Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lascia Ch'io Pianga - Air de Almirena {Rinaldo} - (Farinelli Il Castrato)

This aria, Lascia Ch'io Pianga sung in Farinelli Il Castrato was my personal favorite piece. I fell in love with it instantaneously. No matter how many times I had listened to it, I just wouldn't get tired of it. It's like each time I hear it, fresh emotion was evoked. This aria is deliciously painful and sad. Yet... I am loving every second of it. Welcoming the pain as it floods my mind and body, torturing my soul. I felt connected to it somehow... to the cries of the singer, as I too longed to be free again someday. This aria is like an emotional release for my soul.
  • See my previous blog post on this endearing film here.

Actually I really like the whole soundtrack of this film. Especially these few arias:
  1. Ombra Fedele Anch'io - Air de Dario (Idaspe)
  2. Alto Giove - Air d'Acio (Polifemo)
  3. Cara Sposa - Air de Rinaldo (Rinaldo)
  4. Generoso Risuegliati O Core - Air de Poro (Cleofide)

  • Visit my collection on Farinelli Il Castrato here.

Here's the lyrics and its translation for Lascia Ch'io Pianga:


Lascia ch'io pianga

mia cruda sorte,

E che sospiri la libertà!

E che sospiri,

e che sospiri la libertà!

Lascia ch'io pianga
mia cruda sorte,
E che sospiri la libertà!

Il duolo infranga
queste ritorte

de miei martiri

sol per pietà,

de miei martiri

sol per pietà.

Lascia ch'io pianga

mia cruda sorte,

E che sospiri la libertà!

E che sospiri,

e che sospiri la libertà!

Lascia ch'io pianga
mia cruda sorte,
E che sospiri la libertà!


Let me weep over

my cruel fate,

And that I long for freedom!

And that I long,

and that I long for freedom!

Let me weep
over my cruel fate,
And that I long for freedom!

The duel infringes
these images
of my sufferings

I pray for mercy.
for my sufferances.

I pray for mercy.

Let me weep
my cruel fate,
And that I long for freedom!
And that I long,
and that I long for freedom!

Let me weep
over my cruel fate,
And that I long for freedom!


Infomation on this this aria which I found on the net.

Lascia ch'io pianga

from Act II, Scene 2 of the Italian opera, Rinaldo by George Frideric Handel

Libretto : Aaron Hill, translated into Italian by Giacomo Rossi

* Role : Almirena, daughter of Goffredo

* Voice Part : soprano Fach : lyric coloratura

* Setting : a garden in Argante's palace, , , during the Crusades

* Range : F4 to G5. Tessitura : G4 to F5

* Synopsis : Almirena has been abducted by the sorceress Armida and imprisoned in the palace. She laments her fate.

* This aria appears in both Handel's first and second versions of the opera. The range listed is for the first version of the opera.

Visit Aria-Database for more info.

Interesting facts about this soundtrack:

As none of our current era contemporary singers can sing like Farinelli. Who has a wide vocal range (over 4 octaves) and a massive lung capacity to produce 250 notes in a single breath. Producers of this movie had to use a process called sound morphing to blend both a soprano and a countertenor voices into a single voice to create this magnificent singing voice of Farinelli.

If you are interested to learn more on how it was done, please visit SONY Classics.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Almost Like Me Again

Today I felt happy with myself. I felt pretty again. I felt that long and carefully hidden part of me resurfaced again. It’s the old me. The happy-go-lucky beautiful me - I am elated! Yet, I felt like crying. Crying perhaps because I didn’t know I still have it in me. I am not sure. Anyhow, happy is good right.

Lately, I have started thinking and determining to be happy. Somehow, just somehow, I might just make this a reality.

Gist: This is a rather spontaneous post of mine. I am just writing down what’s echoed in my head.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Howl's Moving Castle (ハウルの動く城 Hauru no Ugoku Shiro)

  • Director: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Genre: Animation (Sub-catergories: Adventure / Fantasy / Romance / Sci-Fi / War)
  • Studio: Studio Ghibli
  • Release Dates: Japan (20 November 2004), Malaysia (23 September 2005)
  • Rating: MPAA RATING: PG for frightening images and brief mild language
  • Music: Original Music by Joe Hisaishi with Songs by Yumi Kimura and Shuntaro Tanigawa.
  • Fact: This anime film is the 3rd Highest Grossing Film in Japanese History

This visually stunning film was brought to you by the ever brilliant Studio Ghibli which
has also produces several other highly acclaimed anime such as, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and the likes with the help of Hayao Miyazaki, a talented and famous director in the animation world. So, did this particular anime measures up to its predecessors? Well, it has gotten 13 nominations and bags 7 win from prestigious film awards worldwide to boast. How’s that for quality hmmm?

