I Got Ya “Cover”-ed: The Surprising Benefits Of Playing Other People’s Music

I have always desired to make and be known for original music.  I remember as a little kid fantasizing about writing music inspired by other music I loved:  movie scores, music on the radio, even the demo song from the keyboard my dad bought for us (us being my brother, my sister, and myself) for Christmas one year.   Whatever the source, I remember fantasizing about creating my own music that emulated (or even surpassed!) the models that inspired me.   Accordingly, that is what I have worked to accomplish, writing music as both a composer and a songwriter working in a variety of formats and genres, from piano music to theater music and hip hop. Continue reading

Overcoming Perfectionism: What it Really Took for Me to Complete Waterfall

In my debut piano CD Waterfall: Original Piano Music, I wrote the following dedication on the back cover:

This album is dedicated to all creative people. May you find your own waterfall of creativity.

I am reminded now of the enormous personal journey I underwent just to get to the point where I could even write those simple words on the back of that CD. Continue reading

Feeling the ‘Rush’ of a Great Drummer, and the Secret that Made it Happen

“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17:20

It is this past Monday evening. The location is the Shoreline Amphitheater in San Jose. Thanks to my brother-in-law’s magic skill of acquiring concert tickets from radio stations, we are at a rock concert, the second concert I’ve gone to in the last week and a half (the other one was the Scorpions at the Sleep Train Pavilion in Concord, and we were in the FIRST row!). This time we’re up in the lawn, and it’s great for me to be in the middle of the crowd, seeing what they see, hearing what they hear. It is late in the show, and we’re about to leave. We find a new vantage point right near the exit of the amphitheater.  That’s when my brother-in-law alerts me to pay attention. The sight I see is unforgettable.

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What’s Your “Impossible Dream?” My Night at the 2010 Grammys

When Taylor Swift stood in front of the TV cameras and the packed auditorium in Staples Center in Los Angeles a couple nights ago and accepted her Grammy for Best Country Album, she said, “I just feel like I’m standing here accepting an impossible dream right now.”

I feel you, Taylor. Not that I can boast quite an accomplishment like standing in front of the whole world and accepting a Grammy (yet…lol), yet I can still say with satisfaction (and gratitude) that I feel like I’m living an “impossible dream” of my own. If there really is such a thing as an “impossible” dream.
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About Rapera Finale Part 1

Note: For a complete update on the original Rapera scene, please see the earlier video on “philosophy of Rapera” entries on this blog!

The following scene of “Rapera” begins nearly ten months later. Humanity has been deeply affected for the better by the Youth’s noble stand for cooperation and people working together. People are now cooperating in ways they never were before, and there is a general spirit of optimism and hope that humanity has never seen before. At there same time, there is concern about the fate of humankind at the hands of the Gods, who previously threatened to destroy the Earth if humans did not learn to cooperate. In this atmosphere, all gather together to witness a solar eclipse that is about to occur at the decisive moment when all will know whether the Earth will spared… or be destroyed. And at the height of humanity’s hope, a horrible event takes place which threatens all the progress that humans have made, and threatens to condemn live on Earth to nothingness…

The Coincidental Meaning of “Rapera”

Rapera Latest Updates:

I was astounded to find a blog by a Malaysian law lecturer, in which he defines the term “rapera” as a “savior citizen…[who makes] a positive impact in the betterment of society.” His ideas bear an uncanny resemblance to the spirit of Rapera and especially to the character of the youth. Read Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos’s blog here!