Website revamp

Music, Orienteering, Raphael Mak - myself, raphaelmak.com

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I’m refocusing on music now and my website is being revamped in a similar way. Information on orienteering are relocated to either www.o-resa.asia (Swedish/English) or www.metoc.com.hk (Chinese/English). I will still be writing both music and orienteering stuff here until some point in the future when I might separate my music and orienteering blogs.

Meanwhile, check out my offer to write music here on Fiverr, and spread the word!

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Mid-December – planning the year 2015

Music, Music event promotion, Orienteering, Raphael Mak - myself

Mid-December 2014. Perhaps a bit late to plan the next year (or might be just in time).

2014 has been indeed a year never before experienced. Compositions, maps, super long trips. Ever tumultuous and changing society. Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mongkok revolutionizes our urban spatial experience (and above all political, but remember that planning is also political – search for relevant urban planning literature).

Next year I will be graduating, which means I should hold a graduation recital (not a must, though). Then I realized that I have too much material to present – my newest plan is to hold 4 concerts – 2 recitals at City Hall (the venue I had my composition concert last year); 1 ensemble concert and 1 orchestra concert at CUHK. They will be in around June or July. I’ll release details later.

Orienteering – Stay tuned for the new club I have founded with some friends, the Metropolitan Orienteering Club (MetOC). I have 3 mapping commissions in 2015: one for a sprint ranking race in Tseung Kwan O, one for a team event in Shatin, one for the annual championships long distance event. I’ll have to work hard in the local annual championships this year – if I do well enough I might get a chance to go to the World Championships in Scotland.

The most important thing – master studies. I’ll be applying for the Master of Science in Urban Planning programme at the University of Hong Kong. But I’ll be applying to music postgraduate programmes as well in case it doesn’t get through.

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“Musician – Sportsman”

Music, Raphael Mak - myself, Sport

The title (Musician-sportsman) is how I see myself: both a musician and a sportsman.

Musician: this one is more obvious, I study music in a university, and I am an amateur composer (as the other posts on this blog show). I play the flute; I play in a youth orchestra. Music is one half of my life.

Sportsman: this one I often hate to admit, but is a matter of fact: I love running; although not really high profile (I don’t even run in university sports events now), I have the obsession to keep running, and has attempted the marathon twice. I still regularly practise with my juniors at secondary school. On the other hand, I play orienteering (which to many might not seem so obvious a sport, but indeed it is, and can be a serious one), and in recent years have been increasingly enjoying it; besides being a nature lover, one of the great things is that the orienteering community is not too big and it’s easy to make new friends.

The interesting bit is the interaction between running, music and orienteering. My pursuit in running has left me with a rash personality that seems to conflict with the latter two. I am learning to stay cool and sound at most times, so as to excel in the latter two – an exercise of balance between things.

But I started all three with the intention that I have some activities to excel in Wah Yan. I am not really excellent – but seems my fellow Wahyanites have got to know me by both identities.

Quite often, I think I cannot manage both music and sports and seek to quit one of them (especially that I study music now this almost certainly means I should concentrate on music and not think of sports, as some advised me). But I found that I cannot break that balance – they are both integral sides of myself. And I have to admit that.

I cannot be sure if I am the first Wahyanite to get both the “Musician-” and “Sportsman of the year” prizes. I still think today that I am just half qualified to get them, especially the latter. I am no elite musician, let alone elite sportsman. But I have found a very unique picture of myself – a picture of variety and colour. This is me – a “musician-sportsman”.

田徑和長跑 part 1

Raphael Mak - myself, Sport, Wah Yan

為甚麼會開始跑步?

