Friday, November 09, 2012

Fritz @ St. Regis: Estee Lauder

14th February 2012

Musicians are used to long hours of practise and perofrmances, but this event at Estee Lauder proved to be a real workout session, clocking a total of 2 hours 40 minutes playing time! Now this is to me, really long in the context of quartet events (but Fritz has gone longer, I'm told).

Just to put this into context, below is a calorie-chart for common activities, counted in calories per minute:
Calorie Burning Chart
 Now, you can see, playing the violin doesn't seem to be commonplace enough to make it to that list (strange that water jogging is - what is that anyway??). So, we asked ourselves, what is similar? Well, we at Fritz feel like pulling strings with one hand while pressing things with another seems identical enough to pulling a saw or hammering stuff (it sometimes sounds similar to :D), so we looked at: CARPENTRY.

Yes, that's 9 calories per minute, and +8 for the cellist (re: carrying and stacking wood). Altogether, 1440 calories (or 2720 for cellist). 1440 CALORIES.

And then I think we probably went for supper, as usual, heh.

Apart from sore arms and tested concentration, it is always a feeling of accomplishment to be the main feature of a event by a multi-national company.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fritz @ Esplanade Library: ANNUAL CONCERT

26th December 2011

Some of our readers may wonder what we spent our christmas of 2011 doing. People say its good to end the year with a bang, but for those of us who really try to bang it out, we now know you have to be fully prepared and loaded to handle all the festivities!
Fritz's concert day! (left to right: Jessie, Yaw Chang, Max, Lenard)

For Fritz, preparedness means rehearsing thrice a week (take note, all of us have day jobs and social lives {or we wish to think we do}), staying till 2am to polish up music for the umpteenth time, and shutting down gig operations, all for the sake of putting up a delightful program for our listeners who came down for our December concert!

While this may sound largely patronizing, we at Fritz did sincerely see and enjoy the end point of all this. We are glad that underneath the ad hoc performances and gigs, when you boil Fritz down to its core, you still find four real musicians who know what they're doing, and more importantly, the music that the other three are playing.
Yaw Chang looking exactly like he found the music within himself.
In the end, we like that we grew more and more able as a quartet. Over these big projects, we manage to groom the cellist to hold strongly like a vase, the violist and 2 violinist to be richly fertilized soil, and the 1 violinist to bloom her pretty flowers.
(left to right: Flower, Soil, Soil, Vase)

Fritz's lower strings.
Zooming in on the concert itself, it was held humbly, in the esplanade library to an audience of less than a 100. While this wouldn't go down into the books as one of those sell out concerts, we did appreciate and opt for the maturity that comes with having a small quiet crowd over a rowdy one. It added the familiarity that we needed to house our quartet's music in. We were glad too that we were able to nest the sentimental songs that was to be our repertoire for the night.
On a less serious but equally real note, the sound and smell of meat sizzling on a grill from the cafe beside us was an unexpectedly organic part of the performance. The hunger it built kept us from slowing our music down too!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fritz @ Botanic Gardens: Photoshoot by Ashley Low Photography

3rd December 2011

After a morning's rehearsal, we at Fritz threw our music away and stormed to Botanic Gardens to conquer the world of photography!

Maestoso; majestically comfortable: Lenard, Yaw Chang, Jessie, Max

We spent hours with our dearest photographer Ashley, a recently-returned talent from London, who made sure we not only left with lovely pictures but a wonderful experience as well.

Dolce un-glam-e; Sweetly and unglamorously (grinning ear to ear, hint Yaw Chang): Lenard, Jessie, Max, Yaw Chang

Fritz is not new to photography; performances often come with flashes of light from enthusiasts taking shots of our playing. However, posing for a camera with an enormously professional lens pointed at us was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

Andante un-naturale; At an (un)natural pace: Lenard, Jessie, Max, Yaw Chang

The pictures (after Ashley edited them) turned out beautifully! Some of them looked like they were CD covers that we had shot for our sometime-will-be-published recordings!

