the moment i stepped into esplanade's dome, i knew i was in for a treat. this is a different hall from the one where sheila majid held her concert last year. the dome is smaller but gorgeously built. i sat in the 6th row, exactly the same row and distance from the stage as my last DFP concert where nah youn sun performed.

it was such a treat to listen to emi fujita in this kind of acoustic environment. i really have to thank my lucky stars that i got so many chances like this in my life to listen to world-class performances in a world-class halls.

emi's peformance was good, steady and sweet, without the technical supremacy of nah youn sun. it just goes to show all you need is a good song and a good voice; technicality may not be everything. you would never expect emi to do vocal acrobatics; she is the kind of singer who will sing a good song in a down-to-earth way. all the songs she chose for the night are golden classics - the rose, tears in heaven, annie's song, all my loving, daydream believer, somewhere over the rainbow etc etc. at times, emi's voice is just too flat to carry the song, like in the chirpy "daydream believer" but the audience just lapped it up. emi even did "singapura, singapura" much to the delight of singaporean fans.

to be absolutely frank, the dome's acoustics are not as great as DFP. the bass, from where i sat, is slightly boomy and a lot of details and nuances were lost in emi's voice, unlike my experience with nah youn sun where i could even hear her breathing. and the big speakers flanking the stage were too directional; one could not feel the sound coming from the centrestage. my anti-audiophile friend was complaining "see, there's no soundstage in live performance?? all the sound was coming from the two speakers!" i just couldn't rebutt him.

a little bird to me that emi's cds sold a whopping 30,000 copies in singapore alone. that's an incredible figure considering that most best-selling audiophile cds sold an average of 2,000 copies. (note: 2v1g sold close to 1,000 copies in sg) it speaks volume of emi's popularity in tiny dot.

the autograph session is overwhelming (as can be seen from the photo), the queue was building up fast as soon as the concert finished. the sales of emi's cds was brisk too with another long queue forming at a different counter. poor me had to wait for the autograph session to be over before i got to talk to emi.

i finally got to meet with emi at around 11:00pm at the backstage and all her crew were rushing to get out of esplanade by then. apparently, esplanade has to be closed by 11:00pm. emi looked tired and but nevertheless she is nice and sweet. her event organizer, ms shirleen jong, actually invited us for supper but we felt that we were intruding so we turned down their invitation.

this trip has been extremely fruitful as i got to meet many audiophile music industry figures in sg. top on the list is mr. sebastian koh, the grandfather of audiophile music in sg. seb is the boss of groove note, the label that houses jacintha. groove note has grown into an international audiophile label in just over a couple of years but seb admitted that the audiophile music biz has declined over the last 2 years. i knew seb from the late 80s, eventho' we were not formally introduced. finally, we got a chance to meet face to face. seb is a really really chatty guy. we shared many things that night, talking about hi-fi in the heyday of 80s and 90s, and the gradual decline, the audiophile music industry and recording techniques and all the those personalities in the hifi scene in singapore. we chatted until 2am that morning!

i also met up with my 2v1g distributor in sg, philip and norman. they were such nice guys. i have never felt so at home in singapore. i made 4 new friends during this trip alone!

i bought caig's deoxit contact cleaner for SGD21.90 at new disc village. when i get back my system, i am going to apply deoxit on all my cables and connectors.

this ranks as my best singapore trip in recent years.

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Ken said...

I also got the Deoxit clear from NDV. I find the sound has more details with a slightly blacker background.

Anonymous said...

i personally think emi is overrated. The 3 albums i got now collecting dust. Her voice/music arrangement just too boring for my taste.I prefer diana krall.I know they are different.

alex said...


Where's the Tiger beer.

jamie said...

The audiophiles labels need new talents,new songs and new approach....not another version of 'over the rainbow'

kal said...

Or not another version of "what a wonderful world"

The Challange really is to get new composers in ,or so called audiophiles singers doing something completely unique and new;how about "Jacintha on Sex Pistol" as a start....

TG L said...

wow,seems to be a lot of girls there.did you meet anyone there,girls I mean?

Hafiz said...

In my experience,DPP has arguably one of the best acoustic space in Asia,if not the world.

Some of my English friends were always surprised whenever I take them there;truly world class and ditto with MPO..

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

jamie and kal,
agreed. some audiophile standards have been done to death. that's why i avoided all those obvious hits in my albums.

jacintha on sex pistol? now that's a cool idea. i am going to tell seb koh about it ;-)

yes, plenty of slim and trendy SG gals to feast the eyes but unfortunately, i have to wait for emi fujita backstage.

CH Yip said...

2V1G doing Bruce Springsteenwould be a good one.Imagine Roger Wang on the guitar giving intro to 'hungry heart'.Cool...

Sam Elliot said...

Here is one suggestion I darte you to do;Sean Ghazi doing Electric light orchestra- make those large scale ELO classics into something intimate,Jazzy and classy...I think you have enought talent to make it work,and Sean has enough class to take on the challange