Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Let's Rock: Highlights

Well, it started when we joined the YCA Chorus for the first project this year, where we sang for the Kingdom Hearts show. That was awesome, as the last time we sang with an orchestra was for the Lord of the Rings Symphony (9 years ago!).

Then YCA Chorus participated in the SoundBridge Festival, which was hectic with only one month to prepare.

Then straight after that was to prepare for Let’s Rock, a performance featuring the KLPac Symphonic Band with conductor Kevin Christensen, Bihzhu, Fuad Alhabshi, Nick Davis, a 4-man band consisting of Loh Ui Li (the superwoman who arranged all the songs for this concert), Wafi, Kamal and Ruvi.

So, memories:
- Let’s Rock rehearsals were maintained on Sundays to avoid clashing with YKLS rehearsals on Mondays, which we didn’t like because usually our Sundays are for, ah, other commitments.

- Thankfully the songs were familiar songs from the 90s, and songs we have already performed for YKLS Rocks. Only had to make sure we didn’t mess it up with the YKLS Rocks arrangement.

- How we had to translate HoppĂ­polla in order to memorise it.

- The first rehearsal of the symphonic orchestra with Ui Li and Kevin Christensen at KLPac Indicine, where Serene, Yen Peng, Simon and us were just ‘keypoh’-ing to listen to the band play (and recording them so we have a better reference to sing to). And when it came to Zephyr Song, Kevin turned to us all and said he can’t hear us sing, thus giving us permission to sing along and making it known that we won’t be disrupting band rehearsal by doing so...and so in the recordings that followed we all could be heard singing (and probably a bit shiok sendiri as well), sans sopranos.

- Everyone packed into Studio 5 at KLPac. The noise level!

- Choreography - very simple. Ian cannot dance, so if Ian can do it, we can do it! Except due to sound balancing, most choreography had to be cut down so we can stick close to the mics.

- And when we had to stick close to the mics: during the Friday night show sound check, Cason, who is on our right, exclaims, "I ate durian today!" It's a good thing we actually like durian. Then again this could be revenge for us having Skippy's pizza with loads and loads of diced garlic in oil before bump-in on the 28th.

- More on choreography: at one point during bump-in we overheard Su-San saying “OK, later we cannot lose to the other side!” Given the men stood at the back on higher platforms, this led us to observe that (for songs where no choreography was set) the girls on the left half were doing one thing while the girls on the right were doing another. 'Cooperative Competition' kot.

- YKLS members shared the Have A Good Show tradition outside the changing rooms, and then Ian shared both the passing-the-energy and the Have A Good Show ritual to everyone involved in this production. Band members were rather unsure what to expect at first, what will this bunch of excited flers do to me ah why want to hold hand hold hand... to some old members it felt like energy was only going one direction ‘cos some others may not know what to do what’s going on.

- Have a good show also had one-thirds of the members bouncing and screaming HAVE A GOOD SHOW while others stayed rooted to the ground. There was no bouncing into the centre of the ring as well because all the band member’s music stands and instruments were in the way.

- Bihzhu’s excellent effort at learning everyone’s name. Considering we can work with our choir members for one whole production and even come show dates we may look at someone and not know their name.

- Note to self: Imprint Conan O'Brien.

- Progressions from concert day 1 to day 3:
“Think about what the song means when you want to do choreography,” says Ian. “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” is about war.” Day 1, muka serius sikit, tried not to make body language look too joyful. Day 3, everyone’s doing the step-left-step-right fun times backup singer dance.
The band! Day 1 still seated professional musicians. Day 3 waving instruments in the air and even one point standing to rock!
Something Just Like This: Day 1 bopping to the beat, Day 3 jumping on the platforms eff all if it breaks.
The audience: oh wow the audience was totally awesome for all three days. But it got wilder and wilder still each day!

- We learn about Caltex mamak. Actually not sure if we’ve been there before (we suspect we might have gone once before back in 2008 for Breakin’ It Down but don’t really remember). This time we learn not only it’s decently priced for the portions you get served, most of the dishes are past our spice tolerance. And then there’s the apom special.

- We didn’t take many photos this round to post for social media, and even less so taking with everyone. The guys weren’t as active as the girls in taking photos too so there will be less to see compared to YKLS Rocks.

- Serene is another superwoman - after an already energetic performance on Friday and Saturday night, she then continues with her singing gig after that until 1am.

- Though there’s no cast party, we all (singers) ended up heading to Uncle Don’s Hartamas to celebrate the end of the production. And ended up singing the Let’s Rock medleys, Disney songs (there was a request from another table for Lion King), Michael Jackson songs (also requested from same other table), and Christmas songs until near 2am. We don’t know which tag they used, we do know it’s on Insta Stories somewhere possibly...

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