Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Workshops at the ArtScience Museum

Siong Leng will be conducting workshops every Saturday at the ArtScience Museum on the dates shown below. Do catch us at the exhibition "Fujians: The Blue Ocean Legacy" if you can.

Liyuan Opera Workshops (90mins) 6pm - 7.30pm
12th January 2013
16th February 2013

Nanyin Workshops (60mins) 6pm - 7pm
15th December 2012
5th January 2012
19th January 2013
23rd February 2013

4th issue of Siong Leng Newsletter

The fourth issue of the Siong Leng Musical Association Newsletter is now available for viewing.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pilgrimage to Kusu Island

Each year, during the ninth Chinese lunar month, devotees from Singapore and the neighbouring countries, from Malaysia to the Riau Islands, flocked to this tiny island, known as Kusu Island. In the fifties, it was a tiny island with waters washing up to the temple. Today, the island is a little bigger and travel to this island is in very comfortable ferries, unlike the sampans and bumboats of yesteryears.

In the past decades, Siong Leng has been visiting Kusu Island in each 9th month of the year. From a small group of members travelling in the small bumboats, the number has grown that include devotees who like nanyin and now, many heritage enthusiasts who want to soak in the atmosphere of what a kampong temple with devotees and music is like.

So, on the evening of 3 Nov 12, which is the 20th of the 9th Lunar month, in two ferries, more than a hundred people went to Kusu Island. As in the past years, the Siong Leng members and supporters/friends joined the group in chanting a Buddhist mantra to Tua Pek Kong and the resident Deities in this Kusu Island Tua Pek Kong temple.

There after, while some went on to the nearby Keramat up the hill to offer their respects, the others settled down to have a simple but delicious packed vegetarian meal of beehoon or rice. Green bean soup, coffee and tea were prepared and offered by the temple. Each find his or her own corner to enjoy dinner while chatting with friends or fellow members of this trip.

For some first timers, it was an opening to a new world, as they explored the temple.

Soon, it was time for the performance dedicated to Tua Pek Kong. Members of Siong Leng took up their instruments and performed. There were music and there were songs. It was a very informal evening where there were no costumes. So, each performer could be in jeans or very casual air. And members of the trip gathered, some sitting on the steps, watching the performance with Tua Pek Kong. Some grabbed any available chair to sit and watch, akin to the old days when people BYO (bring your own) chairs to the operas. Some preferred to sit further away just listening.

All too soon, with the continuous performance for about an hour, it was time to return to the waiting ferries. The devotees paid their respects to Tua Pek Kong one more time, each in his or her own way, and made their way to the ferry.

In the cool evening, under a threatening sky, with a light breeze, the participants bade farewell to Kusu Island. Many will return with Siong Leng the next year, about the same time.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Multisensory Nanyin Banquet III

Each year, in celebration of Lang Jun Tan (festival in honour of Lang Jun, patron saint of Nanyin), Siong Leng organises a dinner and performance show. It is also a fund raising event to raise funds for Siong Leng's activities. This year, it is also special with a tribute to the late Mr. Teng Mah Seng who has contributed much to Siong Leng to push it to what is it today.

Each year comes with a new theme - although the name might seem to be the same - with new programmes. This year, the event is held at Changi Beach Club. Given the big space, the programme took on a bigger dimension.

Guests were treated to a Drum performance at one corner of the Club premise. They could view from the restaurants through the glass windows. And just as the drums, beautifully choreographed in steps with the beat, beat on a retreat, the drums inside the restaurant rose as if in continuation bringing the distant sounds nearer. The audience, especially, the kids, were enthralled and excited, swinging their heads from one side to the other to catch the sounds.

And if one was to expect that it was the end of the excitement, a more subtle awaits. In the distance, the sound of Nanyin appeared, amplified to the restaurant. A procession had started with members of Siong Leng walking around the path, that skirted the Club's seawater pool, in a very traditional way complete with playing of the music, and carrying the ritual paraphernalia that is part of the tradition carried out for centuries. The procession walked all the way to the main stage of the restaurant where the ritual was conducted. For those who went to the Sacred Music performances in the Esplanade, you would have seen a similar one.

In between meals, the guests were treated to more performances. One specially arranged performance was the video slide presentation on the late Mr. Teng Mah Seng - including some video clips of his speech - with the young members of Siong Leng playing Nanyin in accompaniment.

This evening was a milestone to show that Mr. Teng Mah Seng's dream and foresight has been achieved in that a young group of Nanyin performers has come of age. Through the interests of these young people, guided by the elders in Siong Leng and trained by Nanyin veterans in Fujian, China, their achievements could be seen and heard on this evening. The Lao-Shi (teacher) and the young members were presented to the guests who are ardent supporter and Nanyin enthusiats. An ancient tradition since the Han-Tang Dynasty in China, it had moved from the upper part of China to Fujian where it grew its roots in Quanzhou, and from there, spread to Nanyang and the rest of the world. These young people represent that hope of continuity into the next millennium in Singapore.

Appreciations must be accorded to the guests and supporters who helped made this event a success and to the organisations who helped Siong Leng in many ways as it continues its journey. And to the members of Siong Leng, kudos, for you make it happen!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The third issue of the newsletter of Siong Leng Musical Association is available for viewing.

