and he wept.


et in terra pax-

what a loaded statement.

i recently went to see the russian film leviathan with friends. the story draws from the circular plot of human suffering- the spiral downward to infinite sadness where one loses the most important things, one by one, love, family, house, hope- for a simple cause of another: greed.  a story of a job.

i wrote a blog post about book of job long time ago. i struggle with the story. the almighty god and almighty satan. the power bets. the human in-between. a pawn.

today, i went to have a coffee with a new-ish friend. i think we can foster a nice relationship- which is quite exciting! another person will let me into her life, to relate, to share, to offer and take!

and we talked about idea of north. of separation. of contexts. then of the gods.

we are imperfect. with acceptance, we may be able to see the idea of perfection, something that is not bound by the human condition. release. freedom. infinite capability. perfection. god.

then it hits me like a brick at midnight.

the image of god, of the supreme being, looking into the depth of the maelstrom of human suffering. by the exact rule that he exists through, god cannot help any man directly. a perfection cannot be part of imperfection. imperfection may carry the image of perfection.


imagine the searing pain of watching the faults of humanity, where a man grinds another, eyes blinded with desires, ego, impatience and…  pack of dingos feeding from one another, like prometheus, the flesh grows,  leaving the trace of pain even more difficult.

in the bach passacaglia in c minor and in the second movement of the vivaldi gloria, god wept.

the city covered with wet, opaque grey. snow came down, heavy, laden with thoughts today. and as it kissed the ground, it turned into tears. pool of tears.

hearing the quiet sobbing of the god, the night continues into oblivion.

there is job.
there is god.
who is who, which is which?


to fuse, to breath

to relate to another person/being/thing/event, it is to 'fuse.'

'fusion' comes from middle french 'fusion,' seen as early as 1550s, from latin word 'fundere,' meaning melting and pouring.

a lung transplant.

it's not a heart transplant- if you give your whole heart to another, well, you would be forfeiting your own life. lungs, you have a pair. everyone's a pair of lungs on average. you do not have working lung, you will end up gasping for air the whole time. life turns into a maelstrom.

we can now do a very successful single or double-lung transplant. yes, one may open one's thorax to full capacity- though open cavity surgeries are becoming rarer, this procedure may require full-access. nothing held back.

in naked vulnerability, a surgeon will gently remove the old lung. then the donor lung gets attached, 3 little vessels then connects the donor lung and the body: airway, pulmonary artery and pulmonary vein. and the the body is closed. and one hopes for a successful fusion.

the patient will take immuno-suppresant, probably till the last step to the grave.  once accepted, one need to take care of the presence of another with care- they will live within one's life, and because they are essentially different from self, it will always need to be looked after as such.

one may also suffer with infection. the foreign lives that seeped through and settles down, colonizing the body with vicious hunger.  just like the difficult emotions we receive from our relationships that may end up poisoning the whole person.

the upside is that many people with new lungs will gain a chance to life, to live to the fullest potential once again.  the foreign lung becomes part of the existing circuitry. welded on, day and night, repaired and fused by living cells. it requires time, effort and nourishment.  just like the beautiful circuitry of CPU board, once integrated, it will complete the unit once again. life hums again.

the donor may cease to exist before the death of recipient. may be the donor have died already.

one may learn the story of the donor. one may never find out.

but the lung, isolated and willingly given to another person, will fuse, to give life. to continue life.

this is how i view love.
we fuse with one another.
we freely give parts of one another, in open vulnerability.
and though it becomes part of us, as individuals, it was never one's own. and it will need care through the course of time. but it will complete us, it will let us breath and look up, to realize that we are no longer drowning in maelstrom, short of breath.

it lets us live.

to fuse.

what a luxury, being a human being.
love to all.


pavor! pavor!

a man walks, just about 4 meters ahead.
we are enveloped by quiet, dark, cold night.
my ears are fine-tuned to the steps on wet ground,
only real source of light on back street are the lonely street lamps.

he reaches the door, disappears.

with cold fingers, i grab my keys,

light, warmth.
with slightly watering eyes, i enter the corridor.


glancing, i sense panic.

the pointed fingers, hastened breath,

white knuckles, pressing that 'close' button.
close. damn it. close.

a man willing the machine,
for obedience,
for magic.
and with other hand, fanatically putting his earbuds on.

i stick my foot into the closing door of the elevator,
and blurted out


dude is beet-red. and adjusts earbuds with his best efforts.
deafening silence.

the other two kids in elevator almost died laughing. ha ha. sat eve drama.


dear HAL

further thoughts from 2001:space odyssey

1. i think HAL, as an AI machine, did not realize what mistake is or what fear is. this was a major disadvantage because the one time he makes a mistake (when he cuts frank out), he still did not understand fear (if he had fear that he may be terminated, he may have been careful about leaving dave alive, for instance).  he only realizes he is fearful when he is being terminated ('im afraid, dave.') one mistake, hella price to pay. poor HAL.

