The Lovesical: Musicals within a Musical


Fancy reliving a little bit of your childhood through a love story?

Hello loves. I’ve sat in front of the computer emailing away telling VIPs the past day about this special musical that I am a part of. And now I want to tell you about it!

My friend (and kaki teman makan) Amanda Leong, a student in her last semester in the International College of Music, decided to challenge herself into producing a show that is unique; musicals, within a musical, for her graduation portfolio. She has seek mentorship from Thasha Gunaseelan, a local theatre performer who is also directing the musical, to help her overcome her challenges.

The show entitle The Lovesical  is an originally written, with songs rearranged from notable musicals to suit the script based on the synopsis. The story revolves around 2 people who while discovering themselves and pursuing their dreams fall in love. Classic.

The team behind The Lovesical are volunteers consisting of budding actors and first-timers. Amanda has decided to use this opportunity to open up a platform to build their profile. I, myself is a first timer is handling the PR aspects & on show day, front of house (not the engineer kind lol). We are all pretty much very new to our little journey but we’re pushing through!

The Lovesical will run 4 times from July 10th to July 12th at the Damansara Performing Art Centre. Showtimes are:

  • 10 July 2015 (Fri), 8.30pm
  • 11 July 2015 (Sat), 3.00pm
  • 11 July 2015 (Sat), 8.30pm
  • 12 July 2015 (Sun), 3.00pm

However our Saturday matinée show  is sold out as it will be our charity show sponsored by a kind gentleman that wishes to remain anonymous.

For tickets, log on to www.dpac.com.my. I should note that there’s a special promotion of buy 10 free 1 going on now. If you’re very interested, please contact me or Amanda! Emails below.

The Lovesical team is also looking for supporters, to sponsor and to partner in order make this show a success. Any form of support is welcome. 😀

For details on how to support financially please email me at melinyasarah@gmail.com.
For details on how to partner with Amanda please email leong_yinghuey@icom.edu.my.

See you there!

A4 Poster

In the Silence of June


Dear June
If you were a person
I’d ask you why the silence
Why my skin doesn’t remember
What used to by my heart’s lover

No touch is every familiar anymore
No voice is recognizable through the creeks of the wall

Too many affairs, none worth recollecting
Every encounter is a brief memory
Gone, as soon as the new one comes along

Quiet month, June is. I don’t know what to do with the free time that I have. Part of it is because Laundry has taken out 2nd and 3rd resident live Thursday shows of the month. All these spaces, is making me lose focus from one matter to the other. When I have nothing solid to think about or to prioritize, I don’t know what to do with my illegal notions.

Illegal, because they’ve done nothing but harm to my soul. My negative thoughts need to go away. 

I’m taking up a little part-time job at Drum Asia until my calendar is filled up again. I’m mostly the studio assistant while the main facility coördinator is away. So far familiar faces find it odd that I’m there. I mean, I do to. Ha. I’ve carried the live sound tag around me longer than I every worked in a studio / office space. It’s a no brainer job, but I’m looking forward to future collaborations.

Speaking of collaboration, I’m working on one with a fellow composer from the US! Basic idea is that he writes, I mix. But it’s really not that easy (on my side) as I have not been mixing on a DAW in a while. He recently gave me one of his songs to mix. I mixed it 5 times before getting the hang of it. You cannot understand an orchestra like pop music. It’s a different world altogether!

I sent the mix back after working on it in a day. One of the things that I couldn’t achieve was the “proper balance” and fullness of the orchestra. Don’t get me wrong, if it was a pop music, my balance would’ve been perfect. But I completely missed the dynamic power & relations between the instruments that the wrong parts are coming out in the mix. He explains,

An orchestra is split into 4 sections, Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, and Strings. Each of those have not only different timbres, but they also all sound at different volume levels. It’s kind of like rock paper scissors.

Percussion>Brass>Woodwinds>Strings>Harp.

So in this song for example, when the orchestra swells, the brass and percussion usually over power. To compensate, composers will write different dynamics to balance out the orchestra. As a rule of thumb You write brass two dynamic levels lower than strings, and woodwinds one dynamic level lower. (Which I try to do.)

These kind of things, they don’t teach you in a 18-month certificate in audio production course. No, they teach you the technical side of audio engineering, like how to EQ, compress, pan, and add effects. Music and technology go hand-in-hand, but sometimes people tend to overlook the creative side of music production. Audio engineering is just there to bring the musical experience to a whole new level. Pair a good writer or composer with an engineer who understands the idea behind the written song, and the music will transport you to a different universe.

Anyway, that was exactly what I was looking for. How do I mimic a live orchestral music? I couldn’t understand my friend’s piece at all.

