Valerie Lo – photographer

Valerie Lo took photos of my melodica at a jam session and made me feel like a star. On Facebook she asked me what the instrument is called, because she asked around and nobody knew. I looked at her pictures with my son Miles, and said: Wow, someone took photos of me who doesn’t love me (ie not husband or relative). I must be a real musician now!

I asked Valerie if she would create an image for Sabah Songs, using some things belonging to me: an old silver pocket watch, old manuscript, and wire spectacles.

To me, manuscript and specs represents Study and Effort. The manuscript is MY tattered Chopin book from 1974, so this is personal – that’s my teenage frustration and tears staining those pages! The pocket watch is Time. It is old, like Music.

I wanted Valerie to photograph these alongside a PC keyboard, or something else modern – a plastic Bic pen, an iPod or USB thumb drive – to show that music thrives and flourishes in today’s plastic, and digital world. Valerie used a pen as her modern object. From her Facebook comments, people liked the pocket watch in particular, very much.

The picture was for the Education section of my blog, largely dedicated to someone called Mr. Loud. He has spent a lifetime in education in KK, and he really thinks outside the box. I wrote up the stories he told me, and I hoped that over time, Sabah Songs would be an archive for him, somewhere to record his legacy in English. But this has all stopped. Maybe one day someone will let him know that Sabah Songs is growing, and it would be great to re-open that communication channel.

Valerie took a picture of Annabel Tiu which was perfect for my Moses de Silva story. Moses described the effort he and his fellow students put in to create a really grand show for their final recitals, before they graduated. He said he had a vision for the orchestral performance, and learned about lighting and stage management from friends.

He talked about how Annabel helped him so much, and I really wanted to find something which captured all that. Valerie had the perfect shot. Annabel was beautiful in her performance with Roger Wang and Re:Mix, and the blue light beams in this picture made me think of Moses’ determination to create lighting effects for their recital.



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