The Sound Of Yearning

Thursday, 21 April 2005


Midway through the video recording, Saidah asked Khir to come forward to 'do his thing' to embellish the song we were singing. He looked slightly bashful as he shuffled towards the other soloists standing around the microphone. We, the chorus, finally quietened our chatter and looked to him, expectant of something magical.

The notes which escaped from her fingers were distant and light, bringing to mind particles caught floating in mid-air by shafts of sunshine streaming through trees in a dense forest. The scale she used was so familiar--but it wasn't till Khir started vocalizing that I was hit by the emotion that could add such weight those sounds.

I shut my eyes and I saw dawn breaking. I wish I could describe what he was singing, but I don't know enough. It's the kind of sound you'd hear in traditional Malay or Indonesian folk songs. Gamelan. Intricate and soulful. Shimmering.

Intense longing.

He could have gone on for hours and I wouldn't have cared--I didn't want that sound to stop because it called to something deep within me which I can't quite put a finger on. Finally though, Saidah steered her music back to the more conventional chords and signaled a soloist to introduce words into the song. The magic lingered. One soloist after the other. The chorus recapped, swelled, gradually subsided, and brought it to closure.

I went away from the workshop last night, even more convinced that words aren't the ultimate means to communicate. Sung sounds were all it took to make my hair stand on end and my chest tighten as if something was about to burst from inside. Powerful stuff.

One Comment

#1Gravatar imageAnson F-Clef says:

Elloww there Mich!

Hmmm….I thot this “M” musical will be held some time this year, but someone else told me it’s in January ’06 right? Hmmm…..performance ini mesti ku tengok dan jenguk ni ha – 2 kawan sudah masuk “M” dan kenapa aku tak nak luang masa…??

F-Clef a.k.a. Anson

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