In transition

Music, Orienteering

The HKOC Open Sprint Event was finally over last Sunday, successfully held save for major delays resulting from a faulty control unit and the resulting surge in results workload. This was my first orienteering event as organizer and I must thank every official and competitor who helped keep the event running, among other people who made it possible, and I apologize for all the hiccups.

Course-wise, much more needs to be learnt (this is my first time setting ranking courses), especially on setting sprints, my favourite orienteering discipline. Another issue is the enforcement of ISSOM-passability – balancing fairness and performance and not have multiple angry disqualified competitors turning up in front of you is tremendously important on the success of a sprint event, especially when it’s part of the Hong Kong team selection. (It is – the selection result is due in May.)

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These two years saw a near-complete change of me from musician-orienteer to orienteer-musician. This has tremendously affected my habits, life, goals and aspirations as my search in identity continues. With graduation imminent I have come to miss the music student’s way of life. The future, to me, is still a vast unknown – but to continue on a music career it’s always a sine qua non to learn continually from other people, other experiences and other cultures.

Composition is a tricky discipline in that it necessarily involves some subjective aesthetic judgement. Thus it’s always a good idea to keep trying and finding new opportunities. Networking is a big area to improve given my introvert character. (Don’t wait for opportunities; find actively.)

It is also worth reminding that changing the living/learning/working environment every while or so is an important part in lifelong learning. Getting stuck at a place for too long is seldom a good idea.

And of course, a self-composed piece to be performed by the Hong Kong Philharmonic is something I could hardly have dreamed of as a boy, which is however going to happen next Saturday! So do come and listen! (And meet Maestro Sheng)

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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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December

Music

Time to spend more time on my actual major – music. Planning of the graduation concerts is under way. I plan to hold 2 or 3 concerts which will showcase me as both a performer and a composer.

Also related to music, I have finally obtained a flute teaching part-time job, thus ending perhaps one of the few cases in which a music student do not have to teach to make a living. (I feel guilty being one of those, indeed!)

A word on Occupy Central, which according to new information will be cleared by police on Wednesday or Thursday. The political effects of Occupy are far from in vain, for a paradigm shift has been under way. New forms of identity and political spectrum are put forth and propagated, and like the political and social upheaval in the 1960s West, culture and values are bound to be (and arguably have been) shaken up, a new social milleu thus forming.

But not to be overlooked is its significance to Hong Kong’s urbanism. Occupy proved that a tightly-knit human scale car-free urbanism, complete with mutual-help bottom-up community organization, is possible even in a metropolis notorious for its social alienation and over-managerialism. Facilities and objects such as the study room, the Lennon Wall, the staircases across the highway divider, the material collection stations, the wind turbine and the bicycle dynamos all illustrate the creative power of Hongkongers to solve problems and meet their needs, as well as towards a collective expression of their times. These elements will be brought to other communities as the Occupiers disperse. The Occupy experiment will prove pivotal to Hong Kong’s urban development.
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