2.  in fact, this first encounter with 'fear' is clearly illustrated when HAL's shutting down: 'i can feel it. i can feel it. i can feel it.'  paradoxically, until HAL was faced with a new condition (ex. dying), he did not have a chance to realize any emotion at all. which makes me wonder if HAL knew that he was 'alive,' which is different than 'becoming operational.'  he was never close to death, which means it may be impossible for HAL to realize HAL itself was alive.

3. monolith: what if the monolith was a live being? i mean, HAL was alive. so what/how to say that monolith was an unconscious thing? if i did not know about fungus, i may think they are like dirt, which would be inanimate.  but fungus is alive, just not so obvious as its biological behavior is radically different than other life forms.  could it be that monolith was always seeing things?

4. if monolith was seeing things, may be all four parts of the movie (dawn of man, TMA-1, jupiter mission, and beyond the infinite) was happening simultaneously. looking at the nebulous 'ending' of the movie, this interpretation is becoming more and more attractive to me.  time is sequential yet time is space-dependent. if monolith was alive and watching, may be it did occupy all four time zones simultaneously.  IF someone have never seen a reflection (on water, mirror, whatever), he/she cannot possibly understand satellite communication (based on reflection: wave forms, generation/reception).

5. was HAL bringing the dawn of a new age, jupiter? the idea of burning bright red orbit make the connection irresistible.  if so, is HAL responsible for the next phase of life? just monolith was? like the sun, which saw, HAL did see. only difference would be that HAL interacted, the sun did not. but how can one be sure that sun did not interact? what if monolith was another representation of the sun in the contrasting form (black, matte finish, square and 'planted')

5. what the hell happened in the ending?


space - silence - monkey chase

so i was lucky enough to go see 2001: space odyssey yesterday at TIFF lightbox.  funny, i have seen parts of them so many times, however, this may be the first time that i saw it through, from beginning to the end.

then, as always,
i was left at the end with the greatest confusion.

WTF happened?

many films tend to leave me with more questions.  not the easy questions either- always provoking and questioning, a bit like pebble under the shoe somewhere when you are wearing a lace-up boots!  'amour' was like that, and so was 'mr. turner.' 'separation' and so many others…  i often feel cautious to 'commit' to a movie for this particular reason, ahaha!

the idea of the monolith, the star child, the all-seeing eye of HAL, these are the icons that stuck through and through since. too bad that 'silence' in space did not stick through (drives me crazy when seeing a space scene, it is accompanied by obscenely loud sounds; there is no sound in vac!)

then there's also the question of silence itself.

whenever the men were in the space (frank and dave), all one hears is the man's heartbeat.

it made me wonder when i could be in such place-

see, the closest thing one can get to is sticking the head under the water. but then if you are in a tub, you will hear other resonant noise around the tub (plumbing, things from the floor, wall, etc).  if you are in the sea, unless it's absolutely still, there'll be movement of the water- waves, splashes, even life forms.  I've been in anechoic chamber. may be that's the closest.  but i remember feeling (may be not hearing) the sound of the air ducts/vents (as those chambers are always INSIDE, it will have air circulations system).  on a still mountain top (which i love dearly), there still will be some sound.

even before a baby is born, or before developing the aural sensory (supposedly the first one to develop out of the common five senses), the fetus would feel the resonance of the ambient sound through the body of the mother…

where can i hear the just my own heartbeat?
do deaf person hear any sound? i know they sense it. is it same as hearing? if they are to sense it through resonance and react, then they are definitely listening but… hearing?

we can live without air for a (very) short period of time.
we can go on without food for a quite a bit.
we can stay up for a reasonable amo of time.
we die without water, but will last a bit.
but can we be in silence?

and once we get there, if we can get there, what would it be like?

would i get there at the point of my own termination? at death?
would it be relieving or oppressing?

kubrick, you genius.
thanks for ruining my mental silence!

i shall chew on this simple question for a next little while.
oh silence. you illusive enigma.


im a proletariat soundmaking monkey, yes.


ive been straddling two quite different worlds for a bit.

one involves translating black and white to a real time sonic event (playing the piano), the other involves taking one's expression from one language to another (translating).  and there are so many striking similarities which made me further refine what i think of what i do.