A bizarre
but engaging story based on a British novelist, Diana Wynne Jones’ novel bearing the same title. The book was first published in 1986 under The Castle Series, categorized as fantasy and children’s literature. I know it’s a kiddy read but I don’t care, I would still go pick up a copy of it to quench my thirst for more of this story I fell in love with.

Plot Summary
It’s about a strong will young woman named Sophie, the protagonist in this story who wa
s cruelly cursed by a spiteful and envious Witch of the Waste into a 90-year-old hag which in turns trigger off the biggest adventure of her lifetime, embarking on an arduous quest to break her curse.

Sophie lives in a town called Ingary where magic are accepted ways of life. Her home was also where she works, as she is the eldest child in the family she had taken up the responsibility to dutifully take care of her family’s hat shop. One day when Sophie was on her way to visit her pretty younger sister Lettie at the bakery, she had an enchanting encounter with a young wizard named Howl who has left her pretty much in awe and admiration for his handsomeness and suave demeanor. Who wouldn’t have swooned if someone so appealing took you for a stroll through the sky? Except for the fact that all woman in Ingary should have known better what’s best for them, as it is a wide known fact Howl has an unfavorable reputation of a womanizer and worst of all… was also rumored to be very fond of eating pretty young woman's heart. OMG!

This short but sweet encounter of Sophie’s has unfortunately stoked the jealous heart of the Witch of the Waste who has then promptly left her with that cruel curse which I had mentioned earlier. Unable to face her family, Sophie left and went into the Waste in search of a cure when she met and made friend with a friendly scarecrow, Turnip Head after mistaken him for a walking stick.

Turnip Head repaid Sophie’s kindness for rescuing him from the bushes by leading her into Howl’s moving castle. It was a run-down but enchanted castle that walks on four spindly legs. There, she made her acquaintance with Calcifer, a cute albeit feisty and proud little fire demon and also Markl, Howl’s 8-years-old boy apprentice. On their first contact, Calcifer persuaded Sophie to help him break the contract that binds him to Howl as a servant, and in return he shall lift Sophie’s curse.

Sophie then decided to take refuges at Howl’s castle hence she masque
raded as a cleaning lady employed by Calcifer, of which both Howl and Markl readily accepted her service. What follows after this was a chain of exciting incidents whereupon threatens and at the same time strengthens the relationship of both Sophie and Howl.

Moments Dear to Me
I was utterly mesmerized when Howl first came to Sophie’s rescue at the small lane where she
was trying to ward of unwanted attentions from two wayward soldiers… though one of the soldiers was quite dashing *bites lower lip*.

There’s also a part where Howl grabs Sophie and flew up into the sky for a slow stroll was the most enchanting moments of all – it’s so romantic especially when accompanied by the enthralling orchestra music. Yeah, the whole show was peppered with stunning orchestra pieces by Joe Hisaishi, a noteworthy composer. Many of Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpieces were accompanied by Joe Hisaishi’s compositions. If you are a true fan of Miyazaki’s animations, you would have noticed that almost all of the soundtracks are absolutely astounding and engaging.

Another scene which I particularly adore is when Howl breaks out from his usual suave demeanor and sulked like an inconsolable child. It’s just too funny and charming to see everyone rushing to pamper and pacify an over dramatic Howl. Plus, his show of tantrums was really something to regard with and not to be taken lightly at all… afterall, he is a powerful wizard.

The scene where Sophie takes a break from her overzealous cleaning mission to look out of the castle’s window while it is on the move was simply priceless. The sceneries that met the eyes beyond the window are truly breathtaking. I really felt like what Sophie was feeling then, all awe and surreal.

My Two-cents
To me, this film is a winner for its spectacular animation and its endearing characte
rs. I especially adore cute little Calcifer and of course the boyish and charming Howl. I love Sophie too, for her feisty spirit and undying love for Howl. The soundtracks were manly orchestra music but the compositions were simply marvelous – especially the theme song, Sekai no Yakusoku (The Promise of the World)... fantastic. I felt like being suck through Alice in the Wonderland’s rabbit hole.

