equivocality — Jeff Ngan's collection of thoughts, experiences, and projects, inspired by pretty much everything
02 Sep 12

Protected: killing me softly

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01 Sep 12

for the sake of momentum

This week­end I have two back-to-back wed­dings. Knowing it’s going to be 14+ hours each day means my brain will be on autopi­lot, tak­ing it one event at a time as a way of pac­ing myself through­out the day. These are the last two of the sea­son; I’ll soon get to focus on edit­ing, which is always my favourite part of mak­ing films cause it’s the most sig­nif­i­cant part of the sto­ry­telling aspect.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been feel­ing more like an observer than a cre­ator. There haven’t been much in my own life I need to document.

I’ve been ask­ing peo­ple to play Larissa so I can get a record of what she sounds like with dif­fer­ent fin­gers and techniques.

Seth is on my elec­tric strings here. No one would be lying if they said they had a crush on this man.

I’ve had a revolv­ing door of friends and guests over lately, and com­bined with the fact that Bryon tends to jump on the kitchen coun­ters when he smells food up above, means I’ve been keep­ing the house con­sis­tently clean, instead of going through my cycle of spot­less to dirty to spot­less again. I haven’t done any big gath­er­ings, pre­fer­ring the smaller hang­outs instead. I keep want­ing to invite Lisa and Tiana over together for ses­sions, or Trolley and Steph and Aaron for Magic, but the time I get alone with each is too pre­cious to give up.

That’s why time feels like it’s pass­ing so quickly, and also why I don’t write much any­more. I have the right peo­ple to talk to, so I don’t need to write things out to sort out my thoughts. And some­times it’s just eas­ier to pick up a gui­tar when a surge of inspi­ra­tion strikes. Otherwise, I’m burn­ing my lips on glass­ware, look­ing for the right moments to keep myself going.

Me @ Twitter

I’m now lis­ten­ing to myself singing on a track from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat being played in a gro­cery store. #sur­real

2 years, 1 month ago
27 Aug 12

let's leave these rusted old folks back in the city

It’s been too long since we took a ride together. Too long since some­one else was at the wheel and I got to score the pass­ing Canadian fields with my new favourite songs. Too long since I saw the old crew and filmed them land­ing aeri­als on the farm.

two dogs in a car

 

We drive through lovely lit­tle vil­lages I’d never want to live in but always think of vis­it­ing some day. They’re too small for comic book stores and decent Chinese food and any pos­si­bil­ity of get­ting lost, but big enough to hold the hopes of any­one who ever wanted to build a life for them­selves in a quiet com­mu­nity full of old-world charm and decay. The tiny econ­omy based on tourism from an annual coun­try music fes­ti­val or his­toric school will make sure it stays like this forever.

Read the rest of this entry »

Me @ Twitter

You know you love your cats too much when you excuse their “bad” behav­iour as “play­ful” behaviour.

2 years, 1 month ago
Me @ Twitter

In pos­si­bly unre­lated news, I won’t be leav­ing the house for the next four days.

2 years, 1 month ago
Me @ Twitter

Dave gifted me Counterstrike: GO five min­utes after I men­tioned how excited I was about the release. And now you are jeal­ous of my friends.

2 years, 1 month ago
19 Aug 12

a reason

In those moments between our­selves and the rest of the world, it’s hard to think of any­thing but how good you look with curls in your hair, and how you never worry about tear­ing your del­i­cate dusty-rose dress when you think it’ll look sus­pi­cious if we’re gone for too long.

I need moments like this — like good­night kisses and the things you tell your friends about me — all the lit­tle details so many take for granted. That’s why I haven’t been able to write. Not because I’ve been too occu­pied with life, but because I’ve become numb to every­thing else, and inspi­ra­tion has always come from my capac­ity to feel.

So brush your hair behind your ear, take another walk with me, and give me a rea­son to speak to the world.

Me @ Twitter
2 years, 2 months ago
Me @ Twitter

If some­one gives you a quote instead of a straight price, that means it’s really expen­sive. #cat­den­tistry

2 years, 2 months ago
Me @ Twitter

I want to make a snarky com­ment about how ter­ri­ble Yahoo News is, but that would mean admit­ting that I read Yahoo News.

