Category Archives: music

Le Lundi au Soleil

or, “Monday in the Sun” as interpreted by Kenzo Saeki. Ah, electronica and kitsch ^_^

As far as I can tell, this track is from a Japanese tribute album to French pop singer Claude François.

More tracks/music videos:

Chanson Populaire

Comme d’habitude (the basis for “My Way”)


A Litany of Complaints

(If you haven’t heard of the Complaints Choir Project yet, just watch the following clip.)

The Project’s coming to Singapore, and looking for Singaporeans.

The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2008


(co-presented with The Arts House)

WORKSHOPS FROM 07.01.08 – 25.01.08

PERFORMANCES FROM 26.01.08 – 27.01.08

“…. griping and whining were the fifth most cited essential traits
of a Singaporean. ”
– The Straits Times, 12 August 2007

A spectre is haunting the world – the spectre of the Complaints Choir. People all over the world – in Helsinki, Birmingham, Jerusalem or Alaska – have joined together to sing out their complaints with fellow citizens. No complaint is too big or small: from broken underpants to snoring husbands to offices with Siberian temperatures, the choir members decide on their favourite gripes that will be made into the song.

Join the Complaints Choir of Singapore – see our call for participants here: project-call-f

The movement has finally arrived in Singapore. This is your opportunity to show our uniquely Singaporean complaint culture. Come and join the Complaints Choir of Singapore! Show your pride for our infamous complaint culture and sing, Singapore! Anybody is welcome – no singing skills required.

For more information or to register, please email or call us at 6440 8115.

Get involved.

Aside from the formation of and performances by the Singapore Complaints Choir, all four Complaints Choir Videos – Helsinki, Birmingham, Hamburg and St Petersburg – will be showcased as a 2-channel video installation at The Art House Gallery from 13 – 18 January and 20 – 23 January 2008. Admission is free.

Vocaloid 2; Value from Efficiency; User-Generated Content distribution

I’m still impressed with the abilities of the Vocaloid 2 software (found via Boing Boing). Put in a melody and lyrics, and the software generates singing.

It sounds pretty good. Try this sample:

The opera sequence from Final Fantasy 6 — one of the most touching sequences from the best RPG I’ve ever played.

Watching this brought back good memories of the experience playing the game, and that’s partly what makes Vocaloid memorable for me.

The singing isn’t perfect — one comment remarked that the singer sounded like she’d a cold — but this is a technological factor. As coding gets better, so will the voices. But it may not matter — most people are willing to accept less-than-ideal quality media in certain contexts, compression codecs affect sound quality, and when you’re listening to music in a subway train, bus or car you can’t tell anyway.

The value of Vocaloid lies in how it flows with the trend for more user-generated content. It fits in nicely with existing distribution chains for user-generated content. Make a song with Vocaloid, overlay on a video file and upload to YouTube.

(Does it still make sense to call UGC a “trend”? Isn’t it already here and a part of our lived experiences?)

I’m also struck by how YouTube has become a music player although it began as a video-sharing site. This serendipitous use has been driven by the sheer ease of use and easy availability via laptops and widespread broadband.

Compare this with how people rarely used CD-based gaming consoles like the Playstation to play music. Clearly it was silly to turn on the player and a TV set to play music when it was much more efficient to use a CD player. Even a Discman with speakers plugged in was a preferable alternative.

So functionality is nice, but if it’s not efficient relative to current alternatives the functionality won’t add much value to the user.

Although Vocaloid is aimed at otaku, there must be similar groups that would buy such software.

Let’s consider characteristics of the otaku audience — predominantly teenagers, tech-savvy, relatively affluent and of course, a little obsessive.

Hmm… has anyone tried packaging Vocaloid for Christian rock fans?

Rebuild of Evangelion & “Beautiful World”

Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of my favorite anime series, and so I’m a bit unhappy over how Gainax so readily whores exploits the characters in a never-ending array of merchandise, the bulk of which is unrelated to the original series.

Yes, I know it’s just business. But still.

And so I’m ambivalent about Rebuild of Evangelion — four new animated movies that will provide an alternate retelling of the original story.

I’m comforted by the fact that Anno Hideaki is chief director, and especially by his statement that GAINAX isn’t controlling this. More reasons to hope that the movies don’t turn out to be hollow commercial fluff.

Utada Hikaru sings the theme song for the first movie: Beautiful World. I don’t know if this is a good sign or a bad one.

If you can read Japanese or you’re just curious, the Japanese lyrics are here