Like every others of my generation, I listened to pop music with my then expensive mp3 player while I was on a bus, out studying, eating lunch, etc. I thought it was even wonderful to have some soft “classical music” in the “background!!!” while I was doing something else. As I grew up, I slowly realized there is something in music that needs my attention. I started to play piano madly and passed the ABRSM grade 8th exam in less than two years. I never thought it was an achievement; (my mum did…) instead, this determination of my mind marked the beginning of my musical career. (I shall write an article about piano examinations in the future…)
Now, when people ask me to write tons of pop songs and become famous and rich and whatever, (now is the time of the year when I get these questions because I am currently on vacation in Hong Kong seeing friends and relatives) I often don’t know what to say! The easier understandable answer for most non-musicians is that I compose “classical music.” Well… let me get it right. I compose music that needs attention – music that needs to be listened to. (I am not saying that pop music does not needs attention) I do not want my music to be played in a restaurant while people are enjoying their meals; I do not want people to treat my music as soft background music, like the twelve-year-old ME!
Studying music is the best choice I have ever made in my life. I have thus opened my ears to a then unknown world of sound, and also enriched for the first time of my life, my sensitivity of hearing. Finally, it is not hard to understand and appreciate “classical music,” all it takes is your attention. Like all art, music is about communication. It is hard to speak to your hearts if you never respond. Let us open our ears, and I am sure all five of us have a lot to speak to you.