can/Can I submit reviews?
Yes of course! BUT.... READ THIS FIRST
you guys sell any CDs or operate a mail order service?
Unfortunately, no. But going by the queer number of people asking
us this question, we ought to... but we won't. Why? Join us and
I can't find this CD! Please help!
BTW, if you pay stuff using Asian currencies, do know that the
£ is pretty high at the moment.
If you are trying to identify a CD, or trying to buy a copy
but can't find it in your vincity, seriously consider buying
from the net. With a credit card and secure on-line facilities,
it is now very easy to purchase CDs from shopping cyber-centres
such as Amazon.com, CDnow,
Music Boulevard and
Note: for residents on the opposite side of America (eg. Asia
and Australia), we recommend MDT Classics, a UK-based on-line
classical CD specialist store.. Try their website first at http://www.mdt.co.uk/,
which provides full price lists and info on new releases. MDT
has proven to be a very reliable and easy resource to mail order
those hard-to-get-in-[your country] CDs, such as BIS for Singaporeans.
Countries outside the EU, such as Singapore and Australia, do
not have to pay the whopping 17.5% VAT. For labels like BIS,
we pay around £9 per disc. Air mail postage works out to £1.50
for each of the first 2 CDs and £1 per CD thereafter.
A typical CD from a major independent such as BIS, Harmonia
Mundi or Hyperion costs slightly over £10 (incl. postage). Depending
on your currency and market, this may or may not be a reasonable
price. MDT also advertises in Gramophone regularly.
One crucial quality of MDT is that if the CD you order
is out-of-stock, they will wait until new stocks arrive and
continuously send late CDs until your order is completed. This
is a massive advantage MDT has over most CD mail order companies
(who'll just tell you: "sorry we're out!" and wash their hands
off of your order).
don't you provide sound samples???
We would... accept for these important considerations:
1) Copyright. In order to put up sound samples, in theory, we
must request for permission from each individual CD's label,
performers, producers, etc. This can be a real hassle and we
have barely enough time on our hands as it is. (Of course, except
in a few cases, we also don't request for permission to use
some of the images you see here - but this isn't quite as bad.)
2) Upload & download time. At the moment, the fairly deprived
Editor is not equiped
with a super-fast connection to upload files of such large dimensions
regularly. Until technology for everybody stabilizes at a fast
transfer rate, we do not want readers to have to wait around
while sound samples are being downloaded.
3) Generally, sound samples are not really useful unless they
are substantially large and clear.
Overall, the energy and work required to put up sound samples
will only end up detracting from the effort we can otherwise
put into our primary function, which is to provide the first
free service of judging a CD's quality via written reviews.
Some label sites offer sound samples: Chandos
Records and BMG Classics.
you provide us with sound samples of "Singapore traditional music"?
We're not sure how to respond to this request because Singapore
is a commonwealth country which was previously just a small Malay
village, until Sir Stamford Raffles "founded" the Singapore port
in 1819, eight years before Beethoven croaked. As such, we do
not have a native (ie. indigenious to the island of Singapore)
musical culture. There are no Singapore native 'tribes' or 'aborigines'.
Our population is made up of Chinese, Malay, Indian and other
minority races whose forefathers literally travelled here from
the region to the island to find work. All our "traditional music"
is those brought over from the homeland of our ancestors. In other
words, it's about the same as traditional music from say, China,
Malaysia, India, etc. If there is a "traditional music" here,
it is still in the process of becoming traditional.
As for Singaporean classical music, there are a few local composers
but there are no major recordings. A LOT still has to be done
regarding the musical scene here.
does the Inkpot Classical Music index page look out of shape/untidy/messed-up
on my monitor/browser?
