Friday, April 23, 2010

LEWIS PRAGASAM'S ASIABEAT & FRIENDS

On one fine cloudy day (yesterday 4.30pm to be exact) this sumandak from the land below the wind called me saying that she had an invite to cover one event. She told me that Lewis Pragasam is performing his 30th Anniversary of AsiaBeat at Petronas Philharmonic Hall and she needed a cameraman cum blogger to accompany her to cover this event. I was contemplating coz needed to finish up my work. But decided what the heck la! This is not an opportunity you get everyday! one is its Lewis Pragasam and two its in the Philharmonic Hall! one of the best place to listen to glorious music in our country! And its brought it presented to us by the World Instant Noodles Association (WINA) , Maggi, and DFP!

So who is Lewis Pragasam? To some folks he is 'just' a drummer or percussionist! but not alot know that he is one of the most highly regarded percussionist in Asia and some say the world! and best of all he is a local boy! Kay Ell bhoy! Proud la... very proud! and to add to it... a La Sallian!

Ok, back to the event. So I picked up Shereen from her office then we headed to KLCC. Once reached we had a lite bite then head to the Philharmonic hall. Took one of their postcard (as shown in pic above) then I noticed that there was a few unfamiliar names such as Natasha Patamapongs and Tengku Ryo. Then there was familiar names like John 'Kaizan' Neptune, Caprice and the very famous Zainal Abidin.

ahhh DFP's beautiful lobby and its chandelier

The show started at 9pm and once we are seated Lewis came to stage and performed what most people thought was a drum solo which later he told was his warm up. Not bad for a warm up! Then came the first artist from the land of Siam, Natasha Patamapongs. The petite performer caught my attention with her first performance singing a samba song called "O Pato" or duck in English. Then she sang "This Song" next followed by one more song which I didnt really got the title. Sorry bout that!

Then came Mr Hijau aka Zainal Abidin. He performed 2 songs the first again I forgotten the name (bad memory nowadays... thousand apologies!) then the second song he performed "Hijau". All I can say is, "WHOAAA...." this guy got really really good vocals! good vocals + good acoustics team + good sound systems = totally mesmerized me + bulu roma standing + DAMN F-ING GOOD WEI! respect!

I was in a trance like mode listening to Abang Zainal sing! until was beautifully zap back into reality with a wonderful Irishy cum asian violin performance by Tengku Ryo, the talented Indonesian violinist that has been performing for a while now in the Jakarta Jazz Fest. Lewis manage to invite him here to buzz us up with his interesting performance. First was an irish mix, then was this song called Spirit which for me sounded abit like Panama from Van Halen. But its good then was one more southern indian piece which actually really interesting! A Rock themed composition. A real refreshing feel and he cap off his performance with a Melayu-esque music. And I was really impressed! Now I wanna get his cd!

me! haha

Then we got jive back to modern music from Caprice performing a song he composed for the event the day before! A little rap to go with a beautiful nite of musical fusion!

Then the nite was capped with the final performer, none other than Lewis Pragasam's long time partner in musical crime. John 'Kaizan' Neptune! Stealing our hearts with a fine shakuhachi (japanese bamboo flute) performance. Always love shakuhachi performance! I was actually going into a meditative state listening to him play. HONESTLY!! or am I just tired... anyway he was really good. He also invented his own percussion which looks like a Dhol or Pakhavaj with a slight curve in it. very nice.

I have to say that the night wouldnt be a success for these other musician too played their part into making this event a performance to remember. Maewa Hiroaki on bass, a Japanese that is now residing in Cheras. Indonesian Ywenna Carolina on the piano/keyboard, American that is now living in Malaysia, Steward McAskie on keyboard, lead guitarist and a really really good one too Shaun Kamikaze from Japan, and our local and fantastic Indian percussionist Kirubakaran and Victor Micheal.

a quick snapshot of one of the KLCC tower

It was a good night altogether had lots of fun thanks to Shereen and Adverlets. more pics to come...

Signing off...

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. ... I get most joy in life out of music.” -Albert Einstien-

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