Stanley Prison

What do you do with the rest of your life if it's going to be spent in prison?

My first-ever prison visit at Stanley today, for a music sharing session with Christian fellowship convicts with Ms. Nancy Loo.
Stanley Prison is one of the few maximum security prisons for male convicts (I know of only one other, Shek Pik). Of course there was a lot of security; we probably had to walk through at least seven locked/monitored gates in order to get to the activity room.

We went into one of the Category A (ie. the most dangerous) prisoner blocks, where the convicts live in single cells. I got to see bars, bars and more bars. Basketball courts with bars. Bars and locked doors. Loss of freedom, loss of possessions, loss of choice. Even the brands of shavers and notebooks and mosquito patches are regulated. How do you live the rest of life like that?
The first thing I realized upon seeing them - they're real people! They're not monsters that you only see bound and covered on the TV screen. Granted, they were convicted of the most ghastly of crimes, but people tend to forget that they're living persons with physiological needs and psychological struggles and dreams and aspirations as well... but really, what use are those in a prison?
These people have stayed for ten, twenty years, with little hope of being set free. The phases of anger, denial, depression, hope, acceptance, calm, meaninglessness and more have all been experienced several times already. Many know that their parents will pass away before they're allowed out of prison. I'm lost... What's the meaning of living in such a place?
I understand why these prisoners hold onto their faith - it's one of the few things can remain constant in such a harsh environment.
Once you realize that the power to choose can be taken away from you...
Cherish what you have, and take responsibility for the choices that you can make.



其實朱大哥在昨天(星期6)已經來到香港為我們青年協會所舉辦的A cappella比賽做評審。今天下午,朱大哥在浸會大學親自介紹了各地a cappella的大型比賽及節目並舉行了大師班。過程中,朱大哥提到很多唱好a cappella的重點以及特別需要注意的地方。例如,和聲的重要性、balance、groove之類的東西。尤以提及怎樣有groove及令歌曲更有感染力最為impressive。(在我而言)真的要在此多謝朱大哥,獲益良多呢! 我們10月又會再見面,希望到時可以再跟他學多點,聽多一點。


HKFYG 2009 a cappella Festival Music Contest

The HKFYG 2009 a cappella Festival Music Contest was held today in Typhoon Signal Number 3 weather.

Being MC of a competition is HARD! First of all, we only got the script on the morning of the competition, so preparation time was very limited. We also didn't know what each group was going to sing. Furthermore, there were many non-planned events that required quick thinking (such as dragging out the intermission time between two competition groups; time-filling in the looooong break while the judges were deliberating the results; last-minute changes in rundown etc). In addition, it seems that you have to be very careful not to say anything that could be construed as favorable to any particular group. Then you have to pay attention to diction and fluidity, and watch your language... Anyway, I still think we did quite well under these circumstances, regardless of what others might say.

As for the competition, it was a pleasant surprise. Thirteen groups competed today (it was supposed to be nineteen, but a few dropped out after their school was hit by H1N1 Influenza A), and there were good things to see. Of course some were not good, but a lot of the groups were impressive. It's very exciting to see the sheer number of high school students that are enthusiastic about a cappella singing. I was quite impressed by a high school girl's statement: "We'll definitely be back next year." Perhaps this will start a new wave of secondary school vocal groups, who knows?

The Open Division competitors were also good. Some have improved vastly compared to a few months ago (when they had attended masterclasses), and there's a lot to admire: simple/effective staging, a really young vocal percussionist, and interesting arrangements.

This competition shows that there's a lot of untapped talent and potential out there. It also means that other groups are catching up fast... we'd better work harder.

See you next year!

-by Ju



9 Jul 2009

這天我們在東港城為「奧比斯學生大使運動」頒獎典禮唱了兩首勵志歌。原來有一群熱心公益的中學生在校內舉辦了一連串的活動, 為眼疾人士籌款。其中一項很有創意的是「摸黑晚餐」, 印象甚深。學生大使和總師令王苑之分享了他們去年探訪印度眼科醫院的體驗, 啟發人生。希望大家也能熱心公益, 關懷社會。

雖然王苑之當日冇唱歌, 聽唔到佢把靚聲, 但至少可以影到張合照, 哈哈~


RTHK2 Jingle "Way Back Into Love"


只是今天錄音過程中出了一段小小的插曲,錄出來的tracks有很多沙沙的聲音。最終基寶發現兇手是什麼了,原來是他的headphone。 (都弄了好一陣子)