這要由小學時說起。

小時我並不喜歡運動,覺得運動的人成績必定不好。但又出於好奇,去試泳隊選拔,去試陸運會。泳隊當然進不了; 陸運會小四跑接力,(好像)有獎牌,小六跑100米,決賽包尾 (好像是)。

中一又出於好奇,陸運會去跑一百米,進不了決賽。那年是記憶中中學生涯唯一一次在灣仔運動場的陸運會。到了中二,有同學介紹他在美國的大哥跑1600米 (其實是一英里賽? 約1608米) 的經歷給我,生起了我的好奇心,那年陸運會 (在小西灣運動場) 去了跑1500米。甚麼經驗都沒有,一落場就跑; 結果,尾段拉車,卻仍有銅獎。中三去了跑800米及1500米,皆不能獲獎。當時我根本沒有跑街的習慣,只有兩種準備: 其一,(只有一次) 在政府飛行服務隊開放日離場時跑到南環道尾近南跑道末端處,目的為不斷拍照; 其二,中期考試期間,偶爾一天考完試後連校服連書包慢跑回家。(學校距家約三公里)

那時我的世界只有華仁,卻有認識全華仁的人的天真理想。我仍是不喜歡運動,但在華仁想有點威風之事,結果進入一個校隊成為了目標。當時目標有二: 游泳、羽毛球,二擇其一。

小弟游泳不濟,又不知羽毛球校隊選拔。卻出於好奇去了試野外定向 (不被承認的一個「校隊」); 及後見「越野跑校隊」招隊員,好奇去試。當年的越野跑校隊由侯加彬老師主理,一星期練兩次,放學後換好跑服在小教堂外集合。大部份練習時間都在跑寶雲道。初期 (時為中三後期),跑寶雲道的有若干個中六大哥哥,此外就只有我,然我仍能跟著大哥哥們跑。又有些時候我們跑上山頂。自此,我愛上了跑步。

中四 – 終於代表華仁出賽了

中四的越野跑比賽是我第一次代表華仁出賽,當時我沒有太大division 1 division 2 division 3的意識,跑步成績也不太突出,雖是「大B」亦只能跑第三十幾四十幾。其實當時我的練習亦只有一週兩次的越野跑練習。同年我在陸運會1500米取得冠軍 (好像是?),取得代表華仁出戰學界田徑的資格。我是正正式式的校隊了。同學蘇俊堯叫我「加油,學界的對手很勁,很辛苦的」。我銘記在心。

校隊當然要有訓練; 那年唯一的訓練是在農曆新年期間,回校訓練。老師給我的訓練內容是圍著操場跑十個圈,尾三(四?)圈放個跑400 (800?) 米的進來鬥。就此而已。我自己平時仍是照常一星期跟越野跑跑兩次街。結果,在學界,對手真的很快,我連決賽也進不了。

值得一提的是,同一年,我第一次參加渣打馬拉松的十公里賽。與一大班華仁仔一起跑是一件很開心的事,雖然我已經跑得不慢了- 五十幾分鐘左右; 人頭湧湧又遲了出發,不很認真地跑,但仍十分開心。

暑假開始,越野跑練習暫停,我開始養成星期六下午自行跑街的習慣。因為熟悉程度的緣故,我的練跑首選總是寶雲道。到後來,知道寶雲道底下是從大潭水塘出來的水管,於是對大潭深感興趣,好奇心驅使下,有天跑了一次大潭來回,經寶雲道、黃泥涌峽道和大潭水塘道。(家在羅便臣道,跑到大潭海邊抽水站的碼頭,來回22公里) 跑了16公里後 (回程至黃泥涌峽時) 抽筋,捱回家中。

自此之後,我生了一股莫大的好奇心,想到處去跑。同一個暑假,我又發掘了金督馳馬徑等路線,當時是早上跑去太古城,吃了午飯下午才跑回家的,來回30公里; 還有柏架山道等路線; 而且又對遠足生了興趣,閒時去港島不同的山走走 (多是自己一個)。

「華仁鐵路」

我平常很喜歡幻想自己的世界,因此從小開始已經不斷畫地圖、構想圖等。到了中學,又幻想校園裡有地鐵系統。開始長跑後,幻想的鐵路系統成了練習的動力,總覺得自己是一列火車,在大地上奔馳。

