Legends of Bukit Merah – Set

A 15 year-old Singaporean student (let’s call him XJ) emailed me recently:

Hello Mr. Chew,

I am a 15 year old Singaporean student who has been asked to give a presentation on any Singaporean folk stories for a special ‘International Culture Day’ to younger children. I then proceeded to choose the ‘Red Hill’ story, of Bukit Merah to present. Since younger children would likely require visual aids to listen to the story, I then searched online for any illustrations of the story. I have found only a few pictures at the NLB site, but not all. Would it trouble you to send me the High-resolution comic strips? It would be an immense help to me if you did.

Thank you very much!

Since he asked so politely, I decided to respond to him quickly. I asked for more information on what his presentation was about. Turned out he was studying in an international school (which made sense for a local myth to be shared for Cultural Day). He also elaborated on how he intended to protect my intellectual property rights by offering to watermark each image, destroying the images and not disposing in a public bin even. Also offered to delete from his computer.

I wrote back to say he didn’t have to do all that. Mentioned about my CC-BY license, and basically said he could keep it and handle the images as he deemed fit, as long as he credited them as how I wanted.

So here’s the set of 10 images at Flickr (text search “legend of bukit merah page myrightbrain.wordpress.com”)

Individual images
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10

From Page 7:
Legend of Bukit Merah Page 06 - MyRightBrain.wordpress.com
Please credit to “Ivan Chew – MyRightBrain.wordpress.com”


Song: Of Secret Things

Discovered WillemWillem’s upload and instantly liked it. My singing isn’t polished but he did say “sing whatever comes to their minds”. I went looking for inspiration in the public domain records. The first three stanzas were entirely from William Seymour’s “When Beauty Came to You” while I took two lines from E. H. Visiak’s “Lamps and Lantern” for the chorus.

Of Secret Things
by Ivan Chew.
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0). Uses samples from Quark (working title) by WillemWillem.

Click here for how to give credit and other conditions.

* If Beauty came to you,
would you know her grace,
could you in your shadowed prison
View unscathed her face?

* Stepping noiselessly
As moving moth-wings, so
Might she come suddenly to you or me
And we not know.

* Amid these clangs and cries,
Alas, how should we hear
The shy, dim-woven music of her sighs
As she draws near,

We drank our wines
And danced our dreams
We sang the songs of lonely kings
Chinese lanterns, paper globes+
Dragon Gods in tissue robes+

We rode the beam up to the moon
And watched the jasmine flowers bloom.
Tea cups, gold pins, silver rings
Of love, of life, of secret things

She kissed me when she said good-bye

Inspired/ Remixed from poems in the Public Domain (archive.org):
* “If Beauty Came to You” by William Kean Seymour (1887 – 1975);
+ “Lamps and Lanterns” by E. H. Visiak (Edward Harold Physick, 1878 – 1972).
See http://ia341317.us.archive.org/2/items/miscpoetry00chesuoft/miscpoetry00chesuoft.txt

My Fender Stratocaster

Two weeks ago, I bought a pre-owned (OK, call it “used”) Fender Stratocaster. From Guitar77 (basement of Peninsula Excelsior Shopping).

Fender Stratocaster

Fender Stratocaster

I checked the Fender website serial numbers (mine’s a Mexican model). Must be something built in 1996 or 1997 (more pictures below).

Fender Stratocaster

Fender Stratocaster

Fender Stratocaster

Fender Stratocaster

Fender Stratocaster

Fender Stratocaster

Fender Stratocaster

Fender Stratocaster

Fender Stratocaster

Why did I buy this?

Part indulgence, and part curiosity. Now that I’ve tried a Les Paul and also a bass, I thought it was time to try out a Strat. Meaning, it would be something I would use (rather than buy on a whim and then be an expensive dust collector).

I didn’t want to spend too much on one though. A friend told me they might have used models at Peninsular. I dropped by one day with the intention to try rather than buy. The Guitar77 outlet was the second shop I visited that had used Strats. Asked if I could try a few on display. Decided this one was it. Somehow the sound was more mellow than the new model. And cheaper too.

It’s got some superficial blemishes — cracked paint job, scratches, rust spots.

But the neck feels really RIGHT and the body just resonates. I guess this is a sign of old age/ maturity. I no longer go for looks that much. It’s the feel and sound that matters.

[note: The photos are licensed under a CC-BY license, and can be found as a set here.]