Remix – “Into Thy Heart”

I was thinking “Enya” as I worked on I-Ling’s ccMixter stems. I wasn’t able to do something with her main vocals. So I toyed with her backing pells instead. I imported the track into my iPad (converted to AIFF) and then mucked around with the iPad’s GarageBand. Experimented with piano, orchestra strings and clean electric guitar layers. Utilised the automatic chords in the GB iPad app (I couldn’t have played them so precisely). Finally exported to my iMac and tweaked the mix with Logic Express.

Here’s the remix titled “Into Thy Heart”:

The instrumental track uploaded here, under a CC-BY license.

~ Ivan

Stems – I-Ling’s “Heart of Steel (a cappella)”

A preview/ vocal stems uploaded by I-Ling:

The full set of stems can be found at this page. Which has been remixed several times already. Nice.

I-Ling shared more of her thoughts on this set of stems, here.

Starfish Stories on Red Maps

Back in the tail end of 2011, I received an email from a company called Red Maps. They found our ‘Surfing on Solar Winds’ track at That track had reached its download limit, so they asked if I could send them the file.

Actually I had overlooked their email. When I realised my oversight, I quickly replied to them and pointed them to our 2009 digital album, One World One Moment, where the same track could be downloaded.

Here’s how our music was featured. So cool that we have another music video!

I thought this was a very nice business model they got there. Its about creative opportunities, collaboration and reciprocal publicity. I also appreciate how they gave full credits to the collaborators (which is a lot more detailed that many videos where our CC music has been featured).

Thanks Red Maps.

For helping put this little band on your map.

From the YouTube video description:

“Los Angeles” is from Red Maps Independent Filmmakers City Series.

Our Series asks creative individuals to make a short film that captures the life, style and vibe of a city…using a Red Map.

The Filmmaker: Cristi Silva of ThatSoRad Productions
Santa Barbara, CA
We met Cristi via seeing her photography work in California. She captures people and scenes that result in incredibly fresh stories.
So, it was a no-brainer to ask her to make a film, and to see how she might visualize one of our favorite cities. Cristi Silva’s LA makes one feel as though they’ve never seen the city before.

The Music: “Surfing on Solar Winds” by Starfish Stories :: The Band
Ivan, Adrian and I-Ling are three Singaporeans who have up and gone pursued their dreams of creating music for the world under the Creative Commons program. Their music is available for all to hear, enjoy and download. We met them via under the name ramblinglibrarian. The music was the perfect match to give the film its soulful tour of LA.

Red Maps is a small, NYC-based company, making unique city maps that are smart, beautiful and easy-to-use. But our interest is not only maps, on our blog we highlight design in all its forms, including autos, furniture, architecture and more…we don’t see a reason to limit ourselves. These short films are a way for us to collaborate with some very talented people. And if they help inform everyone about Red Maps…that’s cool too. It’s about having fun.

Filmmakers Wanted
If you’re a filmmaker and would like to work with Red Maps,
please contact us at:

Remixed: Stolen Dreams

Received a notification that Adrian‘s Stolen Dreams stems (see this earlier blog post), has been remixed. TWICE! Courtesy of CSoul.

Have a listen:

“A Blasted Life”link

ccMixter - A Blasted Life

“Move Alone to New Life” – link

ccMixter - Move Alone to New Life

Oh, the three of us finally met up for a long-overdue makan meetup. Among other things that has happened in our lives, I-Ling‘s moved to a different job; Adrian’s preparing for a talk at a Biology Symposium; I’ve got a new dog.

Adrian reminded about The Mangrove Tree album (heh, so rare that he’s chasing me for music LOL). I said we have enough tracks. But missing the vocals (I-Ling, yo!)

~ Ivan

My Lunarin Remix #1: “No Sun Under The Sky”

When I posted this, I had already started working on the remix.

Took me about 5 evenings to complete it.

I give the world “No Sun Under The Sky” — an obvious reference to Lunarin’s original title:Creative Commons License“No Sun Under The Sky” by Ivan Chew is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Singapore License.


The remixed track has been uploaded at my ccMixter page. Some ccMixter reviews/ comments that made my day:

  • (Linda is) a lovely soaring singer and the song has a pretty lyricAdmiral Bob
  • Slowly seething beauty with the piano keeping time…Fireproof_Babies
  • [This one is my favourite!] i think a lot of people miss the musical fusion magic happening in Singapore (and Budapest, too). for me the best new music comes from those two areas.panu moon

Linda was the first to respond to the remix.
Facebook | Linda Ong

She saw it fit to post about it via her FB profile:
Facebook | Linda Ong comments on my remix of Lunarin's The Sky

And that was probably how SG music “heavy weights” like Willy Tan and Patrick Chng dropped by:
Facebook | Remixing Lunarin: “No Sun Under The Sky”

It’s obvious to me that all this CC remixing stuff gives as much exposure to the band and the remixers. This is just a bonus though. The real fun is in the musical process.