Simplicemente brilliante photographe; simply a great photoshoot: Jessie, Lenard, Yaw Chang, Max

(Stay tuned to find out why Fritz holed up all November!)

Summing up of 2011!

As our blog followers may have noticed, the administration in Fritz has been busy celebrating Christmas and Chinese New Year. Now that it has been 4 months since we stopped our online lives to live our offline ones to the fullest, it is high time to update our followers what Fritz has been up to!

Unfortunately, backdating is a sure way to forget the details of our adventures. Hence, I have chosen to list some events that we were at in an un-Fritz-ly way, without a dedication of its own, and without pictures!

6 Sept: Fritz @ Shangri-La
This was a company function in the ever-loved Shangri-La ballroom. A funny story I remember from here is how we were once pelted with champagne corks when a hundred-table toast was pointed to the center of the ballroom where we were performing.

8 Oct: Fritz @ Jalan Kampong Chantek
This street's name is misleading! The mansion we played in looked like a billion-dollar Wimbledon replica, complete with ~~~ - inch screen playing past tennis matches, a private swimming pool and a grass court with an umpired game going on! This was for a tycoon's private birthday party! It equalled some of the greatest hotel ballrooms Fritz has played in.

10 Oct: Fritz @ Orchard Hotel Ballroom
Fritz whipped out its pop-and-rock repertoire here at the client's request. From Aerosmith's 'I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing' to Coldplay's 'Yellow', we jammed up our instruments and tested the strength of horse-hair that night. Of course, we stayed true to our roots; we never forget our classical upbringing and tango background.

15 Oct: Fritz @ Hyatt Hotel
A wedding to remember at this Chinese set-up matrimony. Fritz had the pleasure of being part of the celebration of a new couple, and on top of that, met who must have been the friendliest sound technician and emcee who shared their workstations with us. Fritz brought happy Chinese tunes to complement the infectious smiles being tossed from table to table.

Stay tuned, the next post is guaranteed to overflow with pictures to make up for this one!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Fritz @ Ang Mo Kio: AWWA Community Home for the Aged

17th September 2011

Fritz was invited deep into the heartlands of Ang Mo Kio by the members of Nanyang Technological University's Welfare Services Club to join their Mid-Autumn Festival celebration programme as volunteers!

This programme was aimed at bringing joy and company to the elderly in the vicinity, with the highlights of performances, games, as well as food. We at Fritz were proud to have contributed to their charitable efforts.

Fritz: Jessie, Yaw Chang, Max, Lenard (left to right)

Not our usual engagement, it was a refreshing break from suits and ties, though we at Fritz take pride in making sure sneakers and jeans don't mean any compromising on our performance!

All in all, our effort in volunteer work was a satisfying one. The elderly audience we had were remarkably lively in responding to our music too! Opportunities like these allow us to underscore the Fritz mentality that good and heartfelt music is the capstone of any event.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Fritz @ Amara Resort: Wedding of Ryan and Man Yee

16th July 2011

Fritz was invited to the wedding of Man Yee and Ryan at the Sentosa Hotspot Amara Resort. Thanks to all the touching up that has been done to the little island, more couples are tying the knot under the watchful blessing of Singapore's offshore heritage! Driving to the lobby, we could already feel the posh ambience that would be the evening's experience!

A banner with the words 'ITS ABOUT TIME' adorned the entrance to the ballroom and caught our eyes. For a while we thought the message could've been directed at us, the quartet! But of course, our habitual punctuality convinced us that it had nothing to do with our timely arrival! As we later found out, friends of the couple thought it was indeed about time this couple joined in matrimony.

Dinner jackets and beautiful gowns were proudly complimented by our wedding classics, but what made this wedding stand out were the groom's sneakers worn underneathe formal black trousers!

Wedding booklet - Man Yee and Ryan. (nice pose!)

