Ehipassiko

I turned up for it because Daniel sms-ed me a week ago and told me about this. Partly I was curious as I have never attended a Buddhist concert before. Partly I was obliged because I had missed out on meeting Daniel from months and months ago – it was one thing or another that got in the way.
The concert organised by Sukhihotu was free but I had to register for the tickets online. Easy-peasy. It was really a breeze as the confirmation came into my inbox two days later. Oh how I love it when technology makes life simpler!
Apparently, this Echoes of Buddhism Concert is concert number 2. So it means there was a concert sometime ago, maybe last year, and I missed out on it. The concert featured i.Gemz, M.O.D and Brother Daniel Yeo (yes, that friend of mine from across the Causeway who is deep down a talented singer and composer of Buddhist songs).
I knew nothing about these groups/singers. I only know a Buddhist composer/singer called Imee Ooi from her Metta chant because that’s a truly beautiful and uplifting hymn/chant.
But the Buddhist concert on Saturday night at the Caring Society Complex was lovely despite some annoying hitches. For one, the tickets proclaimed “concert starts at 7pm sharp!”. To this, I’d been quite amazed because everyone knows Malaysians and their off-timing. I figured that for once, this concert was going to begin at 7pm sharp. When we arrived, a sizeable crowd was milling about the ticket counters but it didn’t seem that anything was happening soon. Later the emcee tells us that they’re starting a bit late because the VIPs had not arrived yet! Aaargh. Malaysian time wins again!
The i.Gemz were the main act but they came into the concert during the second half which by this time, some people had left (who could blame them? It was almost ten pm). I wished the i.Gemz came on earlier as they were a great group of harmonies – young and talented, singing English Buddhist hymns which didn’t sound preachy at all. (Yes, I think being preachy takes the joy out of life.)
Comprising four beautiful lasses and four lanky guys, i.Gemz is, according to Daniel, the second generation of Buddhist singers groomed by Datuk Dr Victor Wee himself. That’s why the vocals especially of the girls were strong. I especially enjoyed Chia Sue Ann and Chia Sue Lynn’s melodious voices as they sang about gratitude and blessings. It helped that Sue Lynn was pretty as a peach!
Daniel also sang a few songs that night. His baritone voice, his ability to switch between English, Cantonese and Mandarin, and his self-deprecating comments about his baldness endeared him to the crowd. Daniel’s specialty is composing Buddhist hymns/songs for children. In fact, this guy whose day job is at Carl Zeiss (yep, yep, that optics company which you would have known from that Nokia ad featuring Gary Oldman) teaches at his local Sunday School using songs and games. I could see that his songs could be quite addictive as I caught myself singing “ehipassiko, come and see you’ll know…” But I think that is really a good idea to teach Dhamma using songs.
What is different about Daniel is that he produces these Buddhist hymns and songs for sale. Yes, yes, I know about Dhamma being free, and free distribution of Dhamma books gets grateful sadhu’s from all BUT I agree that Daniel has to eat and live too. He spends time creating, writing, polishing and marketing these songs so he does have every right to sell the CDs. This ever-busy Singaporean also comes to Malaysia regularly to conduct sharing.
Anyway, you can get a sample of his songs from his website at www.d-kidz.com for your children. I believe you can also get his CD (as well as i.Gemz and M.O.D) from Sukhihotu over at Gottlieb Road.
And youth being youth, i.Gemz also blog (which youth doesn’t blog these days?) so you can find out more about this cool group over at http://igemz.blogspot.com
Other than some grouses about the emcees who were stumbling over their lines (perhaps they didn’t rehearse?) and the sheer length of the concert (almost 3 hours), I would say that my Saturday night was well and truly spent!
More Buddhist links:
Daniel Yeo’s Chinese Buddhist songs
http://www.buddhanet.net/audio-songs_chinese.htm
(Tip: Download and listen to “Man with love” Cantonese and no, it’s NOT what you assume. It is a true Buddhist song.)
http://justbegood.net
Imee Ooi’s Metta chant in Pali and English
http://www.immmusic.com/product/imm1000.htm

8 thoughts on “Ehipassiko”

  1. may i know the title of the song which u like most n contain the lyrics “ehipassiko, come and see you’ll know…”……..bcos i my looking for song contain ehipassiko since i am organizing a camp with the theme ehipassiko. hope u can help me . thanks

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