The Last of the CD

I needed to move back to Singapore in July 2012, ending my 8 years sojourn in China. After 9 years since producing the album, I had about 400+ copies left of my original production run of 1000 copies. With the moving agent advising me not to take them back due to tax and space concerns, I had no choice but to leave them behind.

The CD is no more, but I shall always remember the Music of Our Hearts.

Song of Christ’s Children

This song was written as an experiment into both a “Jewish” tune and a children’s song. It was meant to be sung by a kid, but there were none I could find to sing the song when I was recording it. The youngest “kid” then was Joshua, and I got him to sing this piece.

Please do support me by purchasing the album, if the music has ministered to you.

In Everything Give Thanks

The second song in this album written by Gregory Peck, I got my former Sunday School student Ingrid Tham to sing this song. Ingrid was my pianist for all the pieces in the album, and she was very shy when she had to sing the song. Of course, the fact that I wanted a “cutesy” voice for this song made it even harder for her, and we had to do it a few times, with some coaching, before she produced the exact voice I wanted for this piece.

Please do support me by purchasing the album, if the music has ministered to you.

Jesus is King

Gregory Peck was probably my closest colleague, when I used to run the Pastoral Care and Pupil Welfare Department in PHPPS. We shared not only a common faith but also a common belief that children can also be reached for that same faith. He supported me (and vice versa) whenever we had to lead Chapel services for the students.

We were also fellow musicians and song-writers. “Jesus is King” is one of the songs he wrote and sang, which I have incorporated into this album.

Please do support me by purchasing the album, if the music has ministered to you.

New Song

This song was written purely as a children’s song, and pitched to that audience. As worship music however, this piece is easy to port into any adult’s worship, for it tells of our hearts of praise before the Almighty. The influence of Chinese musical styles upon my music is also clear in this piece, as they were in my other pieces, making Chinese versions quite easy to do (though I have never tried it).

With time and experience, I would have done the song differently. Prominent among the changes would be lowering the song by one key, as some adults find it difficult to sing at that key.

Please do support me by purchasing the album, if the music has ministered to you.

I Trust in God

This song was never sung in church, unlike my other two songs. I was inspired to write this piece as I read through a Psalm (cannot remember which one!). Written to a martial and middle-eastern style of music, it was included in the album to showcase my writing style for non-ballads. My strength is still in ballads and reflective music.

Please do support me by purchasing the album, if the music has ministered to you.

How Great Thou Art

Of the original production of 1,000 CDs back in 2003, I have left about 300. I wonder really if I have truly managed to give away or sell close to 700 CDs within these 7 years, but I suppose the fact that only three boxes of these CDs remain should not be a cause for wonder.

“How Great Thou Art” was one of those worship pieces I wrote that was sung in the pre-teens and later the elementary service back in Sunday School in my previous church. Although quite a “draggy” piece (as commented by one of my closer students), it is an expression of worship, of declaration of His Mighty Power.

Years have added to my appreciation of how music should be. If I were to do this piece again, I would add in echoes, and possibly not get Joshua Thia to co-sing with me!

Please do support me by purchasing the album, if the music has ministered to you.

O I Will Praise You All Day Long

The music for O I Will Praise You All Day Long has been around since 1994, when the piece came to me as I was freely worshipping the Lord on my guitar. There were no words to it, and I could not find any, so I just left it as that.

The words only came to me in 1998, while waiting for the bus to take us back to Singapore (my babies and I had just attended Clarine Chun’s children worship seminar at Alor Setar, Malaysia). We were worshipping the Lord when I broke into the music, and I just sang out the words. NT, one of my students, quickly took out a pen and paper and recorded down the piece.

This was the first of my songs to be sung in the Sunday School, in chapel in Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary and also in the Church of Our Saviour main service. It was also the song I spent the most time in arranging, when I produced the album Music of Our Hearts.

There was an interesting twist to the story behind this song. Soon after I released my album, I became aware of the existence of a song very, very alike mine. I probed into the matter, and spoke to the cell leader of the “composer”. It was then that we all realised that she had heard the song from someone in my church when they had gone on a mission trip, and assumed that it was in the public domain.

I was prepared not to pursue the matter further, citing the reason that God must have been behind all these – after all, I really like her version, and the arrangement was much better than mine. The words from the cell leader astounded me with the wisdom, “Render unto God that which is God’s, and unto Caesar, Caesar’s.” I understood what he meant – even though I did not mind, right now on earth, the ownership of the song is rightfully mine, and recognition should be given as such.

Please do support me by purchasing the album, if the music has ministered to you.

Tabernacle Music

It was not related, but on the same day that I realised someone had done a search on Google for “O I will praise you all day long”, I found the website of Pastor Ng Wah Lok from Tabernacle Music. Pastor Ng has a vision – that Malaysian churches should have their own identity and use their music in worship.

I can identify very much with his feelings – it is next to impossible for us to make a living from our music. I could see what happened to Ho Yeow Sun when she went secular (and western), and the temptation for me to do so is also very strong (very, very strong).

I have sent two CDs to him. I wish I had paid more attention to the production and be more selective about the pieces in the album. I know the timing is God’s, but I should have paid more attention to Him and did a better job!