2 years, 2 months ago
10 Aug 12

Protected: a sense of control

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09 Aug 12

Slept Through a Landslide

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Jesse Dangerously — Slept Through a Landslide cover

Rap Legend Jesse Dangerously just released his lat­est sin­gle1, a remix of Tired Angels from Krista Muir’s most recent album. He wanted a bit of breath­ing room between verses and asked me to write a ukulele solo, so we hit the stu­dio a cou­ple months ago. I was lucky enough to learn a lot about the record­ing process that had largely remained a mys­tery to me.

This was my first time try­ing to write music that wasn’t a cover. It was unique chal­lenge, cause it’s hard for me to tell what sounds good vs. what sounds good only to me. I also have a habit of try­ing to fill my arrange­ments with too many ideas instead of fol­low­ing a theme, so this time I tried to build on the hook that Krista sings. Then I added as much vibrato as I could on my soft cedar-topped nylon-stringed uke to fill out the sound.

I also pro­vided some backup har­monies at the start of Noah23’s verse, and it’s weird to hear my singing with some real pro­duc­tion. I don’t think I’d rec­og­nize my own voice if some­one didn’t tell me it was me.

Jesse has the abil­ity to piece together a bunch of mot­ley musi­cal ideas from var­i­ous gen­res, and it’s awe­some to hear some­thing that started out as a sim­ple rap song become more than the sum of it’s parts.

  1. In the cred­its at the bot­tom, the city of each per­former is included. I love how Rosie’s loca­tion is “lives in a van”. []
Me @ Twitter

Lisa was inter­viewed on CTV this morn­ing! Also fea­tur­ing pics I took of the kit­ties as cake top­pers: http://t.co/2dVnnyzc

2 years, 2 months ago
05 Aug 12

I want to know do I stay or do I go

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So.

Filmed a great wed­ding yes­ter­day, one that left me tired and sore and much deserv­ing of a break. It’s a hazy Sunday morn­ing, and another day that it’ll feel like it’s above 40°C with the humid­ity. Working nearly 13 hours and turn­ing into a lit­tle pud­dle of Asian man means I’m con­sciously avoid­ing the out­doors today. I’ll be con­tent to sip my cof­fee and peer out the win­dow at the gen­tly sun­lit trees.

cat and drink on a hot day

Majel helps us taste-test cock­tails for the reception.

Even though it’s get­ting ever closer to her wed­ding, and Lisa has an increas­ing num­ber of things to get done, we’ve been able to see each other more lately. I’ve real­ized that it’s not good enough to have her meet my needs. I have to fill a cer­tain role in her life too. That’s what brings mean­ing to the rela­tion­ship, cause it means she appre­ci­ates me the way I want to be appre­ci­ated. So often, it feels like that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

I’m glad to have devel­oped a rit­ual get-together with Aaron too. When we don’t see each other one week, it feels like a year the next time we catch up. Tonight I’m head­ing over to his house for the start of bach­e­lor week, some­thing we’ve been excit­edly plan­ning for a while now. It’s the first time he’s had the house to him­self since the kids were born, so I’ll be stay­ing there for a few days of games, movies, bar­be­cue, and gen­eral guy stuff, com­ing back home to feed the kit­ties every now and then. We’re doing a six per­son Magic tour­ney tomor­row, my first in the Constructed for­mat, and everyone’s mak­ing new decks for the chance to open some M13 boost­ers. I think my deck con­cept is BRILLIANT and I can’t wait to try it out.

Chet Atkins has also been keep­ing me com­pany lately. I’m so glad to have found his instruc­tional DVD, where he talks with his old man charm about what he likes in each song and how to play them, phrase by phrase. I grew my thumb­nail out nice and long for nearly two months, cut it off for practicality’s sake dur­ing wed­ding sea­son, then imme­di­ately regret­ted the deci­sion. The elec­tric strings I’ve been using have a really flat, dull tone in the lower reg­is­ter, and since the bass line is so impor­tant in Chet’s arrange­ments, it’s like an entire part is miss­ing from any song I try to learn. I’m going to try learn­ing with a thumb pick, which is some­thing I’ve been avoid­ing for a while now cause I hate the loss of sen­si­tiv­ity (like a con­dom on your thumb), but hope­fully the com­pro­mise is worth it.

I have things to orga­nize, chores to do, errands to run, and a house to clean before I leave. For now, I’ll enjoy the rest of the morn­ing, wast­ing time.