General Lee/Speaking: Singaporeana

In an extension of our previous collaboration, I will be performing together with my good friends General Lee in General Lee/Speaking: Singaporeana on Thu, 24 March 2022 from 7pm to 8.30pm at the Esplanade’s Concourse.

This is a music and spoken word performance focused on telling Singapore stories and will feature General Lee’s original songs from their their eponymous debut album released in 2016, as well as poems written by me in response to their music.

This interdisciplinary collaboration brings together music and literary arts to imagine (or reimagine) Singaporeana – Singapore stories of our country’s history, myths and legends, and to tell (or retell) them through word and song.

General Lee will also be rearranging their music in collaboration with The Good Company to incorporate acoustic instruments integral to American folk music such as fiddle, banjo, mandolin and dobro, in what is likely to be the first performance of its kind in Singapore.

The Good Company – comprising Kailin Yong, Greg Tucker-Kellogg, Kelly Olafson and Mark James Garratt – is a collective of musicians well-versed in the acoustic instruments that define the sound of Americana, or American folk music. This includes country, bluegrass and old-time music of the Appalachian Mountains.

More information can be found on the Esplanade’s website here.

See you then!

Project Catalyse: A messaging toolkit for methanol as a hydrogen carrier

I’ve recently wrapped up the presentation and publication of Project Catalyse, a messaging toolkit for methanol fuel cell and reformer companies within the Methanol Institute membership.

The project was conceived with the aim of creating a harmonised messaging strategy for participating companies, through fostering greater alignment in the key messages communicated to stakeholders.

In a three-phase exercise that spanned eight months, I worked together with the Institute to:

  • Read and listen to the stories that participating companies told, and the roles they play in providing a pathway to a #decarbonising world;
  • Distil elements of participating companies‘ narratives to craft themes that form the methanol metanarrative; and
  • Weave a framework, as part of the toolkit, to affirm and enhance the stories told by participating companies, thereby deepening connections with their target audiences and beyond.

It’s been a fantastic experience working with the Institute on this project.

I’m awed by and grateful for how storytelling, communication and change management skills can contribute towards the good work the methanol industry is doing in providing immediate solutions to the world today, as everyone works towards a sustainable tomorrow.

Happy World Mental Health Day 2021!

Happy World Mental Health Day 2021

Happy World Mental Health Day!

Today, we’ll see many people telling us to care for others. This is important.

At the same time, I’d like us all to take a step back and have a think about whether we’ve cared for ourselves.

Very often, we think we’re being selfless by putting others first and relegating our own needs to the backburner.

However, when we help others at our own expense, we’re actually being selfish; we end up not being able to help anyone at all, for want of sufficient self-care.

As we advocate for greater sensitivity to others’ mental healthcare needs, let’s also remember our own.

I’ve seen how damaging it is when leaders, friends and family members allow their own mental health issues to overtake them.

So distracted are they by the desire to provide for others that they end up depriving themselves of both self-care, as well as the cognitive bandwidth needed for self-awareness, to recognise how fast they’re falling – or how far they’ve fallen.

In the process, they end up hurting their colleagues, buddies and loved ones, and, in the process, irreparably damaging communities and relationships.

Air travel may seem like a foreign land to us these days, yet the safety guidelines provided during take-off briefings – regarding oxygen mask usage in emergencies – are instructive:

May we always remember to wear our own oxygen masks before helping others wear theirs.