規則很簡單: 跑過或是走過一個路段 (包括遠足),便可將那路段列為「華仁鐵路」的一部份。詳細情形如電氣化雙軌化等則自己決定。

叫「華仁鐵路」- 沒甚麼原因,可能太愛華仁吧,自然順口改了個這樣的名字。

在2008年,「華仁鐵路」的骨幹是東西本線 (摩星嶺路口 – 香港大學 – 柏道 – 羅便臣道 – 寶雲道 – 黃泥涌峽 – 大潭) 和南北本線 (灣仔碼頭 – 「華仁口」即聖若瑟小學外 – 灣仔峽 – 香港仔 – 鴨脷洲大橋 – 海怡廣場),另有貝璐線、薄扶林線、中環線 (碼頭經畢打街/雲咸街/舊山頂道到山頂)、金督線、布力線、克頓線、龍虎山線、西高山線、大潭本線、渣甸山線 (黃峽 – 渣甸山 – 畢拉山 – 大風坳) 、赤柱線 (黃峽經衛奕信徑一段到赤柱) 等等。現在「華仁鐵路」網絡已經「遍及」港九新界及大嶼山 (還要分為港島、九龍、西貢、東北、西北、大嶼山六間「分公司」),網絡「擴展」仍在進行。

很奇怪我要提這東西,是不是。我就是這樣想東西的。

中五

必須一提: 2008年9月我嘗試去走走在我家附近的「張保仔古道」(干德道後面的山上),因路徑不明顯 (雖然我有郊區圖作輔),差點跌下護土牆,幸及時爬回山徑回家,大難不死。上網查資料後,另一天再去走走,順利從舊山頂道經古道走到寶珊道。

第二年參加學界越野跑,總想有更好的成績,但也使得自己在十一月臨近時便緊張起來。大概十月 (?) 伍俊裕 (有否打錯) 和我討論升division,說希望一年升一個division (即到我中七那年便能在division 1作賽)。那年我中五,他中三 (雖然都是1992年出生)。說時易做時難,那年港華在越野跑 (division 3 area 2) 的各級(A/B/C)成績分別是第3、5、4名,總成績第三名,不能晉級 (div 3每個area只能升一所學校),然而卻是成績最豐收的一年。(那年李揚是隊長)

自己呢,不知甚麼事,比賽時肚子痛,第十八名,六個人裡面第四個回來,大失所望。在接著的一年裡,我對香港仔水塘 (比賽地點) 有了陰影。

那一年伍俊裕仍跑得比我快,陸運會5000米快我半分鐘有多 (20分尾?)。那一年我第一次參加學校陸運會5000米賽,與李榮晉平排衝線 (21分頭?),有人指我用手肘擋他,有obstruction嫌疑,幸得葉福華老師信任,才不致被取消資格。那是我跑步生涯的低潮之一,自覺敗了體育精神。我素性魯莽,只得到處小心翼翼,避免闖禍。然我又在陸運會的1500米取得第一。結果我在中五的田徑學界要跑兩個項目: 1500米和5000米。

始終是代表學校出賽,又有抱負要使華仁田徑升班 – 總要為學校賺點分回來,於是勤練習,又到跑馬地馬場的中場環迴路衝5000米。當時我又會到「長跑網」等論壇找資料參考 (長跑網在我長跑生涯的開始時發揮很大作用)。結果: 1500米仍是進不了決賽,5000米跑了19分14得第六 (即賺了3分+標準分)。

那年的另一個遺撼,是渣打馬拉松前一星期病倒了 (雖只是跑十分里)。服用中藥後勉強能跑,但成績沒有進步,仍是50分鐘左右。

中五要考會考,跑步暫停 (考第一科才暫停),到考了最後一份卷後簡直如同解放,翌日 (或是兩日後) 跑了一次居所單向往大潭 (乘車回家)。

暑假又是跑步、行山。和伍俊裕討論過越野隊週末搞長課 (即一星期三課),當然是搞不成。會考拿了5A,剛好差了一分,無法拔尖; 又覺得在港華難出頭,中六想轉去九華或是拔萃,算了,免麻煩 (拔萃是直資,九華好像不收外校中六生)。想不到,在港華的額外一年中七,我見證了這麼多的轉變 (音樂和體育皆然)。命運,就是如此曲折離奇。

(還有一點: 我早前在facebook上載了英國Downside學校的資料夾,那是因為我在中三時考慮過到英國讀書,最後沒有成事。回想起來,還不禁要再說一次: 如果當年去了英國讀書,我的故事會怎樣發展呢,華仁那邊又會怎樣發展呢?)

待續 (有排打…)