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Interview for Made in HK, RTHK Radio 2 (20060630)

Filed in Entertainment Ind., PressTags: , , ,

I was interviewed yesterday at RTHK for 李志剛's Made in Hong Kong program. It was a fun interview. Originally purposed to discuss anti-discrimination matters, we didn't talk a lot about anti-discrimination because I haven't personally experienced very much discrimination in Hong Kong at all, more than likely because I've given a lot of effort to learning the local language. Communication is the key to a harmonic society.

If you missed the interview, it's available online at RTHK's Made in Hong Kong 李志剛, (20060630). The full show is 2 hours long. My interview is in the second hour. If you're using RealPlayer, the link for the second hour is Made in Hong Kong 李志剛 (20060630) Part II.

李志剛 is a rare, nice and funny guy!

Interview in the Oriental Sun 太陽報 (20060604)

Filed in Press

I apologise. The interview was published before I became aware of it and had no time to tell everyone. Yet again, the interview was more about my blog and camera life than about our family of dogs and rabbits which is good, because variety is a good thing.

Luckily, the interview is available online. It's in two parts at: 河國榮為 Blog 瘋狂 and 河國榮部落格有歌聽.

Interview in Hi Tech Weekly (20060525)

Filed in Press

There's an interview with me in this week's HiTech Weekly (Vol. 397, 25 May 2006).

It's a nice interview (I don't know why but most of the reporters who I've interviewed with have been kind to me ;-). One of the things I like about this interview is that it doesn't focus on our 'kids'. Perhaps because it's a tech magazine, the interview instead focuses on my blog, photography and computer interests. They even photographed my 1 million candle power torch!

Yet another publication will be releasing an interview with me about my blog and camera in the near future. I'll let you all know when that happens.

Interview in Hi Tech Weekly (20060525)

Filed in Press

今朝接機一出來的風景。唔... 哮喘的朋友要小心點

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Interview online at Apple Daily

Filed in Hong Kong, PressTags: ,

A few months ago, I did an interview with people from Apple Daily for their online education site. Little did I know that it would become quite an extensive interview and writeup, even getting some banner time in the main Apple Daily site.

Overall, the interview is pretty good. The one thing I am disappointed with is the sound recording. Some of the interview was recorded indoors at my friend's coffee shop Prestigio (she also serves fair dinkum home made Malaysian, Singaporean, Western etc food) in Sai Kung. Some of it was recorded outside the restaurant. Because of the noise from passing traffic, I voluntarily increased the volume of my voice with the intent of guaranteeing a recording that the reporters could take home and hear without difficulty.

The problem? It brought out one of the errors in my Cantonese abilities. Whenever I speak louder, the pitch of my voice naturally goes up too. When speaking English, this isn't a problem. When speaking Cantonese where pitch and tones are everything, it's a big no-no. The result is that my non-Cantonese foreigner accent becomes very pronounced, so much so that even I am embarrassed to listen to it. If I'm conscious of it, I can force the pitch back down while maintaining the volume which I've learned to do when filming at TVB. During the interview though, I was more concerned with the content of what I was saying than the accuracy of my Cantonese so it completely slipped my mind.

Douglas; a friend who I have the good fortune to know personally, and whose intelligence frequently humbles me; commented about my remarks regarding middle class people in Hong Kong, how they are not satisfied with their lives or conditions and how many of them have decided to not have babies. I've checked the transcript and audio recording on the interview site and it certainly sounds like I said that. However, I wouldn't say that, at least not the way it has been reported. I wouldn't say that because my wife and I are in exactly the same circumstance as many other middle class (sandwich class?) Hong Kong citizens.

The fact is that life here in Hong Kong is extremely difficult for many of its middle class citizens. We; meaning the middle class citizens; work hard not to get rich, but simply to make enough to pay our mortgages, taxes and eat. With any luck, we'll have some left over to maintain our car or occasionally repaint our flat. Most of our outings take us to the local cinemas and our wardrobes contain nothing special. It's therefore no wonder that many of today's middle class citizens have decided not to have babies. It would be too great an economical burden for most of us. (For those of you living outside of Hong Kong, good schools here in Hong Kong are not free and they're most definitely not cheap, and the expense begins when or before the infant hits the ripe age of just 2 years old.)

Douglas made a good point. It's the midle class people that keep the economy going, or at least keep the government's coffers full. On the other hand, the lower class people get handouts from the government. In many cases, these handouts are absolutely necessary. There are a lot of people here in Hong Kong living on just HKD2,000 a month. Remember for a moment that my wife and I spend more than that just to feed our 'kids' and you'll understand how impossibly difficult it must be for those lower class people to survive in the expensive city that Hong Kong is. The government handouts are therefore absolutely necessary. For these people, the government also provides housing, and there is of course free public schooling, although the final grades of secondary school are not free (please correct me on this if I'm wrong). With these provisions and if you're more concerned with procreating and continuing your family blood line than with the quality of the education your children will get from the free public shools, then it makes sense to have babies. Hence, many lower class citizens continue to have children and bring them up while many middle class citizens decide to do otherwise.

While in Indonesia last year, I couldn't help but observe that family life was a major part of life (i.e., people spend a lot of time with their families), and families were frequently quite large, especially in the poorer areas of the country. I can't help but wonder if technology and 'modern' life styles are anti-family.

But the one thing that keeps repeating in my mind every time I think about how poorer people tend to have larger families is a line from the Christian bible:
Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth
. That's truly something to ponder.

