Craig D’Andrea – Standing Still

Guitarists like Craig D’Andrea were one of the main reasons why I wanted to learn how to play the guitar.


In my younger days, I used to be frustrated with myself that I could never reach their level of technical and artistic perfection.

Now that I’m a bit older, I’ve learned to just sit back. Relax. Enjoy.

And be glad that there are musicians like that who continue to inspire.

~ Ivan

ccMixter remix: Ganesh Atharwa Sheersha (ft. Oxana)

When I first heard Oxana’s vocals (from Carosone’s upload), something clicked right away. Even though I did not understand the words, other than the “Om Namaste” at the beginning.

Ganesh Atharwa Sheersha (ft. Oxana)

Creative Commons License
Ganesh Atharwa Sheersha (ft. Oxana) by Ivan Chew is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Singapore License. Based on a work at Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at .


I played the vocals to a rough instrumental track that I’ve kept for the longest time. It seems to fit. But I was hesitant to chop up the pell, as cultural and religious sensitivities might be involved. That much I recognised.

A friend, who knew a bit of Sanskrit, gave me good advice. Chop up the pell between the pauses. Then I won’t run the risk of juxtaposing wrong words.

I went entirely by ‘feel’, if you will. Arranged the vocals to where it sounded and felt right.

The choice of the instruments were both practical and philosophical. There’s a blend of western orchestra strings, Indian percussion, Sitar, Indian flute, Chinese percussion, and the Erhu. It’s a reflection of the society and country where I’ve lived all my life (and still do).

Right after I completed the remix, I found this text! OK, the song has feelings and meaning for me now.

I hope this song works for you. If there’s any objections to this remix, let me know.

Michael Cho – Street Singer

I can’t remember how I learned about Michael Cho (“Born in Hong Kong, trained in Singapore, dreaming in America…“). Maybe from a forwarded email with a link to his YouTube video of him doing this street-singing gigs.

Recently we caught up at barcamp SG 3. I missed his presentation on “Why do I street-sing? And why YOU should too!” though.
[Incidentally, there were 3 music-related presentations at barcamp SG 3: Michael, Jiin Joo, and mine. Ssee also: Shalabh’s post].

Over an online chat, I asked Michael to point me to a video that best showcased his work. He gave me two links: this and this.

Actually I feel this one really says “Michael Cho”:

To understand why Michael does his street-gig, read his post here (it’s an embedded presentation).

After listening to Michael at barcamp SG 3, blogger zTao reflected (in Mandarin) that his (her?) perspective of street singers has changed; that not all street performers do it as a last resort and/ or are down-and-out.

Michael tells me he’s still “a corporate slave” and street singing is his way of keeping sane.

Then keep performing, dude.

~ Ivan

(U2) With or Without You – Sungha Jung

I met Shalabh at barcampSG 3. Came across this video at his blog post:

If you liked that one (I’d be surprised if you didn’t), more YouTube videos can be found here (put up by Sungha’s father).

From Sungha:

Hi, I’m Sungha Jung from South Korea. My dream is to become a professional acoustic fingerstyle guitarist.

I had been watching my dad play the guitar for awhile before I finally jumped on it myself three years ago. I just turned twelve in September, 2008.

Currently, I am taking drum lessons and teaching myself fingerstyle guitar.

I used to not have tabs for the music that I played in my videos. I just listen and pick them up directly from the sound source in videos available on the internet. However, recently, I have started playing with original tabs whenever they are available to me by courtesy of the authors.

My old guitar is custom made by Selma to fit my body size, and on it, Thomas Leeb wrote "Keep on grooving to my friend." As of Jan. 1st, 2009 Lakewood acts as sponsor for my guitar officially.

I’m very grateful to those prominent guitarists who have had a great influence on my guitar playing. I’ll continue to study them and learn more about interpretation of music and various playing techniques.

My daily practice routine lasts for one to two hours when school is open, but I play up to three hours a day during the school breaks.

It usually takes me two to three days to practice and videotape a new piece but sometimes up to a week for more difficult ones.

Last, but certainly not least, I can’t thank Ulli Bögershausen enough for being my musical inspiration.

Super-talented kid. His parents must be extremely proud of him.

Sungha’s MySpace page is at

~ Ivan

Remixed: Have I Told You Lately part 2

Discovered that this song from our 2009 One World One Moment album was used as the audio track for this home video by Shannan. The video is a photo montage of her kids titled “My Beautiful Boys“.

Nice video, Shannan.

Maybe one day, when your kids grow up, they’ll watch this video and say, “Thanks mom, for the video. We love ya. BTW who’s Starfish Stories :: The Band?

That’ll be really cool. 🙂

~ Ivan