This is truly a must watch film even for non-anime lover. It’s worthy of your attention, believe me. Then again... please don't come back here and Karate-chop me if you don't happen to fancy it ok :P

The Promise: I know, I had actually promised to post the review since my last post, and that was right after CNY. Sorry for the delay.

Time Frame: I have been composing this post since 5th March 2007 until todate 20th March 2007. That is about 2 week’s time. Oh gosh… I am pathetic when it comes to writing review aren’t I? Hope m
y review didn’t suck BIG time.

Worry: I hope I didn’t ruin the appeal of this noteworthy film for everyone. And did not accidentally leave any spoilers in my review. If I did, please do pardon me for I am really a first timer film reviewer. As a matter of fact, I have not written any sort of reviews before.

Lesson Learned: All in all, writing this review has been another good way of boosting my confidence in writing. I am proud of myself for finishing it at least and for keeping my promise to post it. Yay! *pat self on the back* Good job :P

Howl's Moving Castle (Music)
I love the whole soundtracks of this anime, but I do favour two of it more... The Merry-Go-Round of Life and Sekai no Yakusoku (The Promise of the World).

Howl's Moving Castle (Trailer)

Howl's Moving Castle (Pictures)
Feast your eyes on these.....

Friday, March 16, 2007

If You Think It Hurts… then It Does

Yesterday was a lousy day for me. Had some financial and family probs. A good friend cum colleague of mine told me I had been daydreaming during work. Yes I am. And thanks to her for shaking me up a bit… that’s what friends are for. Sometimes we do need someone we trust to give us a tight slap to stay focus. However, do remember to lend a sympathetic ear after that friendly jolt ok.

I got just that from my buddy, and it wasn’t even a tight slap, just a gentle and concerned but truthful dialogue… followed by her understanding ear – just what I needed. I am blessed to have a friend like her… honored in fact that she chose to be my friend. I thank her for lending me a sympathetic ear and for being patient, impartial and unjudgemental when I most needed someone to talk to, clearing my emotionally clogged in-built drain.

Actually, it wasn’t at all my normal traits to spill my guts out to other people. I hated doing it… hated unloading emotional baggage on others especially someone I cared… hated being a burden to others… hated being a bringer of negative vibes. It just feels so whinny and I hated that too. Whining is for weak people and it’s an emotional suicidal feature. It pulls one deeper into the hell hole. The more you whine the deeper shit you are in.

That’s why I seldom blog about depressing stuffs… or at least I avoided doing so. Live our life like an undying candle, lighting the way of others as we go by… isn’t it more meaningful to bring hope and renewed faith to others. In turn, we gather more inspirations and strength along the way. This is and always have been my principles in life, one I tried to hold on tight to… as it gives me reason to push myself on. Therefore, I told myself this, “Hey, it’s all okay… these are just some minor setbacks, not that it is not improvable or impossible to resolve… like losing an arm or a leg. It’s just a matter of time for things to straighten out. And straighten out it will should we ourselves still have hope and work upon it”. There, the world is much a nicer place now isn’t it?

Our voice resonates with life. Because this is so, it can touch the lives of others. The caring and compassion imbued in your voice finds passage to the listener's soul, striking his or her heart and causing it to sing out; the human voice summons something profound from deep within, and can even compel a person into action. – Daisaku Ikeda

If you always have a shallow perspective and pay attention only to trivial things, you are sure to get bogged down in all kinds of petty worries and concerns, and not be able to move forward. Even relatively minor hurdles or problems will seem insurmountable. But if you look at life from a broad viewpoint, you naturally spot the way to solve any problem you may confront. This is true when we consider our own personal problems as well as those of society and even the future of the entire world. – Daisaku Ikeda

It is senseless to blame others or your environment for your miseries. Change begins from the moment you muster the courage to act. When you change, the environment will change. The power to change the world is found nowhere but within our own life. – Daisaku Ikeda

One of my favorite poets, the Argentine educator Almafuerte (1854-1917) wrote: "To the weak, difficulty is a closed door. To the strong, however, it is a door waiting to be opened." Difficulties impede the progress of those who are weak. For the strong, however, they are an opportunity to open wide the doors to a bright future. Everything is determined by our attitude, by our resolve. Our heart is what matters most. –
Daisaku Ikeda

My buddy says she salutes me for being so emotionally strong and independent… while I could only hope I am not lying to myself in self consolation.

