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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Pianist

Strong but graceful hands
Touching, caressing, pounding on
The ebonies and ivories.
He makes music emanate from
That instrument on four legs.

His fingers firmly on the keys,
The sound of unbroken notes
Flowing like a gushing stream.
Slow, moving, poignant, melancholic,
Melody of romance, or lament, or maybe of nostalgia.

He strikes the last note, the last chord,
The finale, then lifts his hands from the keys.
He bows, the audience stands, applauding.
The curtain closes, and I silently exit the hall,
Leaving the pianist to relish his moment of glory.

-Katherine Lopez, 31 December 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"You Belong With Me" and other covers by Rey and Kaye

I first heard Rey and Kaye's (of Six Part Invention) acoustic version of Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me" in the bus. I fell in love with it. I like it better than Taylor's version (but don't get me wrong, I love Taylor Swift) because the acoustic version conveyed the right emotion that the lyrics were trying to express: that of telling the beloved the lover's feelings that s/he has been keeping for a long time.  The simplicity of the acoustic version - with only a guitar accompanying Rey and Kaye's duet - plus its slower tempo sing straight to the heart. And if you're singing it to someone special, I doubt if it wouldn't touch his or her heart.

Rey and Kaye's other covers are compiled in an album titled Acoustic Duets. The album reminds me of MYMP, a Filipino acoustic band which originally had four members, then just had two, and now, they've disbanded to pursue their own careers. Although MYMP had original songs, most songs in their albums were covers, like "Especially for You" and  "Waiting in Vain".

Acoustic Duets starts off with the duo's rendition of Shontelle's "T-Shirt", which was light and sweet and a good way to start the album because of the catchy guitar intro. However, the next song in the album, Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi", was a bit dragging. The tempo could've been made a bit snappier. Colbie Caillat's "Realize" sounded like the original one, except for the male voice singing and the sound of the flute in the intro.

"You Belong With Me" was for me the best rendition in the album. "Insomnia" was a surprise. The original version is something you groove to in a party, but the acoustic version was not a letdown. Its slightly upbeat tempo coupled with acoustic simplicity made the song laid back and great for chilling out.  "Superhuman" and "Broken" were filled with emotions.

Overall, Acoustic Duets is a great album to listen to, especially when you want to chill out or when you want to look back on your past experiences. It can also be a great CD to play in your car as you drive home late in the evening. Rey and Kaye's different take on the songs is worth listening to.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Let Go

Learn to let go
Of the things you hold on to,
For some things in this world
Are not really meant for you.

Holding on is a sign of strength
An endless battle of hoping.
But letting go may be wiser,
Sad, but liberating.

Cry if you have to.
Grieve, lament.
When all these are through,
You'll never cry again.

-Katherine Lopez, 09 July 2007

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009: Full of Hope and Optimism

It's now 12.03 a.m. of December 26. The gifts have been opened, the food eaten, the gatherings finished. I could no longer hear merrymaking in the neighborhood. Everyone is probably asleep. Christmas is over, although according to the Catholic Church, Christmas lasts until the Feast of the Epiphany in January. Anyway, following the calendar, Christmas is over, and I think this merits a post-Christmas reflection.

This is my first Christmas as a yuppie. It felt good receiving that 13th month pay and Christmas bonus and shopping for gifts for my family and friends. It's empowering to know that the fruits of my labor are stored in something called a bank account, and more fruits will be added there as long as I spend wisely.

Compared to last year's, this Christmas is happier for me. I did not have much emotional baggage, unlike in the previous year. As the holidays were approaching and the weather got chillier, I did not feel a cold Christmas coming, but one that is filled with optimism and hope for better days ahead.

Maybe it's because I'm already working and I feel that I'm in control of my life that's why I'm filled with so much positive energy. I no longer want to dwell on sad and painful experiences. I've let most of them go, and I'm here, ready to take on the future. I'm looking forward to next year, and who knows what good things 2010 has in store for me?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Piano

Eighty-eight bars spread
like flattened staircase.
A concoction of alternating
ebonies and ivories  on which slender, graceful fingers
tiptoe, hop, dance to the sound of notes being
played simultaneously, to the waltz of the Blue Danube,
to the dark, harrowing lament of the Sonata.

Hands on wood that sends
hammers and strings humming
the world's greatest melodies.
Echoing the depths of the human soul,
intense vibrations of sorrow, or romance, or joy,
A celebration of genius.
The vastness of man's imagination
captured in a majestic
work of art.

Standing on four legs,
it serenades the world
with the magnificence of music
passed on to generations.
'Tis a man's greatest invention
that has lived through scores and
decades and centuries of creativity and passion.
Pleasing, embracing,
touching hearts of  young and old.
Home to musicians lauding
the world's greatest Composer.

-Katherine Lopez, 15 November 2008

The Real World

I was chatting with a good friend just moments ago about the so-called real world, which I'm a part of for almost seven months now. I was telling him that when I was still a student, it was as if my dreams were within my reach. I have a dream, I work hard for it, and it will come true.

But now,  in the real world, it's not just about working hard. It's like you're playing cards with life. You have your own cards. You know what you want to throw next. But life has its own cards as well. It has its own cards to throw, and those cards aren't always thrown in your favor. To which my friend replied, "[It's] not easy to actualize dreams." I nodded in agreement.

I know I still have a long way to go for my dreams to come true. But I'm full of hope that every step I take will be a step closer to making them come true.