I cannot quite play like Lunarin, nor get their sound. Remixing them gives me that little taste of being with my fav band, or dare I say “In” it. If just for a little while 🙂

Lunarin | Home

You can listen to the original version of “The Sky (Algiers)” in this YouTube vid from Lunarin’s live concert on 1 Oct 2010.
[UPDATE: Lunarin has uploaded the original track, here]

In my remix, I’ve used Linda’s vocals and sampled a bit of the track’s piano, bass and clean guitar. A very long “How It Was Done” post, over at MyRightBrain.

And of course boys and girls, let’s not forget that the very cool Lunarin (Linda, Kah Wye, Eng Teck) made this remix possible.

Thanks for “Sharing Today. Shaping Tomorrow”.

Get your own Lunarin remix going. Do remember to license your remix as CC-BY-NC-SA.

~ Ivan
p.s. For the more astute readers, yeah there is a #2 coming up!

Remixed: The Mangrove Tree

This track was used in this video.

The video reminded me of these two books that I borrowed from our public libraries.

The first related book is Jared Diamond’s “Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed”.
ISBN: 0670033375 | Roughnotes

The video’s Drug Addiction analogy echoes what Jared Diamond wrote — that human societies could get away with a lot of waste when times are good. But when conditions change, “we may already have become attached to an expensive lifestyle, leaving an enforced diminished lifestyle or bankruptcy as the sole outs” (P155/ 156).

In the video, the message was to ultimately stop using petroleum-based forms of vehicles and products. A noble aim but there are practical limits in trying to be “more green”. For instance, not everyone can simply stop using all forms of fuel-combustion vehicles and start cycling to work.

The reality is that alternative energy sources are still more expensive, or are unavailable to some nations. Which is why many people find it hard to give up our petroleum-based lifestyles, if you will, even if we recognise it.

That said, I think it’s about gradual changes.

Meaning, we wean ourselves off incrementally, like using nicotine patches, rather than go Cold Turkey.

Take fuel-combustion vehicles for example. We still need to take some form of transportation. So it’s about a commitment to take public transport like buses and trains. They still run on petroleum-based energy in some ways. But it’s less wasteful from the broader standpoint.

For sure, public transportation offers less privacy than driving one’s private car. But that’s what commitment is about.

Speaking of personal transportation, there’s an excellent story by David Gerrold, which appeared in this anthology:
Elemental: The Tsunami Relief Anthology: Stories of Science Fiction and Fantasy
ISBN: 0765315629 | Roughnotes

David Gerrold’s “Report from the Near Future: Crystallization” is a speculative-fiction piece, on what could happen when a major city freeway gets clogged, and the resulting effect on the city’s population. In brief, a series of traffic accidents causes a jam that is so massive, it results in the evacuation of an entire city. What’s worse is the conclusion — people’s memories are short; they simply evacuate and continue with the traffic build-up in the other city.

If you read Gerrold’s story, it wouldn’t sound as far-fetched as I’ve written.

~ Ivan

Remixed! “50 Things to do West of Dingle – Ventry Sand Fun”

Thanks to ventryvic for using the Twilight (2008) track in this video:
50 Things to do West of Dingle – Ventry Sand Fun


I left this comment at the video page:

Hey there! Thanks for remixing our music in your video. I enjoyed this video (not just because you used our song!) Pretty educational. Is building sand sculptures part of the Irish tradition? The picture at the 2min mark made me laugh! Thanks for sharing this. Oh, and I appreciate how you took pains to properly credit all the CC content owners. Thanks! ~ on behalf of Starfish Stories :: The Band.

~ Ivan

Remixed: “Can’t Deny” by Magic_Moon

Thanks to Magic_Moon for remixing my ccmixter Finding Love backing track.

Check this out: CAN’T DENY (BACKING MIX)

Remixed by Magic_Moon; licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0).


I like the electronica feel to his remix (at least it sounds like “electronica” to me). A nice contrast to my original rock instrumental.

Makes me feel like adding a remix… let me think about it.

Thanks for this, Magic_Moon.

BTW, Magic_Moon’s ccMixter profile says he’s a “Breakbeat DJ”. Check out his website 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

ccMixter Mash-up: Lady of Shalott 2009 remix

Lady of Shalott 2009 remix. narva9 on vocalslink

Waterhouse: The Lady of Shalott
originally uploaded by freeparking

This is a remix of an early work composed and recorded in 2006, but with a HUGE difference — I’ve got narva9 on vocals! I’ve never met narva9 personally. Learned about her work via ccMixter.

Details here.

~ Ivan