For a bigger visual, you can view from here:

Aug12 1-3  Aug12 2-3  aug12 3-3

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cicada Zen plays to full house

For the youthful performers for this show, it was hard work. weekdays and weekends were spent perfecting the moves, the sounds and the songs. The hard work paid off when they performed to a full house for each and every one of the three shows.

All these, thanks to the Nanyin and music enthusiasts and fans. Many came with different expectations. Some for the Nanyin music that they are familiar with, some for a new experience, some curious to know where the Soul Journey II will lead to. They were not disappointed. There were a number of elements of surprises, evolution of art and the arts. But there was also enough familiarity for all to be comfortable with.

Experiences with the five senses have always been central to the theme of Siong Leng's programmes. And for this show, it was no different. The audience was treated to tea of the four seasons when they passed through the ticketing gate. But not before they cleanse their hands with cool water served by the pretty girls dressed with a touch of the ancient. Of surprise and delight to many must be the tea of winter, served cold.

The Dong-Xiao must have been the master of the show, leading and guiding the performances. It waxed lyrically through ancient and modern, and inter-playing with the sitar and the tabla. A contact and interaction that must have started millenniums ago, and still does today.

It was delightful to see the faces of enjoyment from the audience and the radiant faces as the performers lined up to give their final bowl. Till the next journey, it was a pleasant and delightful one.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cicada Zen

This weekend Siong Leng will be performing at the Esplanade Theatre Studio. 

Inspired by the brief and vibrant life of a cicada, Cicada Zen is an exploratory journey  that evokes reflection on the cycle of life. From the four seasons and the various stages of life.
Join us on this journey, let the music, paintings and dances charm your senses.

21 July 2012
2:3opm or 7:30pm

22 July 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

The 2nd issue of the newsletter of Siong Leng Musical Association is available for viewing.

For a bigger visual, you can click here:
  SL May12 pg 1 SL May12 pg 2

Sunday, May 13, 2012

New CD: The Dragon and its Phoenix

For the Nanyin fans, Siong Leng has just released a new CD, featuring Ms Cai Yu Jun and Mr. Cai Wei Biao from Stone Lion City Nanyin Ensemble. An album of beautiful songs and music.

Here is a small clip for you to listen to. The CD is available for sale - please contact slmusic@singnet.com.sg

Friday, May 4, 2012

Melodies from the Temple Courtyard

On 29 April, 2012, the Stone Lion Nanyin Ensemble performed in the Esplanade under the Sacred Music series. With supporting members from Siong Leng, the performance featured the use of Nanyin music in the Buddhist and Taoist rituals.

They were age-old traditions of China and on this day, a near-full capacity audience had the opportunity to observe the enactment of the rituals in the cool hall of the Esplanade.

Some of the younger members of Siong Leng were being trained by members of this Ensemble in China. On this day, they had a chance to show off what they had learnt. In the opening number, three young members from Siong Leng (in their 20s) playing with an almost 90 year old Nanyin member of the Stone Lion City Ensemble. With Mr. Wu Yan Zao playing the Erxian with Lyn on the Pipa, Cassandra on the Sanxian and MingXian on the Dongxiao, the music was ageless.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Nanyin Workshop

On 24th of March 2012, a group of French visitors came to Siong Leng Musical Association for a Nanyin & Liyuan Opera workshop. They were greeted with a short performance and a demonstration of the “sibao”. After which they were given each a ‘sibao’ to try out.

'Sibao' try out session

Next was the demonstrations on the different Liyuan Opera’s props particular the use of the horse whips and the water sleeves. The visitors were also invited to have a try on the props.

Lin Shao Ling Laoshi demonstrating the use of the horse whips

water sleeves

Note: Sibao are four flat pieces of wood where two are held in each palm and one could use them to clap or vibrate as well as for hitting each other to produce the different rhythms.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Siong Leng publishes a newsletter to keep members, friends, nanyin enthusiasts and supporters of activities in the Association. It is a first step of a long journey. Feedbacks - comments & suggestions - are most welcomed.

Click on the image to get a bigger picture or http://entertainment.webshots.com/album/582468109HPHuBp for a much bigger picture.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Nanyin Ensemble from Stone Lion City to perform at Esplanade Recital Studio coming April

A few of the most respected Nanyin practitioners are flying in soon from Quanzhou Shishi, China to perform in Singapore for the first time, at Esplanade's Recital Studio.

The ensemble like many of its kind aims to preserce and transmit this art form to the next generation.

29th April 2012
70minutes, no intermission
Esplanade Recital Studio

Visit the link below to find out more about the ensemble and the performance!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Siong Leng's Open House

On the 4th of February 2012, a group of twelve students came down to Siong Leng for an open house, to learn and know more about Nanyin.They were greeted by a short performance and then broken down into groups of three for a hands-on session to learn the basic techniques of playing each instrument. Namely the pipa, sanxian, dongxiao and erxian. At the end of the open house, four of the students who were able to grasp the techniques of each instrument better got a chance to perform a short piece in front of their friends.

Enjoying a short performance.

Learning the basic techniques of each instrument.

Students playing a short piece.