Saturday, August 19, 2017

Musical journey (85)

In this month's musical journey I'm exploring the theme of depression. This is not easy because I've never experienced it. However I do comprehend its crippling severity and how lives can be utterly destroyed by it.

Depression is depicted as darkness that has its own life, blanketing the victim with helplessness. Growing number by the day, he slips under the surface unnoticed by others and sinks deeper and deeper (which explains the underwater clip I've chosen). Things around him gradually become black and white as he loses his senses and appreciation for life. Overwhelmed by despair, he completely withdraws from the outside world. In the final chapter, darkness spirals out of control, pushing him to the brink of suicide.

For someone trapped under this enormous weight of darkness, how is the victim able to reach out to others for help? This is why the "R U OK? Day" initiative was started to emphasise that the onus is on all of us to be alert around our loved ones. Something as simple as offering a listening ear could be the act that potentially saves a life.

All that being said, if I'm too far from reality with this composition, I hope I can still redeem myself with the tune, of which I'm quite happy with.



[黑暗]

词 / 曲 : 锦泉
 

黑暗是有灵魂的   它会呼吸
能自由行走的   跟随着你
在清醒的时候   只想看见你
连在熟睡时都   想梦见你


别问我还好吗   我从哪里说起
说了你也不懂   也不会理
让我一个人好好   自我麻痹
黑暗我来陪陪你


色彩再鲜艳   若没有画面
何必去留恋   被撕裂的从前
掉进了深渊   抬头看不见天
有你在身边   陪我度日如年


美与丑之间   已无法分辨
黑与黑之间   忧郁继续沉淀
一天又一天   没有一个人看得见
再一步向前   我将与黑暗永眠




[Darkness]

Darkness has a soul and it breathes
It can move and it can follow you
When I am awake, all I want to see is you
Even when I am alseep, I dream of you

Don't ask me if I am OK
For I wouldn't know where to begin
Even if I tell you everything, you wouldn't care
Let me numb myself on my own
Darkness, let me spend some time with you

So what if it is colourful when there is no image
There is no point in dwelling in the torn-up past
I have fallen into a chasm and I can't see the sky above me
With only you by my side through the slow passage of time

I can no longer distinguish between the beautiful and the ugly
Between darkness and more darkness, melancholy takes shape and precipitates
Day after day, not a single person notices
That I am only one step away from an eternal slumber with darkness


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Musical journey (84)

It's been two months since I posted something from my topless KTV series and today you're in luck as it's back on. This month I'm covering the much-sung "Rolling In the Deep" by Adele whose vocal cord has been damaged recently. Many singers face that same ill fate and I'm not sure if that's because they overused their voice or if they've been using the wrong techniques. Even if singers didn't damage their income-generating tools they tend to sing at increasingly lower keys as they age. This is a biological issue though as larynx cartilages become harder and less flexible particularly the fibres located in vocal folds get stiffer and thinner. Interestingly I've read that this causes a higher pitched voice in males and the opposite in females. Unfortunately this is not happening to me.

To be honest my voice is actually still recuperating since I've lost it through a very bad bout of sore throat in April and I'm sure my growing older has slowed my recovery as well. It's actually pretty scary it takes so long for damaged vocal cords to heal. If I were a professional singer I'd take extreme care of my voice and keep it always perfect. When I've totally regained my vocal prowess I'll make more recordings but for now I'll leave you to this topless rendition of one of the most popular songs of our time.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Best of the best (part 3)

The concluding part of my collage series is now ready for all of you (all parts here - 1 2 3). I still need three photo shoots to reach forty before I retire my modelling career at the end of my fortieth year on this planet. So the urgency is on as I'm starting to lose my "youth" and figure. Do you think I'll be able to achieve that goal and will you help me on that mission?


Full series here (1 2)


Full series here (1 2 3)


Full series here


Full series here (1 2 3)


Full series here


Full series here (1 2)


Full series here


Full series here (1 2 3)


Full series here

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Best of the best (part 2)

As the cold weather and stressful weekdays push me deeper into my vegetative hermit life and my PlayStation 4 Pro during weekends, here's the second of my 3-part (all parts here - 1 2 3) collage series. Savour away!


Full series here


Full series here


Full series here


Full series here (1 2)


Full series here


Full series here


Full series here


Full series here


Full series here


Full series here

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Best of the best (part 1)

The Melbourne winter is truly upon us and the days are getting shorter and colder which makes my stressful days at work even gloomier. That being said my excellent work performance got a formal recognition yesterday and that was in the form that really counts. In this current Australian work climate where the wage growth rate has never been lower I'm now formally in the top 1% of the Melbourne office who actually got a very small but certainly non-zero bump in my salary.

