Rediscovering “The Anthology”

Posted in Music by Sandra on September 6, 2008

I was going through my piles of Stuff when I discovered a gem – West Winds’ “The Anthology” — live recordings from concerts held in 1994 – 2003.

West Winds was started in early 2003, the result of cooperation by The People’s Association and Bukit Batok Community Club. It’s mission is to cater to amateur musicians who would like to carry on pursuing their interest in band music after graduating from their educational institutes.

“The Anthology” was given out at their 10th anniversary concert, on 12 January 2003 (I still have the entry ticket stub!). I was there with my secondary school band members. I don’t remember much of the night itself, but listening to band music brings back a lot of memories!

Music has such power to arouse emotions in us – it’s a universal language. It doesn’t take a genius to tell you when a piece is particularly moving, or spiraling up dizzy steps to exhilaration. In my opinion, bands and orchestras are the most difficult places to be in, because you have to be on the same wavelength as the other members. In the process of making music, differences have to be set aside to produce music, not just sounds.

When I was with the band (Sec 1 and Sec 2), the only way to get band music was through mIRC, in the #bandmusic channel (if I remember right). File-sharing at its ultimate. You download your music from other users who have the necessary configurations, and most pieces take an hour or so to complete. For a while I had so much band music (about 4 gigs or more?) that I tried being a “server” myself. It all ended when Windows died on me, and I lost all of it.

Since then I’ve pursued other interests… I left band in Sec 3 to join the debating team. When I was enrolled in Millennia Institute, I joined the band too – however, they didn’t have any more instruments for a saxophonist, so I decided to try out the French Horn. Terrible failure at that. A few months later I dropped out of MI, and with that decision, my access to any band instruments.

Listening to the West Winds now, it’s brought back many memories. From the times I’ve performed with the band, to the Singapore Youth Festival competition in 2002. We struck gold then, and left Victoria Concert Hall in tears. Such a shame, really, that I never really bonded with the band members…

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