often when the refugee applicants ask me what i do, i say im a prole(tariat). probably as a reaction to the reality that classical music has became somewhat obsolete in the current G20 world, that it built and armed itself with great fortress of- class, economical and contextual separation.  it feel funny when someone addresses me as an artist.

am i an artist?

i would like to believe that im a prole.  my job as a musician is to create real-time sonic event (make sound) based on the physical codex, printed black on white (score), utilizing a machine (piano or whatever) in relation to emotional/theatrical directives of a scriptor (composer), in presence of other consciousness (fellow players AND audience).

that got overtly complicated perhaps. 
so monkey.

but because i am a prole, i, as a player, do not create any ART.  

when these sonic events are physically sensed (heard) and if the audience consciously/unconsciously attribute extrinsic meanings (sense of beauty/life/desolation/whatever either directly related to the sound themselves or to the cultural codex of the western classical music as sonic idiomatic expression, such as minor keys being sad and major being happy), and once the extrinsic meanings create a physical/psychological feedback (actually feeling sad with minor keys, etc), then it becomes art.

and once the actual event ends (end of performance or a piece), there may even be a continuous feedback in the audience's psyche that may be fleeting or becomes semi-permanent physical/emotional history (attributing certain music to emotions or personal/impersonal life events that then creates further emotional reactions). that would be ART.

the lucky thing is that because i can also listen to myself playing (which i should do more often HAHA), i can be part of the audience. i am able to allocate and assign non-musical values for my own playing (yay hooray this makes practice so much more bearable).

i think this is what i do.  


showering pale gold, i melted.

every season has its own light.
my favorite is the winter light.

colder the air gets, moisture content decreases.
the water drops lose their kinetic energy.
they cling onto the ground, sleeping. hibernation.
reyleigh scattering.

isnt it interesting.
thinner atmosphere will create paler sunlight.
as... on earth, sun is closer to yellow.
as we move away from the earth- light get paler.
on the moon, it will be white (colourless).
and the sky is blue because
all the blue waves are bounced off,
the red and yellows continue to travel
and because they arent refracted,
we dont see them.

the white light directly from the sun
under the thin cold air of morning
plummeting to near silence-
people move differently.
faces covered, huddled up.

and i keep looking up.
seeing solid air.
filling up my heart, right from my toes.
up and up and up.


beauty breaks heart.
in the winter light.


easy, light, fast

one of the gifts i have received this year is a book from blue heron lady, born to run, about the reclusive tarahumara indian runners.

when i was a little overweight kid, i always thought running is for special people. then i dropped the weight. and because it was such a difficult journey to drop that weight, i alway perceived that sweating is a hard work.

in a sense that if im sweating buckets while playing music, it felt oddly satisfying. i was told and i silently knew that such 'suffering' really is not necessary, even hinders the actual manifestation of the appropriate events, i was addicted to this feeling of 'no pain no gain.'

and as one gets older, especially runners, they are warned on regular basis: watch out for injuries! you may break something! just like musicians who graduates from undergrad programs already loaded with slew of playing injuries.

ive been lucky that i have not had playing injuries. just dumb ones, like falling over and breaking arms.

but in the book, they talk about this mad runners who do ultra distance running, free of injuries and full of fun. REALLY?

and at some point, the secret is spelled out:
1. (do it so that it is) easy
2. (keep it) light
3. (then you will be) faster.

so ive been trying it out.

so far, without changing anything in my training (except brand new new balance minimal running shoes to give my old runners a break- had them since 2009), i managed to shave off minutes of miles. 4 miles under 40 min. it usually takes me good 45 min.

and it felt great.

i will take these three things to heart. the transformation was so easy. may be it's a trap. may be it will have limit. but till i reach the limit, i will keep it easy and light. and then i will become faster.

how amazing it is to taste the freedom of moving.


happy 2015: taming the dragon

ive decided to try something new for 2015.  rather than losing train of thought (as it crashes onto the mount 'reality,' just over 'lack-of-time' and 'oh-but-so-not-pc'), what if i write very short observations instead?

well, we shall see how it works.


my fav pianist mehldau teamed up with this amazing mark guiliana, drummer to create a mesmerizing album, mehliana.  the first track has bit of spoken bits. he talks about the idea of rage. then of the dragon. and of taming the dragon.

yes, too often, we think being angry or frustrated is a negative thing. and by virtue 'polarization,' negative emotions are seen as a BAD thing.

i think that when one is angry, there is a value in expressing that emotion to the fullest.  let it come out and rip the sky apart. let it show you how powerful and strong you can be.

then you tame it.

you get to know it.
you know it.
you are it.

mantra for 2015: to tame the dragon.
what a delicious music to start the year.