My last pay rise was back in 2012 when I transferred from the Sydney office so this is truly a long-owed (and well-deserved) one. If this were the good old times where people get pay rises to at least match inflation rates, imagine how much more I'd have gotten back then based on my current performance - it'll literally be infinitely more than the rest who got zilch! *Self pats on back* This injection of motivation in my job should be able to sustain me for a while more in my stress bubble at the Altona Refinery... I hope.

Right, news update over and now it's on to the topic at hand. Ever since I got a collage app on my phone I've been using it extensively (to think that I actually did it all manually before which took SO long)! In a series of three posts (all parts here - 1 2 3) I'll share the "best-of-the-best" collages I've done with the pictures from my photo shoots that I've blogged before. I've yet to post stuff from twelve other shoots and I must admit I'm getting lazier to edit and package them up as work becomes increasingly draining. So for now I guess you'd have to make do with those already on my blog and now summarised in this series. Stay tuned for more.


Full series here


Full series here


Full series here (1 2)


Full series here (1 2 3 4)


Full series here


Full series here


Full series here


Full series here (1 2 3)


Full series here


Full series here (1 2 3)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Musical journey (83)

Work has been super crazily busy lately due to my company now being too lean after cutting to the bone. However every time the question of whether the money is worth the stress rears its head I quash it immediately because there’s really no other alternative that does not come with its own unknown challenges. So onward I shall plod within the realms of my comfort zone and continue to find other non-work distractions to balance things a bit. Writing new music naturally comes to mind and creating something very detached from my everyday life gives me that perfect distraction. One of the ways to do that is to include very hetero elements in the lyrics. When you write as much as me you’ll get bored after a while and will want to try something different like that.

This month’s musical post features lyrics originally written during a jamming session with a fellow song-writer a few years ago. We jammed in a city shopping mall where people rested and attracted much positive attention. He was strumming random chords and I had to write both the melody and words from scratch on the spot. I was very impressed for being able to do that within an hour or so. We had planned to record that song properly but never got a chance to after he relocated to some remote town. I didn’t want to waste the lyrics so I tweaked it, added a new melody and a "hetero rap" section. I sometimes cringe a little when I listen to it but I guess you always feel weird listening to your own speaking voice. Anyway I've heard much worse rap lyrics before so I think I've done an OK job.

Like the words I chose a very hetero clip as well and I think the theme of skateboarding is a good match. Another new thing that I tried in this creation is to go really high in an attempt to move away from my usual style. Because this piece is so experimental I’ll not feel bad if you hate it. Like I always say, the good thing about composing is no matter how much your music suck, it’s still one-of-a-kind in this world because there’s nothing like it. Most importantly it’s something you can fully call your own.


[Take a Breath]

Let me take a breath
I don't know where I will land
This time I'll not be afraid
I can't remember when
When I felt I had the wings
That can take me there
I'm not gonna wait

Look at you standing there
Tell me how can I go on
And not stop and stare
My wild thoughts out of your sight
Your smile I cannot fight
Let me take a breath now
It is time for me to fly

I don't think I need another
I don't see why we cannot be together
I feel the time is now or never
If I hesitate it'll all be over

Let me take a breath
Take a fall without a care
I think I'll burn before I crash
My heart has left my chest
Throw all caution to the wind
And I'll lay it bare
Beside you, right there

Look at me, what a mess
I won't hold it against you
If you stop and stare
I'm at the edge, I can't look back
Because then I'll miss your eyes
Let me take a breath now
It is time for me to fly

I don't think I need another
I don't see why we cannot be together
I feel the time is now or never
If I hesitate it'll all be over

And then you took my hand
Unprepared, my body struck by a lightning flash

I can't believe today just got so much better
To me, you are everything, nothing else matters
Then I kissed your lips
Both my hands got right on your tits
And I touched your neck with my tongue tip
I swear to you that second just went that much slower
But I still want it to last forever

I don't think I need another
I know we will always be together
Heaven's closer now than ever
Ever since we have found each other


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Musical journey (82)

This month's musical journey is the second installment of my topless KTV series. This week Taiwan's top court has ruled in favour of same-sex marriage which essentially means that outlawing same-sex marriage has been deemed unconstitutional. It's now only a matter of time before gays can get married in Taiwan. To celebrate this great news for the Asian LGBT community and express how much I feel that Australia should be ashamed of itself for being so backward, the clip below features a song about gay equality by one of the most famous and gay-friendly Taiwanese singer A*mei. Apt right?

