Diggin’ da Double Bass

June 1st, 2007   •   15 comments   

Last night, I brought Ethan and Tina to catch Oceanskies and her fellow double bass players performing at a free event called Basso Bravo! This is a half-hour special aimed at getting members of the public to better appreciate classical music.


Belonging to the ensemble d’Bassists, the quartet were playing at the Esplanade’s Concourse as part of the Singapore Art Festival. d’Bassists is actually part of the National University of Singapore Symphony Orchestra, which is based in NUS Centre for the Arts.

For those who do not know, the double bass is the largest and lowest pitched stringed musical instrument in a modern symphony orchestra. It looks like a huge violin, and is even bigger than the more famous cello. Its sheer size and bulk makes it quite a challenge to master, although I must say that oceanskies and her kakis wielded it with much panache and style.


Obviously the quartet knew a thing or two with their repertoire of songs ranging from classics, jazz to modern and contemporary pieces. The crowd comprising both young and old were quite captivated as you can see.

I have never thought that such a low key (literally and figuratively speaking) musical instrument could be so melodic. My son Ethan even danced to some of the pieces!


For part of the performance, oceanskies teamed up with her fellow musician in a duet of sorts. I remembered that this piece was pretty funky and upbeat too.


After the performance, members of the audience were invited to participate by touching and feeling the instrument for themselves. Of course my “garang” son Ethan was one of the first to rise to the occasion! Here is a pic of Ethan with my wife Tina looking worried as he handled the instrument three times his size.


Ethan was so captivated by the monstrous musical instrument (sorry for calling your “boyfriend” a monster oceanskies!) that he went for the hands-on session not once, not twice but four times! I think some of the d’Bassists musicians found him a little amusing.


Of course, there is a kid inside everyone of us. I bumped into Ivan Chew, Julian and Kevin Lim at the performance. Both Ivan and Kevin decided to also jump into the fray. Of course, Ivan himself is quite musically inclined so he was the first to give it a shot. Notice that Ethan is still looking at the darn thing!


Inspired by his example, Kevin decided to join in the fray. Here is a picture of Ivan, Julian, Peiyun (Oceanskies) and Kevin doing his maestro thingy.

It was certainly fun to go up close and personal with the Double Bass. Nice to also know that oceanskies is such an accomplished classical musician, and that my son Ethan has the makings (hopefully) of somebody keen in music.

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  1. emily
    posted on Jun 01, 2007 at 12:08 PM

    hi cool insider!

    thanks for blogging about us (d’bassists). hope you enjoyed the show! ethan surely did… =)


  2. posted on Jun 01, 2007 at 11:15 AM

    Hi Cool Insider, once again, thank you very much for coming to support the performance with Ethan and your wife. Ethan certainly is musically inclined. The last time I saw a video of him dancing the lion dance, I can sense he has good sense of rhythms.

    Well, I guess we can’t determine his interests for him. I suppose the best is to let him explore and find what inspires him in life.

    You have some great pictures here. May I ask if I could use some? And link to this post please?

  3. posted on Jun 01, 2007 at 11:16 AM

    And you aren’t the first who calls the double bass a “monster”. It is a gentle and lovely monster. 🙂

  4. posted on Jun 01, 2007 at 1:48 PM

    your son—-cute!

  5. posted on Jun 01, 2007 at 2:06 PM

    oceanskies, thanks for your optimism in Ethan’s musical sense! He he… Certainly he loves music of all sorts, especially lion dance!

    More than happy for you to use the photographs and place a link here. Hope that they do justice to the wonderful work you guys did!

  6. posted on Jun 01, 2007 at 2:07 PM


    No problems. Thanks for popping by! Will place a link to the d’Bassists blog and keep me posted on what’s new.

  7. posted on Jun 01, 2007 at 2:08 PM

    suzie wong,

    Ha ha…. he is quite a lover of music and is also ultra sociable type. Totally different from his dad!

  8. posted on Jun 01, 2007 at 3:14 PM

    Thank you for granting permission.

  9. posted on Jun 01, 2007 at 4:45 PM

    cool insider,
    Ethan is so fascinated by the ‘monster’. hehehe …. er, sorry oceanskies.

    You really did a great review on this performance. Very nice photots too! 🙂 I’m so happy to see so many people attended it.

    Good job, d’Bassists!

  10. posted on Jun 01, 2007 at 6:51 PM

    Wah…you bloggers attended this together? Cool.
    Need to check out oceanskies d’Bassists.

  11. posted on Jun 02, 2007 at 1:08 AM


    Thanks for your encouragement. I think d’Bassists did a wonderful job and its fascinating to have a blogging classical quartet! This is one of the ways to market classical music and the hands-on session is a brilliant idea of making it more accessible to the masses.

  12. posted on Jun 02, 2007 at 1:09 AM


    Well, some of us attended this together while the rest went at different times to support. I am heartened myself by the “gotong royong” community spirit amongst bloggers here.

  13. posted on Jun 04, 2007 at 4:47 AM

    coolio man..din know they have such events. I am always trying to find out where such performances held at in a bid to ‘culture’ myself. But meanwhile, think I’ll stick to WWE…keke

  14. posted on Jun 04, 2007 at 11:24 PM


    Haha…. are you going to catch WWE when they “Smack Down” to Singapore?

  15. posted on Jun 05, 2007 at 1:12 AM

    keke..yeah was thinking of. But after seeing the line up..I abit sian oredi…so I am having the “see how” mood lor..keke..

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