Archive for March, 2010

March 29, 2010

Weekly Music Pick – 安平追想曲 by Teresa Teng

A classic Hokkien folk song from 1951, sung by the evergreen Teresa Teng. The song title can loosely be translated as Song of Longing, Be in Peace, but the nuances are slightly lost. It describes a wife’s longing for her husband, who went out to sea and has not returned and of the husband’s parents, and the husband’s child/children.

Most people will remember Teresa Teng for her hit “The Moon represents my Heart” (月亮代表我的心), but her repertoire of songs include folk, pop, J-pop and a cover of Tang/Song poems remade into pop songs. Of the covers, 但愿人长久 is the most famous and my favourite. Faye Wong would cover that song in her tribute almost 20 years later.

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March 24, 2010

Weekly Music Pick: Far and Away Theme

Late, but better late than never….

This week’s music pick is from a semi-obscure movie. Called Far and Away, this 1992 movie stars a younger Tom Cruise opposite Nicole Kidman as two Irish migrants trying to make it big in America.

The theme is nameless, and is often simply called “Theme of Far and Away”. There are at least 2 versions, the lighter and more playful version by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, as well as the more formal version, listed below.

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March 16, 2010

The 3 Do’s

Just noting down a random thought I had today.

In life, we often hear about wanting to be not just good, but Great, with the capital G. It is not so much the enormity of what we are or what we do that makes us Great, but rather the pride in who we are and what we do that defines it, but I digress. The key point of this post are 3 Do’s that any person who wishes to be Great should aspire to. Without further ado, they are listed below:

  • 動機(どうき): pronounced dou-ki;  motive; incentive; motif.
  • 度胸(どきょう): pronounced do-kyou; courage; bravery; pluck; nerve; grit; guts.
  • 努力(どりょく): pronounced do-ryo-ku;  great effort; exertion; endeavour; endeavor; effort;

So together we pronounce it as Douki, Dokyou, Doryoku. Feel free to punch your fist in the air as you yell it at the top of your lungs.

動機, literally motive, is the impetus for any action, i.e. wish/desire, direction, raison d’etre. Without a wish to change something, things will remain as they are, something any physics student with an understanding of Newton’s First Law should understand intrinsically.

度胸 is all about guts and the grit to see something through to the very end. Nothing is more disheartening than an incomplete bit of work weighing upon your soul, and nothing more heartening than to see the fruit of your labors come to life in front of you. Remember the reward at the end, and somehow you will persevere.

努力 is plain and simple: Hard work. You want something done, go and do it. No matter how easy, no matter how tough. Even if it is just 1 step, so long it is in the right direction, it is a good step. Remember Nike: Just Do It.

March 8, 2010

Weekly Music: Bokura no Natsu no Yume

This week’s music pick centres around summer. Entitled Bokura no Natsu no Yume by Tatsuro Yamashita, it loosely translates as Our Summer Dream, or more appropriately, Our Dreams of that Summer. The song is the theme/ending song for the anime movie Summer Wars.

Tatsuro Yamashita – Bokura no Natsu no Yume

Considering the unseasonable warmth we are experiencing here, and that the movie was only just recently released in local cinemas, I thought it particularly apt. Trailer for the local release below.

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March 2, 2010

What’s Up People – Many Parodies

For those who don’t recognize the header, it’s the title of Maximum Hormone’s most famous single, What’s Up People. Used as the second opening for the hit anime Death Note, it’s unique for its apologetically hardcore punk sound, rare in a market overflowing with cutesy rabbit-girl-idols and bubblegum pop. The opening itself is inspired, featuring a psychedelic collage of characters, yet using dystopian film noir shadowing techniques to give that dark gritty feel. No one is innocent, with everyone portrayed in shades of gray.

Original Death Note opening video

The madness began with an innocuous trailer for an AMV contest in 2007, featuring a certain famous yellow animal…

2007 AnimeNext AMV Promo clip

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