Interview now online at Adam Sheik’s Cantonese site

Filed in Press

There's an online text-format interview focussing on my experience with Cantonese over at Adam Sheik's Chinese (Cantonese) Help Sheets. Some of you learning Cantonese might find it interesting.

For the record, it is probably the most accurate of any of the interviews I've done because I wrote the answers and Adam didn't reword or edit them. Most reporters incorrectly recall details of the interview or bend the interview content with the intent to make it more interesting to their audience. Consequently, based solely on my own experience, you should always read interviews with at least a little scepticism. I have had a couple of interviews which were very accurate in their reporting but most veer off one way or another.

Radio interview on RTHK2

Filed in Press

I apologise. I completely forgot to let you people know ahead of time about a radio interview I'm doing tomorrow although I didn't actually know the exact time myself until today.

The interview will be with RTHK2 between 5.30pm and 6.30pm. The show's name is 萬王之王. This is the link to their online streaming program. Be sure to check back before the show just to make sure that I haven't made a mistake and changed the link ;-)

I've actually had a very busy month as far as interviews go. There was one interview with TVB which hasn't aired yet, and another interview with TVB next week. There have also been several interviews with newspapers and magazines. I'll list them for you later.

Unfortunately, a couple of weeks ago, one of our 'kids' ran past my desk and looped himself through the power cable for my scanner. The jolt pulled the plug in my scanner and snapped the power connector right off the mother board. The scanner will have to be repaired and until then, I cannot scan any interviews for you, but I'll get onto it as soon as possible (skirting the fact that I haven't scanned any of last year's interviews yet).

Take care.

沒預料的回報(下集)

Filed in General, Memoirs, Music, Press, 中文文章Tags: , , ,

彈琴伴奏的男人是一個很出色的音樂家。他看五線譜的時候,隨時可以變調,而且全部都很有感覺。他還可以一邊聽著音樂一邊寫下來譜子。無可否認,他真的很棒,只不過荷里活裡有很多這樣出色的音樂家,所以很難找到好的工作,最後只好甚麼工作都做。

當我們上到第八課的時候,這個音樂家沒有出現了。原來他終於找到一份錢和前途都有的工作了,那就是幫一個音樂舞台劇編寫他們需要的所有的歌曲和音樂。我們當然替他高興,但同時也明白我們這個課程剩下的課就不會再有人替我們伴奏了。真可惜。

那天,就是因為沒有這位鋼琴家,我們早了下課。學生們都走了,只剩下我一個人在教室裡。這門課就是我每逢星期五上的最後一課,也是整個星期的最後一課。我沒有功課做,沒有甚麼地方可去,連最熟的同學都有事,不能陪我。回家也不太吸引人,因為我住的地方存在著一種既不舒服又不太受歡迎的氣氛,只好留在教室裡,看看可不可以彈彈我們學生們喜歡唱的歌。

Our classroom, theatrette

The classroom in which Elizabeth's class was conducted was originally a small theatre probably used principally for viewing movies; possibly film clips of Lee Strasberg's lectures recorded before he died. I say this because there's a hole in the wall behind the curtains, a hole through which a projector would have projected the clips. Lee Strasberg's lectures are now shown in a newly renovated theatre called the Monroe Theatre, named after Marilyn Monroe, once a student of Lee Strasberg.

For a 750x500 version, click here.

音樂對我來說是很特別的。無論甚麼地方,甚麼時候,甚麼事情,音樂永遠都會在我身邊,陪著我,安慰我,鼓勵我。除了我的太太之外,音樂就是我一生最重要的,最可靠的朋友。可惜我對音樂的認識太少,幾乎甚麼樂理都不懂,甚至連一種樂器都不會用。

可能這兒就是緣份,在這個特別的情況下讓我有一個機會學到我一生渴求的技術。

坐在鋼琴前,看著一張我不會看的五線譜卻也有為了結他手而寫的和弦,我只好看著那些結他的和弦,慢慢地算出來每個和弦的結構。大調和弦就是用一三五的音,小調和弦就是把第三個音減半個音,就是這樣慢慢地計算出來每個和弦。不知不覺地,我在原本應該下課的時間前已經能彈出其中一首歌。雖然彈得很簡單,有一點兒像彈結他一樣的彈法,但是已經夠了,已經有音樂感。我的夢開始慢慢成真了。

那那天到現在已經有一年了。我不時練習彈琴,盡量使我的彈琴技術一天比一天好。有我的電子琴,有一些音樂書,我隨時都可以一邊彈一邊唱一些我喜歡的歌。不用說,我算不上專業,但是也不能說太差。關於彈琴,當然我還有很多要學的東西。但是已經有了個開始。

上個月,我去了印尼,去我們前家務助理的家並参加她的婚禮。可能因為她家鄉連一個會說英文的人都沒有,而我幾乎沒有辦法跟他家人溝通,我就在那時對印尼話產生了一點興趣。現在已經會說幾個字了,而每天都會跟我們現在的印尼家務助理學一兩個字。學了二十年廣東話,學得那麼辛苦,我沒想到我會再有勇氣敢去學另外一種新的語言。

很多人覺得到了某一個年紀的時候就沒有學新東西的能力了。是不是我這個四十歲的人已經證明這種想法不對的。如果你有甚麼想學的,但因為年紀的問題而不敢嘗試的話,不如馬上就去試試吧。你也可能會得到沒預料的回報。