All in all, the wedding was a beautiful experience and we at Fritz wish the happy couple a liftime of bliss!

Our corner, setting up

Jessie (left), Yaw Chang (right)


Monday, July 04, 2011

Fritz @ Mandarin Orchard: Ministry of Transport Farewell Dinner for Mr and Mrs Raymond Lim

10th June 2011

The Ministry of Transport once again invited Fritz to Mandarin Orchard's ballroom for the farewell dinner of Mr Raymond Lim, previous transport minister. We at Fritz are honoured to have the privilege of multiple partnerships with Singapore's ministries.

Event wallpaper

We arrived at the ballroom pleasantly surprised to note that we were not the only performers, but that there were special items to be presented by the ministry's own employees as well.

Coincidentally, some of the items we prepared were the same songs as those that were being sung in the special items, and this had not been communicated to us prior. Nobody had anything to worry about, though, Fritz is always flexible and prepared to pull out more music and customise a repertoire to suit the occasion!

From our stage we could feel the sincerity in the parting words and gifts that many had put into song for the previous minister. We of course had to match up to it by putting our best efforts into our music!

Ballroom scene

(left to right): Lenard, Lim Hui, Beatrice

Speaking with the event organisers and receiving great positive feedback from the previous MoT organisers was definitely one of the high points of the evening!

Fritz @ SMU University lounge: Welcome dinner for Executive Master of Business and Administration

25th April 2011

Fritz was invited to the stage at SMU lounge to provide music for their dinner function.

Business attire, wine glasses in hand, the guests who showed up were obviously not students. We later found out that these were SMU's big-shots, and Fritz had the honour of kicking off the event!

Setting up, Lim Hui and YC

As veterans in the scene of dinner functions, Fritz has been to the backstage and holding areas of every hotel and ballrooms in Singapore. However, our backstage this time was a surprise which we met with raised eyebrows!

View from 'backstage'

Nice view, definitely, and we thought it was conducive for delivering punishment for any wrong notes played in the performance...

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Fritz @ Fullerton Hotel: Ministry of Transport Family Thank You Dinner for Board Members

5th April 2011

It was a pleasure for Fritz to have once again been invited by one of Singapore's public ministries - the Ministry of Transport to perform on the dinner stage, for their thanksgiving dinner for board members!

Event wallpaper

I'm sure I am speaking for most of the quartet, but Fullerton Hotel is a personal favourite venue! The general atmosphere of maturity complemented any regal event, and the ministry's representatives certainly chose a good spot to host this happy yet proper event!

Dessert plate

Our hosts very kindly set aside for each of us a portion of the dinner spread. Unfortunately, as with all properly organised events, everything on the timetable ran like clockwork, so much of the food saved for us had to be consumed visually as we stole glances from the stage.

This also meant we hardly had the time to take photographs to do the venue and event justice. Max tried to remedy the situation as we were leaving but alas, all he could catch in his camera was a snap of two unaware Fritzies.

Lenard and Yaw Chang

Fritz @ UOB Penthouse: UOB Appreciation 2011

18th April 2011

Fritz was invited to the UOB building's penthouse for a dinner stint! Excellent memories from this performance, with several exciting bits to touch things up!

When we arrived we were all awed by the decor of the place. The interior design suited the relaxed atmosphere and we all wished we were able to just sprawl over the couches to sip wine!

Main area

Grand entryway

View from glass windows (ceiling to floor!)

Yezhi refusing to leave her quiet meditation by the window

The half hour we had while a presentation was going on upstairs for the guest - sitting back in luxury

The evening was not all about the venue, the friendly and warm reception Fritz received from the listeners there was extremely encouraging. We thank a few guests who stayed especially long through several songs for helping us to end each piece beautifully with heartfelt applause!

(From left to right): Yezhi, Yaw Chang, Lenard

Definitely, the hospitality of the organisers in both welcoming us and seeing us off with good food was one of the highlights!