On a different and happier note today…..

I held the lift (elevator) and waited for a fellow colleague who had not long ago did somewhat the very much opposite of what I just done for her.

What happened was that a couple months ago… she hurriedly closes the office lift door when she saw me coming and I was kinda left feeling indignant and silly staring at the closed lift door. Luckily there wasn’t anybody nearby at that time. Later on, I had dismissed her action as accidental and unintentional, although we were like face to face each other and her eyes let me know that she saw me when the lift door closes.

I actually felt nice for what I have done today. Proud of myself for not stooping as low as her and took today’s chance to return the unsavory favor. I have even wrung a ‘Thank You’ from her for holding the lift. Everybody deserves a second chance right?

The heart of one person moves another's. ... If one's own heart is closed, then the doors of other people's hearts will also shut tight. On the other hand, someone who makes all those around him or her into allies, bathing them in the sunlight of spring, will be treasured by all. – Daisaku Ikeda

Genuine sincerity opens people's hearts, while manipulation causes them to close.Daisaku Ikeda

Post Title:
At first, I thought of putting the title of this post as, "Of Crisis, Friendship and Self-Evaluation"... dunno why but I think it's a bit boring so I ditched the idea.


My hubby sent me another one of his love note via SMS yesterday. Yeah, he’s quite fond of doing this but not on regular basis of course. This time it’s a poetry, well… sort of. It’s his first attempt on poetry writing he told me.

Here’s what he wrote (don’t mind the English ok. He’s not English educated but I love it for his thoughts):

“Storm cloud darken the sky, your smile light up my mood.
When rain falls outside the window, your beautiful face lift up my heart.
When lightning and thunder shows its might, your encouragements warm up my soul.
With you around me I am invincible, my biggest blessing is have you with me.
To my dearest wife, I will forever love you with all my heart and soul”.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pachelbel Rant

This comedian is freaking hilarious. He's a roar. I found this piece of entertaining video while doing some exploration at my newly created Vox account, another happening social networking site which is very similar to Multiply and Friendster. I thought it would be another great way for me to connect with other people with similar mind or interest, plus it would be cool to upload and share some of my stuffs there... which is something I couldn't do with Blogger. Currently I haven't upload much yet. You are all invited to check it out later maybe in a week or so after I have feed it more stuff ok. Don't worry, I have made most of my things viewiable by the public, hence you don't actually need to join Vox to view my stuff. *Wink* Yeah, I am that good to you all. See *straighten back and tilt head up in a proud pose*.

Ok now back to this awesome video I found. This is the intro I plucked out from Youtube on this video:
A comedian rants about how much it sucks to play Pachelbel's Canon in D on a cello. Recorded live at Penn State, this piece by comedian/musician Rob Paravonian has been a favorite on the Dr. Demento Show - Paravonian.

I love Pachelbel's Canon in D very very much, and I know he's dissing my favorite piece of music, except I just can’t help it but to love him for his uproariusly funny antics.

Go on, check it out. You wouldn’t be disappointed, really. You will be rolling on the floor laughing hard in no time. I dare ya ;)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Little Jet's Chilli Foray

Hot Chili by ~Headspinn on deviantART

Little Jet (my 5-year old boy. Yeah I've changed his nickname from Cheeky Boy to this) has been experimenting with hot food lately. My mom's the one encouraging him. I am a bit apprehensive at first. Afraid that he might upset his stomach.

Anyhow, it seems like my worries are for naught. Looks like he is really set on the road of becoming a true Asian. A true Malaysian :D He now truly loves his nasi lemak, laksa, assam fish and many other spicy dishes.

Heck, Little Jet's chilli tolerance is even better than by my brother's. My brother is the worst in my family when it comes to braving the chilli test. He would break into sweat just looking at them. There goes his macho-ness. LOL.

Last Saturday, Little Jet had had a painful experience with the unforgiving chilli king, 'Cili Padi' while having a family gathering dinner at a restaurant. The poor thing was in shock. His hands were trembling non-stop. He had to hang his tongue out for quite a looong while. We had to give him some ice to lick on to lessen his agony.

Now we could only hope this minor but shocking incident does not deter him from loving spicy food in the future.

Current Sanity: Still mulling over the film review post I promise. Yeesh, this is really not easy... for me that is. Sigh... I need more practice on this.