For me, music has always been a stream of inspiration, the medicine for dejection, and an elixir of zest.
I love to sing, and find myself perpetually absorbed by the songs on stages, TVs, radios,… In my adolescent, I would put fingers on my throat when singing to make the vibrato, and put my face inside a wash-basin to feel the echo and amplification of my voice.
In my 40s, I took private singing lessons and joined a choir that exclusively sang ABBA songs. However, I felt dissatisfied with only two public performances per year for the group. I managed to quench my thirst of singing through the occasional karaoke party but just like fashion, the trend died down after a few years.
An encounter with a young girl sowed the seed of my own public performances into my mind. She was playing an electronic organ in front of a supermarket and it was obvious that she just sang for fun and wasn’t any busker as there was no collection hat. Her voice and the music was electrifying! I wished I could join the twenty-something girl in the “Autumn Leaves” song; I didn’t have the courage to ask her about the duo performance. I figured that I may have problem practicing with her while I was so time poor between a full-time job and two young children.
I had a clearer idea of how to do a solo when I met a woman singing with a transportable amplifier to sell her CDs. I could sing like her! Realising that gave me confidence.
It’s not easy and my circumstances aren’t conducive to becoming a singer. Nevertheless, I thought of one day setting my own stage and drawing my own audience. The idea came to me to perform for free at aged care facilities, dementia care units, hospices, and the like. Now that would both bring happiness to patients and aged people and help me fulfil my yearning for singing. I sketched in my mind how to advertise myself to those places. I contemplated on my repertoire of the 70s, 60s and earlier English songs as well as French, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin romantic and pop songs.
With events in the family piled on top of hectic work and activities with other women’s charity groups, I was swept along the river of chaos and away from my passion. I hadn’t the time to shop for an amplifier, search and learn the lyrics, plus compile the instrumental music for my songs.
Until last week when I watched the film Toast and listened to the 60s songs in it, “Yesterday When I Was Young”, “If You Go Away”, “I Only Want To Be With You”, … I was brought out of the deep pit of misery and despair. It was enough to reawaken the zeal for singing in me and I realized that my dream had been buried underneath all other priorities in my life. I hope the storm will pass, the busyness in my life will subside and I will see the rainbow after the rain soon so I can bring to fruition my aspiration.