A message to all Sunset Band members

Friends, brothers, band mates !
Hear me for my cause, and be patient to the last. I know for many of you, your anger is brimming right now. But listen to my story. I've been very disillusioned over the current situation : our leader has called it quits after continuous poor attendance. As much as you feel hurt, I feel it too. See, today, I sent a blunt message to him, with the words :

They haven't given up. And as far as I can see, they're not giving up. Don't give up on them.

These managed to shock him for a while, but he is adamant about calling it quits. Aunty Deanna and Daniel C were with me in the high dependency unit, and we were talking about this together. Aw, what of that ?! We can pick ourselves up anyway !

Let me relate to you the stories which I hold close to my heart - so you will know what I see, and what I once went through.

Firstly, the story of Alizée. She is my favourite singer. She won in the finals of the Graines de Star talent quest, so much so that prodigies Mylène Farmer and Laurent Boutonnat were quite impressed by her vocals and her charm. Farmer and Boutonnat took Alizée under their wings - Boutonnat composed the scores, Farmer wrote the lyrics and Alizée interpreted it with a passion that went way beyond her years. And so she went on, cutting her first album Gourmandises (which hit platinum), and Mes Courants Electriques three years later. MCE did not sell as well as Gourmandises, but it was still powerful. Things were plain sailing, as I could see.

Then, in early 2008, after her marriage to Jérémy Châtelain and her hiatus from singing, she had a tiff with Farmer and Boutonnat. They parted ways. She could have easily given up on singing altogether ! But no ! Instead, she started in a new path : she joined forces with her husband Châtelain and lyricist Jean Fauques - and the album Psychedelices was released. And it was a hit - not only because Alizée did it in a different manner, but also because there was a modern, electronic twist to many songs of hers. Even Moi Lolita - see, she was not given the right to reproduce it. And so, change it ! And the current Moi Lolita which is a rock version, became a hit too !

Secondly, the story of Ressonnant. Ressonnant is my secondary school choir. I treasure the choir a lot. You see, prior to 1998, when I first set foot in Convent Bukit Nanas, the choir was not named Ressonnant back then. But they were at their peak, they were a formidable force in this thing. Then came 1998. And from then on, they were in a state of decline. I came in 2003 as a pianist. To my horror, I had to take at the helm some thirty-odd students who could barely carry a tune ! Even the trainer, who was the key player behind the previous choirs, had washed her hands clean off us. See, we were so bad, that everytime we passed by with our purple uniforms, people would just snigger at us, as if they knew what to expect from us. And so it was, until 2005. In fact, within that period, we got the least applause. Some were applauding for my sake. Some for the conductor's.

In 2004, a new trainer came in. Ms Joaan Foo. Not only was she a trainer, she was also a big sister to us. Sometimes she would vent her fury on us, but most times, we had to grit it and keep going. Many hung their heads in shame when we kept on losing at the preliminary round, but her head and mine were held up high. I had a dream - and I reckon that she might have shared my dream. I wanted to make Ressonnant the #1 choir in Malaysia. That dream might have sounded elusive, but I wanted to try.

And then came 2006. A year after my PMR. This was the first year that I wrote scores, and this was the very year that our core team was formed. Also, it was the first year that we won the state finals - and put other formidable forces in a dangerous position. We went on to the National Finals, but upon seeing the kind of material and substance the champions gave, I knew we did not do enough. We hit sixth place and got no prizes.

2007 came, it was my final year in the school choir. It was then that the identity of Ressonnant was formed. We garnered more applause than ever before. We decided to do a real Sister Act parody - and we pulled it off pretty well by winning the state finals. But upon reaching the National Finals, we only got fifth place, and again, no prizes. At that point in time, I knew I would no longer be there physically to celebrate the victory of Ressonnant in the years to come.

Now, I am proud and honoured, and most of all, thankful to God for this - Ressonnant is now #1 in Malaysia.

Ressonnant and Alizée are pretty much like the Sunset Band in one way : they have faced a period of tension and decline. I'm not willing to let Sunset Band go to the dogs. We aren't doing it to pacify the person who used to be our leader : we're doing it for God himself ! And that's why I brought in some fire to my messages to you on Monday. See, I know that for so long, life was glorious. It was glorious because mom and I were together. Now, mom is in hospital. She has been there for a long time. I'm not going to let this dog me down ! In fact, I know the real story behind this, but I'm not going to let that blind me from carrying out my mission. Remember, God has never given up on us, even when we faced periods of decline. In light of that, are we going to give up our service ?

I wouldn't. And I know a number of you who wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world.

I have a dream. I want to vamp up the music scene in Malaysia. I started with Ressonnant. I'm continuing with the Sunset Band. And, I also want to bring people together. Ressonnant managed to do it. Right now, my efforts are concentrated on the Sunset Band. I'm going to bring all of us together, better than we were before : sooner or later the attraction will be so great, it'll pull Uncle Raymund back. By saying that, I'm not implying that I'm attempting to pull him back. Rather, he'd regret having left.

Who's with me ?


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