Music Experiment: “Saturday In May”

UPDATE, 30 May 06: Since quite a few folks can’t play MP4, I’ve uploaded a MP3 version over at

I’ve been toying with Garage Band on and off since I had my Mac. I got down to viewing the Garage Band online tutorials over at Some 4 hours later, I created and uploaded this piece titled “Saturday In May” (well, today’s a Saturday and it’s in May…)

It’s a MEG4 file, 1.9MB, 3mins 48 secs playing time. Wear your headphones to hear the bass especially.

If you have some sense of musical timing, creating a musical piece using Garage Band is really easy. Gotta give credit to for coming up with it. If you’ve listened to the audio file and you’re asking, “Wow did you really play those instruments”, sadly the answer is “No”. Wish I were that talented. The drum beats, instruments and the melodies were provided as part of Garage Band. If you watch the Apple online tutorials, you’ll know how it was created (using the sound loops etc).

Here are some details of the loops I chose, and how I arranged them (click on the flickr image to view the notes):
Saturday In May - GarageBand practice

  • After I listened to the various instruments and melodies, I settled on the “Strummed Acoustic 04” loop as the underlying rythmn for the entire piece. The Track Volume was lowered for the most part, so that it didn’t drown out the other pieces.
  • I chose “Classic Rock Beat 01” for the drum beat. The volume track was lowered for the piano solo portion.
  • Bass was “Classic Rock Fretless 01”, and just before the piano solo, I inserted “Classic Rock Fretless 02” for about 2 measures to give the bass melody some variation.
  • The piano piece was a combination of the range of loops from the “Delicate Piano” series. Combining each loop from the same series effectively created a full melody.
  • The guitar portion was a combination of several loops from the “Classic Rock Steel” guitar series, with a small repeating end part from “Modern Rock Guitar 01”. I experimented with superimposed loops to see what sort of effect it created.

Once I was satisfied with the final result, I saved it as a MPEG4 file (‘Share’ from the menu) and uploaded it to Next, I’ll probably try to record using a real instrument along side the pre-recorded loops.

Cynthia Padilla’s ‘How To’ Flickr notes

Cynthia Padilla used the ‘Add Notes’ feature in Flickr and made her artworks into instant “How To”s. Click on the images below:

Granada, Spain. ‘Alhambra Gardens’

Iris Study


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My SSEAYP memories

Blue waters rolling beneath white crests.
Liquid landscape broken,
Dreamers floating on a whim.

Tomorrow never comes,
Only the music of laughter abound.
Too tired to care, too happy to worry.

Sailing into foreign lands,
Leaving with second homes.
Fostered kinships sealed with ribbons and tears.

A moment of waiting
Turns into an eternity of regrets.
Pain, confusion; anger, resignation.

When acceptance finally comes,
Laughter echoes through carpeted halls
Once again.

Sorrow greets the grey morning.
Strangers no longer
But leaving just the same.

Rapturous moments recalled.
Sparks among the stars,
Eternal in our own cosmos
Ivan Chew, 16 Oct 2001

Originally posted at the 28th sseayp Amateur Poetry Club. There was a tragic road accident for the batch of 2001. The first time in the 28 years that any major accident like that occurred. Our voyage was cut short and well, it was sad and frustrating but that’s life. It’s been almost 5 years since the trip. Half a decade — imagine that.


I didn’t take this shot. Dave Watts did — I discovered it from randomly going through Flickr. Showed this to my wife and she said, “I like this.” She also said “It’s a Pink Lily” and I asked if it was its name. She said, “Well it’s pink and it’s a lily”. OK, I can’t argue with that : )

View the larger image (at 1772 x 1178 pixels) and other sizes here:

Making your own kite, by Victor Koo

NOTE: The original post, reproduced from Victor’s, spelt “Sapu Lily”. Subsequently, I learned it was “Sapu Lidi” or “Sapu Lidih”. Corrections have been made below.

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Victor posted this “how to” piece on making his own kite. Cost him next to nothing as the materials were either recycled or freely available. Reproduced his instructions with his permission (thanks, Victor!).


  • Tracing paper (purchased at provision shop for 20 cents)
  • 2 “Sapu Lily” Sapu Lidi sticks
  • Glue
  • A pair of scissors
  • Reel of string

“Sapu Lily” Sapu Lidi Sticks – Obtained from a sweeper’s broom. Victor wasn’t sure why it’s called “Sapu Lily” Sapu Lidi . He explained that “Sapu” is a Malay word to mean “sweep”. The sticks come from drying out the coconut leaf.
2_sapu lily3_coconut leave


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Cut out a 14-inch square of tracing paper. Tip: Fold diagonally before cutting.

STEPS #2, 3, 4 and 5
For the first stick, break off the thinner end to leave it about 2 inches shorter than the diagonal of the square (i.e. so that you have a 2 inch flap of paper at the corner).
Place one end on the corner of the paper, and put it diagonally. At the other corner of the paper, apply glue and fold over the stick.

Cut out two pieces of tracing paper (about 2 inches square), apply glue and use them to secure the top end of the stick as well as the middle.

Bend the second stick into a curve. The length should be enough to touch the corners when bent (trim the length by breaking off the thinner end of the stick). Bending the stick ensures the kite is taut enough so that it catches the wind when flown.

Apply glue at the corners of the big square paper and fold them over to secure the bent stick in place (as shown in picture).

Punch small holes in the kite (at the positions indicated in red).

STEPS #6 and 7
5_top string
Thread a doubled-up string through the holes and secure the string. Tie the string such that the front end is slightly shorter than the rear section. TIP: If both sections are of the same length, the kite wouldn’t fly. If the rear section is longer than the front, your kite would fly backwards.

Cut the remaining tracing paper into long thin strips. Use glue to join the strips and attach to the tail end of your kite. TIP: The tail makes the kite more stable in flight.

Paint the kite if you wish. Attach a reel of string to the kite and you’re ready for your kite to catch the wind.
7_top painted.0

Original posts at Victor’s blog and also

Tag: creative learning