It's because HTML tags (the things we use to write these pages)
are not universally recognized and interpreted, and that is because
different browsers (eg. Internet Explorer and Netscape) may display
the same command/tags differently. (I wonder why...) The final
look of the index page also depends on the desktop area size of
For best results, visits to the Inkpot should be made at a desktop
size of 800x600. The Classical
Music Homepage is customized/optimized for Netscape Navigator
4+, but should also look fine on Internet Explorer 4+. In Internet
Explorer 3, text in the articles will spill underneath the sidebar.
This is because IE3 does not recognize the "blockquote" command.
A background design should appear behind this text. If it doesn't,
it's because you are using a browser that does not recognize
the table-embedded "background" tag.
For font, the Editor prefers Tahoma at 10 points. Again, we
apologize for the lack of universality in this unfortunate world.
a Flying Inkpot?
It's sort of a pot of ink with wings... OK, OK, The Flying Inkpot
is a Singaporean e-zine written on a voluntary basis by "an entourage
of journalists, poets, students, designers and loony people from
all other professions", focussing on the local arts and entertainment
scene. It is divided into various sections, including Theatre,
Classical Music, Film, Music (presently a bit dead), Books (ditto)
and Poetry. We publish stuff approximately every two weeks. The
key word here is mostly "fun". For more details of the history
of our name, go to The Flying
do you guys review other than concerts and CDs?
The philosophy is simple - we will more or less publish anything
to do with classical music, such as reviews of classical music
books, introductory articles to composers or works and guides
to buying CDs, as well as "ads" for upcoming performances. If
there is something you would like to see up at the Inkpot Classical
Reviews, such as an ad for your upcoming performance IN SINGAPORE,
email the details to the Classical
In theory, we could also publish interviews with performers,
articles on music appreciation, features on instruments, "How
To Prevent Your Cello's A-String From Snapping In Your Face"
articles and so on.
where's that [insert composer's name] article I saw two months
ago! You didn't delete it did you????
Worry not - no articles are ever deleted from the Inkpot. Old
classical music reviews can be found at the Classical
Music InkVault. A tiny handful (about 3) of articles are inactive
due to lack of updating.
really HATE your reviews and reviewers. What can I do to let off
all this steam inside me?
Simple. If you disagree with our way of demonstrating our opinions,
the best thing you can do is to write for us. We love to have
different views on things. Really, if you hate our choice for
the best Brandenburg Concertos or Planets, or if you think there
should be more articles on Brahms, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky or
Mahler, the best way you can correct this is to WRITE FOR US.
Contact the Classical Editor
for more info! Please!
I would like to write for the Inkpot Classical Reviews! What should
Simple! Write your review, provide the CD/concert information
following the format of the articles you see here (you can download
a basic HTML CD Review Template here)
and send them to the Classical
Editor, either as a HTML or text file. We'll take over from
there. Remember, though, that we'll still be the ones making the
final decisions on editing and publication. For more information,
contact the Classical Editor.
this a purely Singaporean thing? If I live abroad, can I write
for the site?
The Flying Inkpot is primarily a Singaporean e-zine focussing
on the local arts and entertainment scene. However, things like
CDs and books are readily available internationally, so in fact
foreigners are welcome to write reviews of any widely-available
material for the Classical Music department. Contact the Classical
Editor for more details.
Melisma is this group of notes which you sing to a single syllable.
You know like the "u" in "Myyyyyy head IS stu-uuu-uuUUUUU-uuu-UU
(uuuuuUUuu) UU-UuuuUUUuuu-UUUUU!-CK between the elevator doors!!"
from the oratorio Living in a Tall Story.
"Add a comment" things... are they working?
Well, there was a LONG period in the first half of 1997 when this
gadget wasn't working properly, and caused "errors" like sending
comments to the wrong article, or not at all, etc. This has been
"Add a comment" things... what if I wrote something I regret later
on? Can I correct my comments?
Yes, just send your corrections to the Classical
Editor, and we'll take care of it from here, as soon as possible.
But take care not to misuse this privilege, ok? We still make
the final decisions.
when do you actually do updates of new articles? I notice sometimes
things appear in between issues.
