( http://www.littlepenang.com.my/ ) a number of times.
Last Sunday was special in that efforts were made to collect donations and messages for the victims of the earthquake, tsunami and horrendous effects of nuclear meltdown.
The remarkable effort by some enthusiastic and nice people of Penang (including some expatriates) had created a lively Sunday Market with live music entertainment (every last Sunday of the month) for the past 5 years! It seems to be going stronger in terms of spirit. The music part attracts me most while my better half likes the antiques and other collectibles.
The music are provided by volunteers, both professionals as well as amateurs, young as well as old, teachers as well as students. Each time, I look forward to some surprises and I was never disappointed with the never ending supply of musicians in Penang, willing to share their talents.
Yesterday was the first time we stayed till they closed at 5.00 pm. Before that, there were some impromptu performances by some youths who performed earlier. Regular jazz drummer, Tapa, was seen walking past. Then he came back to adjust the height of the cymbal stands and I was wondering 'Where are the drumsticks?' Each drummer would bring his own set of sticks. Then he took out the sticks hidden somewhere near or in the console of the man in charge of the mixer and other equipment. While the two youths were singing towards the end of a song, Tapa started drumming in tempo and gave the song the necessary 'oomph', which encouraged the singers. Being a professional jazz drummer, he could do so without much difficulty. I wish I could do that. In fact, each time I was there, I learned from the musicians, especially the drummer. I usually take note of how Tapa does his rolling and drums solo. Yesterday was also the first time a student of 3 months (learning the drums) did what I used to term as 'drumaoke' – playing the drums as accurately as possible to accompany a recorded song, similar to singing karaoke. He did it well and I learned something instead of guessing what it should be (problem with learning by ear). I could tell the second student drummer had problems with matching theory with the song beat. For example, you are taught to play certain beats and rolling and you tried to apply it to a song. By being too fussy over the beat, his drumming turned out too stiff. It lost the feel of the song. Being untrained, that is how I would describe it.
Tapa continued playing the drums to accompany the two singers playing their acoustic guitars. This is what I like about jamming. Then the MC (an expatriate whose name I did not find out but the name Mike comes to mind) started playing piano on the electronic keyboard with Tapa on drums. Both seemed professional and had been jamming before and they gave a nice impromptu performance. Out of the blue, a Chinese man joined in with his harmonica at the right moment of each tune! To add to the joyous atmosphere, a regular white woman joined in with her usual sensual dance. We left the place to look for dinner before we set off for home. I appreciate the efforts put in by the organizers and especially those involved in setting up the tents and music equipment. I know what it is like. Just packing and unpacking a drums kit is quite a problem for me now, not only the carrying part but also remembering and ensuring all the parts are complete!