Octopus’ Garden

Adrian Loo - ProfileI was reading Sea Stories (Classic Illustrated Edition) Compiled by Cooper Edens. Its a really nice compilation of stories inspired by the sea. Like the 20,000 Leagues under the sea, Captain Blackbeard, The Old Man and the Sea, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner…

What attracted me to book was the front cover.. it was a nice painting

One of the entries for the book was this Poem by Richard Starkey. Turns out to be Ringo Starr from the Beatles.

Octopus’s Garden

“I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden in the shade
He’d let us in, knows where we’ve been
In his octopus’ garden in the shade

I’d ask my friends to come and see
An octopus’ garden with me
I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden in the shade.

We would be warm below the storm
In our little hideaway beneath the waves
Resting our head on the sea bed
In an octopus’ garden near a cave”

(these are just 3 stanzas>
“The idea for the song came about when Starr was on a boating trip with his family in Sardinia in 1968. He was offered an octopus lunch, but turned it down. Then the boat’s captain told Starr about how octopuses travel along the sea bed picking up stones and shiny objects with which to build gardens. Starr said that hearing about octopuses spending their days collecting shiny objects at the bottom of the sea was one of the happiest things he had ever heard, inspiring him to write this song.”

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octopus’s_Garden

Here are the Beatles fiddling with the song.

Here’s a Sesame Street version… 🙂


Walking On Air 2008 – with Friends from Songcraft

Ivan Chew - ProfileThis is a remix of “Walking On Air” composed in 2007. Unfortunately, as much as I’ve tried to re-engineer the sound, the playback volume is still too low for my liking.

Anyway… here’s the song:

“Walking On Air 2008, with Friends from Songcraft” Download/ listen at ARCHIVE.ORG
Music: Ivan Chew
Voices: Betty, Chris, Jerron, Lingfeng, Huiling, Daniel, Ginn, Marcel, the lady next to Marcel Carol, and Jeremy.

Last year, I’d planned to make a music video for it. I was quite ambitious in terms of ideas, with video footage and all that (including footage of the airplane taking off, from inside the plane). But didn’t have time to produce the video.

In late January this year, I decided to try something less complicated. I emailed the folks at Songcraft if they wanted to add their voices to the song. Requested that they record a few words or phrases on what Happiness meant to them (e.g. “Happiness is… reading a book”). Record it as an MP3 and email to me.

Only Betty responded (thanks!). She’d recorded three or four phrases. I did a trial version by adding her recording as a voice over. But clearly the three-minute song needed more voices.

So at the Songcraft meetup in March, I asked the participants to record their voices on the spot. Jeremy gamely lent me his MP3 recorder and almost everyone took part.

Or in Jeremy’s words, it was a “Ivan-making-everyone-do-this-right-here-right-now” thing. But he listened to the voice recordings and said he was glad the recording happened, and that the voices “actually sound pretty good”. You had doubts, Jeremy? LOL

Walk on air, folks!

Song dedication: Surfing On Solar Winds

A few days ago, I received a Facebook invite to a surprise birthday party for Alice (who so kindly reviewed our SeaStars album last year). I didn’t attend the party but I emailed Alice to wish her happy birthday.

And I dedicated this song to her, in lieu of a birthday present. Plus an apology for being a “cheapo”.

Alice replied: “Thank you. 🙂 The song is wonderful. Hope you don’t mind, I downloaded it for keeping.

Mind? Absolutely not!

Since you liked it, it’s yours. Literally. I’m extending the rights to the song to you. For what it’s worth, you’re a copyright co-owner now.

Happy belated birthday!
Ivan Chew - Profile
p.s. Apparently Jean (the person behind the Simply Jean group blog) organised the surprise party and kept Alice in the dark about the Facebook invite. What a pal. Incidentally, Jean might be blogging under a different blog.

Surfing On Solar Winds

Ivan Chew - ProfileThis song was completed in 2007, and was a candidate for the SeaStars 2007 album (hence the astronomical reference in the title). But it didn’t make the grade, ‘cos Adrian didn’t think the part with the “metallic bass” riff worked for him.

In a way, he’s right. I think I’ll probably retain the Rock Bass riff but add a layer of a deeper bass, so that the “metal” sound isn’t too distracting.


I wanted the song to convey a sense of drifting and moving through the stars: A child of the stars surfing on solar winds.

This is definitely a work-in-progress. Will need to re-engineering the bass riff a little, and also expand on the song.

My home studio (2007)

Ivan Chew - ProfileInspired by Adrian’s earlier post on how his home music studio looks like, I decided to show mine as well.

The picture was taken back in 2007.
My home music studio 2007

Being the procrastinator that I am, I’d kept the image in a folder and subsequently forgotten to publish it. I discovered it today while backing up my SeaStars files.

Weight of an Empty Page

Regina, aka Wrkshy, is an ex-colleague of mine. She’s currently pursuing a degree in Fine Art and Contemporary Writing at NAFA. And she’s really talented.

When I came across her post (which seemed to be a writing assignment), I left a comment asking if Regina would allow me to use those words as lyrics to a song. I didn’t really expect her to respond, let alone say yes!

So here’s the song: “Weight of an Empty Page”
Listen/ download at ARCHIVE.ORG

Details at this post.

Ivan Chew - Profile

Documentary: “Radio Station Forgot To Play My Favourite Song“

[First posted at Yesterday.SG, 3 Mar 2008]

Ivan Chew - ProfileI’m not old enough to have experienced the vibrant Singapore music scene in the ’60s. But I’m old enough (or perhaps “young enough”?) to identify with the rock/ metal scene in the ’80s.

At least, I had some recognition of the songs, the bands, the musicians. I definitely got goosebumps as I sat mesmerised, reading Billy’s post and watching the documentary (posted in three parts in YouTube):

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

The title of the “rockumentary” has its namesake from a song by the Padres.

The film was a Final Year Project by a trio of NTU students five years ago. Billy’s post has the details.

Growing up then, I remember hearing some — just a few — of the featured songs on radio (the interviewees featured in the video repeatedly said there was little support from local radio).

In truth, I wouldn’t have bought most of the music then. ‘Cos I didn’t have much money as a student, and not all the music was my cup of tea.

But one’s perspectives changes with time, I suppose.

If someone were to compile the music from that period and make it available as a CD, I’d buy it now without hesitation.

I’d listen to it.

And savour the music from that era in Singapore’s (hidden) musical heritage.

Even the Death/ Trash Metal songs.

And my favourite track, without a doubt, would be the Padre’s “Radio Station Forgot to Play My Favourite Song”.