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Monday, February 05, 2007
Weekend Activities: SSC and SSO -vvv vvz

I visited the Singapore Science Centre with Shuquan on Saturday, 3rd Feb. You can read all about that here. I haven't been there for more than a decade but it didn't really change much. Considering that children are getting smarter with each generation, the Science Centre's target audience must be getting younger and younger. They're still displaying Bohr's model of the atom. I would think lower secondary school children should be able to understand the quantum mechanical model by now. Well, at least they were up to date on the status of Pluto not being a planet any more. An amusing find was the old hand-crank field telephone that I was taught to use in School of Signals back then is now an exhibit in the Science Centre.

On Sunday, I went to a chamber music concert. I don't usually listen to chamber music but it's been a long time since I last went to a classical music concert. Ah, those were the days when I could get cheap tickets to Toronto Symphony Orchestra performances and the concert hall was just walking distance from my house. Anyway, I gladly accepted Shimin's invitation to watch the VCH Chamber Series performance Slavic Expressions with her, Xiaojing and Yun Qin. Part of the reason was my interest in music with nationalistic themes and folk colours.

Embarassed to say, I doubt I can identify Slavic music if I ever hear it again. The first piece was Capriccio for piano left hand and chamber ensemble. Technically difficult no doubt but I found it quite hard to digest. The abrupt mid-phrase breaks, which was supposed to build suspense, made me feel like I was being thrown out of my seat when the bus driver stops the bus suddenly at a traffic light. Moreover, my ears weren't very used to amodal music. Fortunately, the second piece, Dvorak's popular Piano trio in E minor, Op. 90 "Dumky" performed by the Feng Trio, was less demanding on the ear. Otherwise, I would have left the concert hall a very confused man.

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