I fell in love with the song the first time I heard it. Back then I always teared up whenever I sang it because of its very simple yet powerful lyrics that came right from the heart of A*mei. The fact that it's extremely high-pitch further elevates the emotions too. I really hope she releases another pro-gay song, perhaps on the day when gay marriage truly becomes legal in Taiwan and when that happens I'm positive that the rest of Asia will gradually follow suit. Maybe one day my home country might finally quit the double standards (for claiming to be a first-world nation but continues to oppress gays like a third-world variety) and relent too. I won't hold my breath though.

So here's my rendition of A*mei's 彩虹 (the original version is here). Enjoy!



Saturday, May 6, 2017

10 years with my boo

If you'd asked me when I was still desperately looking for a relationship back in the early 2000s if I could ever find a loving long-term partner, I'd have given you an emphatic "no". So fast forward to today, it's no wonder I feel a little proud of myself today.

Yes. Today Ision and I celebrate our 10th anniversary (we got together on 05/06/07 [US date format] which is really easy to remember).

Followers of my blog over the years would know that we met online through the Asia-based Fridae dating site in 2007 and were in a long-distance relationship for a year before I relocated to Sydney in June 2008. Like all cohabiting partners, there would be friction and time is always needed for both parties to find where the boundaries are. Fights are inevitable in the process and that was no different for both of us.


2007


2008
  

2009


On the eve of our 3rd anniversary, we both made the decision to move into an open relationship which is something I advocate for every couple, gay or otherwise. Many would find that too risky especially only after 3 years but we felt that there was enough trust between us by then to make that change. Like they say, high risk = high return right? The arrangement worked well and to date I cannot recall ever running into any real issues. By the time we decided to move to Melbourne in January 2012, we were already in that warm fuzzy phase where we've both fully embraced each other's faults. 2012 was also our half-decade mark and here's what I wrote on our 5th and 6th anniversaries.


2010


2011


2012


The next elevation in the relationship came in December 2013 when we entered into a civil union under British law (Ision is also a British citizen). The civil union was later converted into a full-fledged marriage exactly 2 years ago today in May 2015. For those who have never said their vows out loud in front of friends, family and loved ones, you've not experienced an act which in my opinion truly activates a switch in a relationship and cements the union. That was what we felt after the civil union ceremony and also our wedding reception held in Singapore in June 2015 a month after the marriage became final.


2013


2014


2015


Since then we grew much closer together with me increasingly yearning to be physically next to Ision (this need can be largely attributed to my nearly 2-year fly-in-fly-out work stint to Papua New Guinea when I had to leave him 4 weeks a time every 4 weeks). Despite the clinginess we give each other lots of independent space to pursue our other interests (e.g. his BDSM side which also rubbed off a little on me). I can confidently say that we've successfully found the right balance that works for both of us. In July 2016 Ision bought an apartment and we finally moved into our permanent home.


2016


2017
 

So in a nutshell that's our journey together over the decade.

Although I said earlier that I'm proud of myself for this feat that many in the gay (and even straight) world seem to not be able to achieve, I'm fully aware that I can only claim 30% of the credit and 70% goes to luck. To find that someone you'd first have to be in the right place at the right time and then he has to have character traits and long-term goals that match yours. How can you have so many things aligned without the help of luck? One can know all the correct things to do in a relationship but without chancing upon that correct person all is still in vain (I'm sure there are many marriage counsellors who are sorely single right now).

As an extremely frugal hermit I seldom fine-dine but this special occasion calls for it. Alas tonight clashes with "Trough X: Noir", a leather-themed gay party Ision already got tickets for so I had to postpone the dinner for a week. In many relationships this would be a no-no (prioritising a gay party over the anniversary) but this is yet another example why both of us are totally right for each other because we're both fine with that (although it'd have been an awesome night should the dinner not be delayed). Come to think of it if you quarrel over this to a point where the relationship is threatened, perhaps the love and mutual respect weren't there to begin with. At the end of the day I think it's all about seeing things from a long-term perspective every time you find yourself at life's many crossroads - which decision stands the relationship in good stead in the long term?

Now that we've traversed our first 10 years, what's in store for us ahead will be more of the same. At this point we don't see the need to change things and so more of the same is perfect. If you guys manage to stick around for another 10 years I'll give you all another update then. Till then...

