[NOTE: Rosli Mansor does not know me, and I don’t really know him either. This is an unsolicited post].
3 Apr, 2010.
Full-house. Some people had to be seated on the bare floor.
Teens, Uncles and Aunties. Spotted a couple of children too. Good mix of Chinese and Malay audiences (I mentioned this to dispel stereotypes of the show being just a Mat-Rockers gathering).
People were dressed in informal and casual attire, seated patiently like they were waiting for a talk to start. This looked anything but a rock guitar performance.
It was like a family outing even. A PG-movie screening.
Why “Deeper Than Purple”?
Initially I thought it was a reference to the 70s-era band who gave the world “Smoke On Water”.
It seems Rosli’s a philosophical guy.
As he explained during the show, it has something to do with the colours of the walls in his home studio. And then Rosli started to speak of his late father.
He had to compose himself twice.
If Rosli didn’t sound quite as coherent as he could at that point, I’m sure the crowd forgave him. That was if any had even found fault with him in the first place.
His dad had passed on.
I saw the show as Rosli’s tribute to his friends, colleagues and loved ones. Through his music.
In introducing the song “Sorry I’m Late”, his advice to the largely young adult audience was tell their loved ones “sorry/ thank you/ whatever we feel we have to say to make peace”. Don’t be sorry like he was, in being late to say what he wanted to tell his father.
What struck me was Rosli said very little about himself.
Last night’s show could have easily been a session of single-musician showmanship. Of electric-fan blown and mindless fretboard shredding. Of self-indulgent messages of personal triumphs; chest-thumping self-righteous indignation against the oft-repeated lack of support of Singapore-based music.
But thankfully there was none of that.
Respect, Friendship, Humility, Open-mindedness
Instead, Rosli chose the night to honor his friends, family, his late father. His volunteers, sponsors and supporters. He didn’t glamourise the musical journey he chose for himself.
What he did mention of himself, he was honest and self-depreciative even.
It was apt that he let his music speak for him. And it’s a nice side that I heard (the CD sounds even better).
I liked that his music show had interesting ideas (lucky-draw, audience participantion). I appreciated the philosophical musings from his in-between songs anecdotes.
“Don’t be late for whatever you wish to say, to whomever you know is necessary”.
“Empty your mind of prejudices,or else it will be too full to take in anything new”.
In an age where young impressionable minds quest for their next musical idol, or seek affirmations from those who would give them any excuse to be anti-establishment, Rosli was a mix of the down-to-earth familiar and non-egotistical maturity.
Rosli seems to draw a discerning crowd of those who are connected by his musical ideas and expression.
Put in that context, it occurred to me Rosli would be a good role musician model.
Congratulations on the launch of your 2nd album, Rosli.
[update: Rosli Mansor’s thoughts: “Deeper Than Purple – Portrait of Fading Faces”]