And then he asked me if I read music. BINGO.

Okay, here’s another thing about being a part of the 18-month program that you spent RM40k on, you only get one semester of music theory, and it’s so basic anyone could score an A like a no brainer. And I mean it. Sure, my classmates struggled, but the music theory subject 3 semesters after my intake was a lot harder. They had a bit of ear training, a bit of contemporary harmony maybe, more than what I had learned in my first semester. -_-

Back to the reading music part. My friend explained, in the past when I recorded with live orchestra, the engineer wanted a copy of the score to mix with. That why you’d know what’s going on, and what to bring out, what dynamics to use in what parts etc. And he’s absolutely right. Even Studio 21:05 owner JD reads the score when mixing live. LIVE. What more there is when recording and mixing in the studio with the help of a music score!

You know what time it is? Time to study back my Italian terminologies & practice my sight-reading.

Check out some of his work here! Until I’m satisfied with my mix, I won’t be posting that one up. Haha.

Anyways, I’m 3 songs & 14 books behind. I have bits and pieces of ideas for my April song, and a brief quote for my May song, and last night I wrote some lyrics for my June song. Nothing is solid. A bit uninspired at the moment but that’s fairly normal. I’ve also only read 1 book this year, and I’m struggling to pick up another book to read. There is still time!

Meanwhile, KL/PJ is currently scorching HOT! This is where I’m gonna end my blog for today. I’m looking at travel options this time around next year. Backpacking and all that glory. Until next time! x

I miss Singapore and its colourful lights at night.
I miss Singapore and its colourful lights at night.

where to next?


creativity is maximized when you are living in the moment.

of all the goals that i have written out for myself this year, i was really fixated on a particular one  –  to travel to a neighbouring country. and i have only one country in mind.

Singapore. The land of kiasu-ness.

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i went in for work. we were supposed to fly on the 21st, but i made it a point to fly in a day earlier so i could take my time walking around before work. i made a great deal about it.

you see, both my parents are protective. my dad especially. and our whole family is so close that that we almost never travel by ourselves. i flew in with my pastor & 2 other church members once after my finals for a church camp, and another by myself for a workshop on sound. i also flew to Miri with a band for work some time last year. i had to always keep them updated for all 3 accounts to keep them at peace.

now with that picture painted in your mind, when i got the idea to fly in a day earlier, mom was adamant that dad wouldn’t agree to the idea. i was stubborn. i thought, well i’ll only know if i ask him straight up. and i did. we discussed. i shared my ideas. i gave him my virtual itinerary and he said, “i’m glad we have this discussion. you can go.” i was over the moon!

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i stayed in Boat Quay, at the 5footway.inn hostel for a night, and then crashed at Michelle’s cousin place in Upper Seranggon for the rest of the trip (i think). but, i do however recommend 5footway if you ever plan to visit Singapore. it’s reasonable, clean, and the staff is very friendly. i love their pantry/lounge area as well; they have a coffee machine, hot water dispenser, fridge, water dispenser, sofa area with a TV and a DVD player, indoor and outdoor (facing the Singapore river) dining area.

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i spent the evening in doing my share of sightseeing. you can find more pictures here. then after dinner i went to clarke quay to catch a bit of Music Matters Live festival, and with discipline headed back to the hostel by 11.30pm because my legs were sore so it felt like a trip. i washed up, replied some emails, did some planning, catching up on social media, and ready mentally for work the next day.

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the next day the band arrived from KL. i spent the day pacing around waiting for them. then they played a show at night. the day after i took the time to visit Esplanade, see the Marina Bay Sands, Merlion and Singapore Flyer, and even made a trip down to Bugis area and bought 2 tank tops for myself, 2 blouses for mom and t-shirts for the siblings. i spent the rest of the day with the band tackling 2 interviews.

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i woke up extra early on my last day of Singapore as Michelle brought me out for some good ol’ Ya Kun breakfast at the Nexx Mall. and then we walked around the mall (albeit 9am and most of the stores weren’t openend yet lol) and she bought me some pastries to bring home to the family! by 10am we headed back to the apartment so i could finish packing and made my way down to the airport via the MRT.

the train delayed at the final interchange to the airport by 15 minutes. my flight was delayed by 20 minutes. my bus was delayed by 10 minutes. but i made it back in time for Jumero’s Lot 10 set up & sound check at The Bee.

and so now i’m asking myself –  where to next?

i just want to be immersed in their culture. their lifestyle.
i just want to be immersed in their culture. their lifestyle. everywhere i go, i just fall in love more and more.
what a sight.
what a sight.
Twin Lakes from Australia.
Twin Lakes from Australia.

i’ll come back for you, Singapore. ❤