Happy 10th anniversary boo!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Musical journey (81)

It's the Easter long weekend which means that it's full-steam-ahead hermit mode for me as the rest of the world does things outside e.g. going to Bangkok for Songkran. In preparation for the 4-day stay-in I bought "The Last of Us (Remastered)", a PlayStation-exclusive game that I've always wanted to play. This cinematic offering has won a ton of awards and so far it's been great (music, plot and graphics). Hermit mode is also warranted this Easter as a sore throat and cough is kicking in all thanks to the source of the virus, my boo!

On the work front I've made the decision to transit into a full-time role at the Refinery based on the most important pull factor a.k.a. job security. In addition to ridiculous project schedules (i.e. stress which is further exacerbated by three process engineers leaving the company by the end of the month) I'd have to deal with a new incompetent lead who not only sucks technically, she (yet another lousy female boss!!!) also has zero people skills and doesn't take responsibility despite being required to do so as the discipline focal point. The only consolation I guess out of this is the initiative that has been started by a few to either drive her away via passive-aggressive hostility or to demote her by forcing the managers to make her complete a competency assessment. "Interesting" times ahead indeed.

That's the latest update from me and now it's on to the composition that I'll be sharing with you today. This is a song written when I was in the army and was entered in a university song-writing competition (I didn't win anything). It's a fictional love story in which A remains with a cheating B despite having full knowledge of the indiscretion. Yes it's a boring tale but it's a very real one, especially in the sea of loveless marriages out there in the straight world where couples stay together just for the kids. I pity these people yet I can't empathise with them because it's a predicament that I'll never be in (because I'm smart enough).

I used Garage Band for the backing track and the clip was a winter scene taken off YouTube. Although putting all this together seems simple it does take some time because you have to factor in recording, editing, subtitling and encoding. However an MTV like this is in my opinion the neatest way to document a song and this is the 61st I've posted to date. You can expect many more to come but for now enjoy this latest stop in my musical journey.



[我爱上了一个人]

词 / 曲 : 锦泉
 

我爱上了一个人
穿梭着餐风露宿的旅程
不在乎折腾到最后满面风尘
对或错    我不过问


他爱上了两个人
背负着千斤重的责任
他的心演着一场无休止的纷争
这是痛的根本


我和你越爱就越伤得深
我和你反复抹去彼此的泪痕
别管是与非    可不可能
一个世界也不能分隔我们
为了你一吻  
几度秋与春
都愿意去等

我爱上了你一人
在梦里    你还是一样逼真
你身影    从没有纠缠过一丝悔恨
而它却映在
敞开着的那扇心门


我和你越爱就越伤得深
我和你不停抓痛彼此的伤痕
只要这缘份眷顾我们
再多风险也只会化作微尘
就算冰雪覆盖我们
都不觉得冷


我爱上了
这一生   只爱你一人




[Fallen for Someone]

I've fallen for someone
And it's been a journey full of hardships
But I don't mind getting weary and fatigued
And I don't question what's right and wrong

He's fallen for two
And with that comes great responsibility
A never-ending tussle plays out in his heart
That's the origin of all his pain

The more we love the deeper we get hurt
As we repeatedly wipe the tears off each other's faces
We refuse to see what's impossible
And refuse to let the world separate us
For that one kiss I'm willing to wait countless autumns and springs

I've fallen for someone
Who remains as real in my dreams as in person
Although he's never expressed any regrets
It remains in his heart that he keeps open for me

The more we love the deeper we get hurt
As we keep scratching at our open wounds
As long as fate takes care of us
All risks will turn into dust
And we won't feel cold even when blanketed by snow

I've fallen for someone
And in this life I'll only love him



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Musical journey (80)

I promised previously that I'm going to inject new life into my musical posts and so deliver I shall. As you might know my Nude Singer Facebook page officially ended many years ago as described here, along with the MOST daring picture ever shared on this blog. Since then I've been itching to do something along those lines again. So what better way to reignite that flame than to record myself singing topless in a KTV in super short shorts that leave nothing to the imagination?

Getting the phone camera in the right position plus the frigid cold of the KTV room both made the job a whole lot tougher. You'll also notice that my abs are practically non-existent in the clip and that's because of my overeating during the Chinese New Year period. Yes, the clip was taken in Singapore last month where I did lots documented in these posts (1 2 3).

I've since gotten my precious six-pack back but alas you can't photoshop videos to make yourself look better, well not easily anyway. At least there's my singing to compensate for the poor abs right? I really hope it doesn't make it worse as I've created many more clips that day that I'll be sharing in the coming months!

The first of this series features one of my favourite songs from the talented Jewel. I was really into her back in my army days and she's also one of the songwriters who gave me the inspiration to write. Without further ado here's my cover of "Break Me" (the original version is here). Be kind OK?