Tuesday, January 19, 2010

First Melody of 2010

I was sitting in Old Town White Coffee kopitiam in KL LCCT waiting for my flight back to Abu Dhabi, when I received a message (sms) from Azli - "Ko sampai dxb what time? Gimme a buzz nanti. MTC suruh perform depan Najib on the 18th ni."

My face immediately beamed with a light of excitement. My UAE band (now we have decided to call it Ashabul Kahfi) was asked to perform in front of Malaysia's Prime Minister and his delegate in Abu Dhabi. I was very delighted to think that at least I have something to be busy about rather than suffering from my post holiday depression alone at home. When Azli sent another sms - "Ko interested nak main tak?", I frantically typed and sent "Yeah, I am in !" without any hesitation.

We had only 7 days before the big event. My UAE band members have not met and rehearsed together for more than 2 months. I have not been a good bass player for not brushing up my bass lines at home unless there is a jam session or a show to attend. So that means my finger memory of our usual songs was not really smooth and I need to practice very hard in a very short period of time.

When I arrived in Dubai, we agreed to jam on four consecutive days - Thursday, Friday and Saturday followed by a last full rehearsal on Sunday's night. The show was set on Monday's night (January 18, 2010). Because we were engaged by Malaysia Tourism Board, so we were given a privilege to use the Malaysia's Embassy in Abu Dhabi as our jamming venue.

It was really a tiring ordeal for me to commute between Dubai and Abu Dhabi (distances 160 kilometres), to practice everyday and to crash into someone's house when I should have a quiet week to wind down (and do laundry) after my hectic holiday in Kuala Lumpur.

But I must be lying if I tell you it was no fun at all. Because I indeed had another great time with my friends in the band. In fact I made a few new friends who are very talented musicians.

Rahimi and yours truly

Sahibulkahfi during soundcheck

On the day of the event, we were all ready to give our best. We had a list of 8 songs as follows:

1) Mustika - M Nasir
2) Getaran Jiwa - P Ramlee
3) Lagu Kita - Aizat
4) Sinaran - Sheila Majid
5) Ayat-ayat Cinta - Rossa
6) Widuri - Bob Tutopoli
7) Pupus - Dewa
8) Hati Emas - M Nasir

Azli the percussionist

Latif and Faniz, the singers

Taufiq the darbuka and toy master.
Also happens to be a creative videographer

Azlin the keyboardist

In the end we were only allowed to perform 4 songs because of the time constraint. I noticed PM Dato Sri Najib and his delegate were really tired with their round the clock tour and was hardly seen as really enjoying the event. But I was glad to see the PM made an effort to tap his fingers and moved his body to the beat of Sinaran and other songs. Well at least, some reaction.

Our show lasted for less than an hour. But the journey and preparation behind the scene was what really counts. It proves my believe that with music, peoples of different backgrounds can be friends and work together more easily. I find it interesting when our singer made her opening remarks during the show that - "We are not professional musicians but we are professionals here in UAE with 3 lawyers, 2 engineers, 1 architect and 1 financial analyst." That kind of summing up some of our diverse backgrounds but unity in music.

"Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here"

J.K Rowling


Jumper said...

What a great way to kick out the post holiday depression! You deserve the standing ovation not only for the melodies played infront of the VIP, but all the tiring effort taken to travel the miles between the cities to rehearse...Good job!

ziarah76 said...

tahniah lah Long... 4 lagu pun kira gempak apa tu!
wah wah... kawan aku ni terus maju dan maju...

Syamsulfaiz said...

Thanks man. The journey worth more than the destination.

alhamdullillah setakat ni. Harap tahun 2010 ni kau juga bertambah maju jaya.

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Anonymous said...

caya la!

cohong gym said...

wow, kau memang hebat dan semakin hebat


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