Well, we try to be updated and sensible about timings in general
by keeping a flexible schedule around the one issue per fortnight
thing. It's like if we attend a concert on the day a new issue
goes up, it's a bit odd to have the review appear two weeks later,
especially if it could be written soon after the concert. So in
such cases, we'll put up a review as soon as it is ready. These
are tagged with a
tag to indicate it is a latecomer in the current issue.
These may also happen with articles which revolve around a certain
date, like Christmas articles or composer anniversaries.
think you guys write in a haphazard way. Where's the objectivity
and seriousness? Don't you have any rules?
No fixed rules apply here. Although we follow certain guidelines,
we insist on being free to do what we want. None of us are being
paid to write here. Of course, we write in the hope that someone
will find our words useful and enlightening, but you must understand
we cannot please everyone. We just hope that by being honest with
ourselves, the subject and to the reader, we can somehow do justice
to the composer and his/her music.
We can be serious, and we can be completely irreverent. It is
admittedly true that sometimes, we don't really expect a lot
of people to "get" what we are saying, but that's the way with
you guys get paid?
Those of us with regular jobs get some money, but writing for
the Inkpot is mainly a voluntary service. We do have perks though,
like free tickets to concerts we review and the occasional sponsored
CD from generous individuals. Sometimes, people even give us food.
your CDs and tickets all sponsored?
Unfortunately, no. Almost all the CDs we review are personal purchases.
We are a voluntary group. There are exceptions: tickets are kindly
provided for our reviewers by the Singapore Symphonia Company,
which manages the Singapore Symphony
Orchestra. We also receive sponsorship of some Naxos titles
from Rock Records, the local distributor for the label; and HMV
Singapore also procures us great stuff. Because of these kind
people, we can now have a proper lunch.
In any case, we are more than happy to receive any form of
sponsorship to help (or persuade) us to review more stuff.
Some of the CDs we review are in fact provided by private individuals.
In addition, we are more than happy to receive any form of
sponsorship to help (or persuade) us to review more stuff.
Oh, I said that already... Well, anyway, we
are more than happy to receive any form of sponsorship
to help (or persuade) us to review more stuff.
I request that you review something?
Well, if one of our writers feels up to it, why not? You could
er... "persuade" us even more by providing us with the CD in question,
either as a loan or as a sponsored item... If you wish a specific
reviewer to write the article, do specify who too.
If you are involved in or with the performance/performers of
a particular concert, you can also "persuade" us to review it
here by providing us with tickets. If we haven't bought any
do you pronounce "Dvorak", "Haydn", "Saint-SaŽns", "Gůrecki" and
"D'VO-zhak". First syllable has "owe" sound.
"HIGH-dn". Last syllable a short "dern" sound.
"SARH-sawh". Do it nasally.
"POO-lank". It's his 100th birthday in 1999, BTW.
don't you have a classical links page?
Well, at the moment, we don't want anyone to get lost in a link-byrinth.
We prefer to keep down the number of times you need to request
for a new document (download more stuff). Everything necessary
should be easily and quickly accessible. We hope. We may start
a links page in the future, though.
who is the "Editor" of the Classical Inkpot page??
When we started, it was our general editoress of the entire Flying
Inkpot, Rebecca Wan.
Isaak Koh took over
at the end of 1996, and handed the reigns to the current editor,
Chia Han-Leon in June
1997 when he (Isaak) had to return to the army to serve the remainder
of his National Service.
does the Inkpot Classical Music index page change so much?
It's because the current editor (see previous previous question)
is a diehard perfectionist.
He was the first composer to suffer Death by Conducting. You see,
in his days (the early Baroque), conducting was done by banging
a staff on the ground. He struck his toe one day, refused to see
the doc, got infected with gangrene, and kicked the bucket. Ouch.
you have any burning questions for us, just email them to the