Don Gomes Visits

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Yesterday afternoon. Don’t ask me how it happened; I’m just glad that it did. Don is simply delightful to talk to. When I shyly asked him to play something on the piano he obliged with an improvisation on When You Wish Upon A Star from Disney’s 1940 movie Pinocchio.

Over a cup of coffee we chatted about:

  • What jazz artists listen for and aim to achieve when working in the recording and mastering studios;
  • Tuning and temperaments (I showed Don how Verituner works, and why it is worth learning how to wield a tuning hammer);
  • The difference between jazz piano and classical piano, and about learning to play jazz piano.



Don Gomes & Aya Sekine in Concert

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Last night I attended a concert by the jazz pianists Don Gomes and Aya Sekine, held at Emmanuel & Son’s music salon. Mr Kwan very kindly invited me to attend, even though the event was sold-out. Among the audience were the Australian high commissioner, and the Brazilian and Egyptian ambassadors. Don played on a Fazioli F278, while Aya played on a Fazioli F212. As you’d expect the pianos were beautifully prepared by Mr Kwan and his staff.

There is a pretty active jazz community here in Singapore. This I learned from the delightful Karen de Silva of the non-profit We Love Jazz SG. Visit their Facebook page and blog. Some photos by Bon Goût Music.

Help the Disabled, Poor & Needy

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For the coming holiday season, please help the less fortunate by buying gifts from ACTS Market, a social enterprise startup based in Singapore. It is an online marketplace for non-government organisations to sell handicrafts and other goods made by the disadvantaged people they help:

  • Former child slaves
  • Disadvantaged women
  • Impoverished families
  • Orphans & needy children
  • People with autism
  • Recovering mental patients
  • Rehabilitated street-ladies
  • The hearing-impaired
  • Victims of human trafficking
  • Widows & single mothers

If you live in Singapore, then you can use the coupon below to enjoy free local delivery for purchases of $100 or more.


Efim Bronfman & the SSO Play Beethoven & Bartok

My friend Lynnette passed me a complimentary ticket to the gala concert by Efim Bronfman and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. On the programme were two concertos–Beethoven’s 4th, and Bartok’s 2nd, preceded by Rossini’s Thieving Magpie Overture. Bronfman and the SSO were stunning, resulting in six curtain calls and two encores. This concert was possible only because Lang Lang had cancelled due to inflammation in his left arm.


Efim Bronfman & the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, 30th Nov 2017

The Omega gets its annual health check

Walter Haas arrived bright and early this last Saturday 20th June. He is in Singapore as usual to prepare the piano for the annual Singapore International Piano Festival. This year the Festival returns to the beautifully refurbished Victoria Concert Hall. I will be attending Imogen Cooper’s recital on Thursday 25th June.

First thing he did was of course to tune the piano. This took quite a while because it was punctuated by lots of chatting and a nice cup of coffee. There wasn’t much to be done at all. The action is still silky smooth, and the hammers in great shape. But then I have not played all that much because I’ve been too busy. And yet, despite the relatively light use, all but one of the inharmonic strings has ‘broken in’. The sole recalcitrant is one strong in the note just above the highest break, and even that was not so bad.

His verdict? The piano has settled in very well. The tone is rich and glorious, the sustain beautiful. Ideal for chamber music, he declared.

Walter by the way tunes a mild Well temperament, not that far away from the EBVT III that I tune myself. We both agree that Equal is probably the least sympathetic temperament. No key colour.

No pictures this time. I was so absorbed talking to him that I completely forgot to take any!