date: 13 November(Sat) @ 8.30pm ; 14 November(Sun) @ 3.00pm
Venue: Pentas 1, The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC)
Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan, off Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (location map & directions available on
Ticket Price: RM35 / RM23 (students & the disabled)

Box Office
Call / Walk In: klpac @ Sentul Park (03 4047 9000) or The Actors Studio @ Lot 10 (03 2142 2009 / 2143 2009)
Walk In only: Axcess HQ (Jln. Semangat) & 1-Utama outlet

Thursday, October 7, 2010

That Vintage Feel part 4: The Music Must Go On

Listening to a piece of hifi equipments
inserted in a hifi system, is mostly about
evaluation of sound reproduction, yes
no? What then of listening to just music
irrespective of whether one is listening
in a car, in the office or at home? Many
would call it 'just listen to the music'
or 'just enjoy the music', never mind
the hardware.

So most of the time I would over the
time I know Koo. Until much more
recently, it's listening to the music
mostly and some friendly chit chat
thereafter the music sessions. Of
course we do enjoy the music listening
sessions as much as the chatting over
a hot cup of tea or coffee.

A brief account of the listening
sessions will more or less make up
for the remaining writing of this
diary entry of visiting Koo's music
room. Why didn't I call it 'hifi cave'
(?) because to Koo and his regular
visitors it's always about music.
With the exception of those first and
perhaps second time visitors who
came in from the 'hifi jungle' out
there to see and explore and to make
comparative inferences, and only to
find out that they may have forgotten
about the music and the enjoyment of

Over the years, I have listened to a
GRP's big band swing CD, from the
time of the open baffles thru the single
drivers to the now vintage pair of
Isophon bookshelf speakers. It's only
now that the enjoyment of listening to
this cd that I felt myself immersed in
the music much more than I first listen
to it many many years ago! The
changes in the setup has brought out
more of the music enjoyments. One
other CD that I particularly like is Nina
Simone's "Forbidden fruit", and I
especially like the track 'Golden
earrings'! I wouldn't go thru the
listening sessions without a listen
to this track!

I was introduced by Koo to Aretha
Franklin's Gospel singing when I
was mesmerised by the shouting
and singing style from the recordings
of her 'Amazing Grace' 2cd album.
I certainly could sit thru & listen to the
whole works if not for the limited time
spend each time in front of Koo's music
machine! So I have got to get this
album to listen at my own time. This
album portrays her gospel singing
and much of the church venue
ambience was captured pretty
well on this album as it's a live
recording. She would sing right to the
top of her voice and shouting most of
the way yet holding up well with the
background singing, hand clappings
and people murmuring and at times
shouting phrases after phrases with
praises for God.

On the lighter side I have listen to
Judy Collins, Neil Diamond, Neil Young
and even the more sombre Leonard Cohen.
I especially enjoyed listening to the
Weavers and Harry Belafonte live at the
Carnegie Hall. Even with rarity such as the
Clancy Brothers, and the much popular
Peter, Paul and Mary.

If this aren't enough, Koo would even
finished off the listening proper with
some classical music from Reiner, Heifetz,
Anne Sophie Mutter - Karajan and even
more recently from works conducted by
Ernest Ansermet. And occasionally Koo
would obliged with my request of tracks
from Bread, Eagles and even Jennifer
Wearne! And much to my surprise recently
he even entertain my request to replay
track 6 from the "Dream of the Opera"
which I perceived as quite listenable
with good control of the bass contents
though I felt not the best I have heard
and I have heard even worst! I still felt
he has done well with the setup though
not really an expensive system. Isn't the
meaning of expensive rather ambiguous
to different people?

Monday, October 4, 2010

That Vintage Feel part 3: The Music Presentation

That's The Blogmaster at the emperor's throne..................

In part3 which is an extension of the earlier 2 parts
article of the same topic, I will like to touch on the
type of music that the owner like to listen to and
what he may replay for his visitors to listen. Even
at the time of writing of this part3 article, Koo has
already decided on not keeping the QUAD 306, he
has always surprised me with his choices of

So I could only guess that he is working on some
changes to his setup. Could he be getting an amplifier
more powerful than the already very listenable QUAD
306? That I have to wait to see. So at the moment
I get to listen to the diyed 0.75w darling amplifier
a few more times before I decided to write this
part3 article.

What I listened now of the 0.75w darling amplifier is
one of more tweaks being done to it in the last few
months. If that is not enough there were more tweaks
to the non oversampling dac, since it's undergoing
listening tests I'm can only say the detail/nature of the
tweaks is along the signal path. What I perceived is a
change, depends who is listening so it may or may not
be that person's idea of an improvement. Firstly I
noticed the highs(I hear more of it) have improved
over the period, this was also being reported by
other visitors who came several times over that
same period.

And I perceived the bass presentation is more
controlled,whereas others who listen often
may only want to consider this insignificant and
that only more bass weight as a significant
improvement. So different listeners may give
credits quite differently! Here I gave him points
just for better bass control, not alot of bass sound,
just enough to get by. How do I know this? I
heard the replay of track 6 of the Dream of the
Opera CD, as I said not a lot of heart thumping
bass, nothing that shake the chair I sat on, nothing
to move my stomach fat around the middle, just
bass sound that I'm comfortable with.But hey,
that's my poison I guess!

Other tracks I heard replayed include the last
track of the Manger Demonstration Disc, again
just about enough to get by, nothing in the room
vibrated in unison with the drums and bass sound.
Perhaps it's not anybody's idea of bass sound,
but I would give him some marks for trying at it
rather than just talk to some 'armchair critics' at
some forums and can't do any 'transfer of
technology' to improve the sound of his setup
even after much discussions!

Do I have to repeat that the vocals come
around very nicely, if not lustfully with female
vocals and with enough details on the male
vocals? Now, now don't get me wrong that
is superlative, there are many other setups
with even more mesmerising vocals than this
setup, but I'm just looking at the price point of
a few thousand ringgit to get me glued to the
chair long enough to be 'seduced' by the sound
and not want to get up and go! At least not yet
after a mere hour of listening in front of the

Another thing I like about the setup is how
the hue of the afternoon sun bath the room
with that yellowish tint we know so well! A
lovely feeling of sort. What a wonderful listening
experience I thought with a wash of beautiful
colour mix of yellow to orange hue to feast the
eye too! Yes the room was not to be darken for
those afternoon listening sessions.

It's always being enjoyable listening sessions
whenever I listen, whether in the daylight hours
or at night.