[Saturday, 13 Mar-2010] After a tough week at the office (for Elaine anyway), we decided to make the most of the weekend with several planned excursions for Saturday. After carefully planning our route, timing, and modes of transportation we headed off down town for a fun filled evening of entertainment.
The World of Ancient Egypt
After our first visit to the National Museum of Singapore back in December, we enjoyed it so much we knew we would certainly return at some time during our tenure in Singapore. This came to be true soon enough, as a touring exhibit opened in January that captured our attention-- The World of Ancient Egypt. We went to the exhibit, and at that time purchased memberships-- at a break-even cost equivalent of two visits, and valid for two years. What a deal!
The exhibit, a collection of Egyptian artifacts on tour from the Austrian Museum of History, although not a large collection, was quite well done. We enjoyed the exhibit, although it was crowded, and sometimes difficult to view some of the smaller artifacts on display.
Some time after our visit, we received an e-mail inviting us, as museum members, to a limited private tour of the exhibit. Elaine signed us up, and we looked forward to our appointed tour date, this past Saturday evening.
Our tour turned out to be very private-- only three others and the tour guide made six, and were the only people in the entire exhibit hall. The tour was presented by a volunteer docent from France named Benedict. She was quite knowledgable of the exhibit and its artifacts, or appeared so, and able to answer most questions presented to her. She told us that her preparation for the exhibit required over six months of research and study, and that this had opened new worlds for her-- her background was in finance, and not in Egyptology or history. Her English was exceptionally good, with a beautiful French accent, giving the presentation a very international flavor. Only a few of her pronunciations caused me pause in my comprehension-- I quickly adapted to her meaning in explanations of the Egyptian practices for the "diseased", when actually meaning the "deceased".
The tour was wonderful, and although our second viewing, it was like a completely new exhibit for us with the tour guide presentation.
After the tour we made our way (after briefly getting lost) to an Indian restaurant in downtown Singapore, for a wonderful dinner of various Indian dishes, including one 1-alarm, and one 4-alarm on the spice index. I politely declined the 4-alarm (with only a small taste)-- as I am generally warm enough enduring Singapore's tropical climate.
Mosaic Music Festival 2010
After dinner, we walked over to The Esplanade, the theatre building adjacent to the Marina Bay, where the Mosaic Music Festival was under way. This is a ten day event, similar to the Gene Harris Jazz Festival in Boise, or the Lyle Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho. There are both free events, and pay events, and there are workshops for musicians, and musician students. However Mosaic spans many genres of music styles. A couple of the pay-event performers include Branford Marsalis Quartet and Kool and the Gang (didn't know they are still touring).
We arrived just in time to catch the end of the last set of The Greg Lyons Quintet, a local contemporary jazz band. We then wandered to the outdoor theatre (backed up to Marina Bay) where we greeted by the sounds a local Singapore band (Blue on Blue) playing a very nice cover of Hey Joe (Jimmy Hendrix). This was followed by a Led Zepplin tune, and some other blues numbers. Excellent! After a short break, a jam session featuring the members of Blue on Blue, and a Thailand blues band called Skunk Jive. Amazing! We started to leave, but were lured back to listen the last toe-tapping number of the evening from the combined band blues jam. We stayed so late that the MRT had closed for the night, and we had to take a taxi home.
We hope to visit again later this week to hear some reggae.
The blues band Blue on Blue plays on stage at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, with Marina Bay in the background, during day #2 of the Mosaic Music Festival.
Blues band Skunk Jive performing at the Mosaic Music Festival. The band is from Thailand, and sound like they sing the blues from Chicago, IL. The female band member, playing guitar here, is their featured vocalist, and may be able to hold her own against legendary blues singer Ruth Brown, or Janis Joplin.
Lights of downtown Singapore on Marina Bay provide a backdrop for the MOSAIC Music Festival at the Esplinade Outdoor Theatre.