Starfish Stories :: The Band is now a trio.
If you’ve heard our latest album, or read the credits or the bio for SoundOut, you would know Adrian and I had help from this lady. Who has a unique spelling for her name: I-Ling (pronounced ‘Ee Ling’, and not ‘Eye Ling’).
The other day, Adrian asked how I got to know I-Ling. I wish it was because I-Ling came upon our music by chance, was so moved by it, and decided she had to be a part of it. Reality was more mundane.
I-Ling and I met in mid 2009, when we were both speaking at an event as part of our respective work. She worked for National Arts Council then. We chatted after the session. I was curious to learn more about how NAC worked, its programmes and the funding. In her talk, I-Ling mentioned Noise Singapore. I jokingly complained that the cut-off age for participating in Noise Singapore was too low (in that, given my age I didn’t qualify, heh).
As we talked, we discovered a shared interest in creating music. She sings (and if I-Ling is willing, she should share what she used to do before she joined NAC) and was interested in knowing more about DIY recording. I told her how we do things at Starfish Stories. The basic equipment needed. We ended our conversation with a promise to keep in touch. I-Ling said she would seriously give the DIY recording stuff a try. I hoped she would also email her vocal tracks for a remix.
Ah, the “Keep In Touch” is an oft-abused term and given much lip-service than actual practice (I’m guilty of that too). BUT luckily in this case, we did keep our conversation going. On the rare occasions that we bumped into each other on Gmail chat, we would exchange pleasantries. I’d tell her about ccMixter. And I’d cajole her to record her stuff. Would send her some tracks and ask if she would feel inspired to do something.
[Incidentally, I-Ling also posted her vocal stems to ccMixter too (under her own profile). I remember telling her, in jest, that I was jealous how her very first stem had more remixes than what I had in two years, heh.]
While I-Ling serendipitously became involved with Starfish Stories with “Good-night Not Good-bye”, it wasn’t until the SoundOut album that she wrote original lyrics and recorded vocals for the band.
A few weeks before the end of 2010, we informally sealed our partnership over pizza. And exchanges of gifts of dried mangoes, jasmine flower tea and Lunarin CDs that aren’t shown in the picture.
I stress the word ‘informal’, ‘cos I sort of just said to Adrian, “So, I-Ling will be our vocalist, ok?” and Adrian said something like “Yah, finally we have a better looking band member”.
So now Starfish Stories :: The Band comprise of a Biologist, a Librarian, and a… Officer Worker (yo, I-Ling please come up with a better label than that lah!)
All three of us are married. We’re in our 30s (I don’t know I-Ling’s exact age but for Adrian and I, we’re more than tilting towards 40).
We have our day jobs.
We’ll continue to be a band that doesn’t perform ‘live’, who doesn’t meet to jam.
We cherish the music that we create, for sure.
But we’re friends first, and the music really is an outcome of the camaraderie.
Cheers to a new year.