THE FACTS OF LIFE – 7. RISK

RISK COVER

Palm Valley, Singapore Botanic Gardens. Music, lyrics, musical arrangement and vocal arrangement by Kennie Ting. Photography and artwork design by Kennie Ting.

 

RISK is the very last song I wrote for the planned album, THE FACTS OF LIFE. It was the 15th song in the album, and I completed writing, arranging, recording and mixing the demo in New York City, rather than in Singapore.

The song describes that moment of (delicious) stillness when one realises one has fallen in love with a friend, and that the other party possibly-maybe feels the same way; but neither one is ready to tell the other his true feelings, for fear it might ruin the friendship.

This is a sort-of sequel to URBAN.  In that song, the mood shifts at the bridge, where I sing, “How come it’s so hard for us to hold this moment? / Why can’t time just stop where it is now?”

In RISK, time does indeed STOP.  Indeed the first line of the song is “Time just stops, when I’m with you…”

The night is late, our protagonists have been walking the streets of the city for hours, unwilling to part ways. The night is still, all around is silence: for our protagonists, the universe consists of just them, and nothing else.  A single exquisite moment extends to infinity; transcends space and time.

I wanted to capture this rapturous stillness; this throbbing of hearts in sync in the middle of the night; this magical phenomenon of hands touching but just shy of being in each other’s embrace.

I transposed and translocated this song from Tokyo to Singapore at night. In style, it references an Old Singapore, laced with hints of Shanghai and Hong Kong. The mood is nostalgic; in essence, the song evokes a 1920s Shanghai jazz standard – just a grand piano, double-bass and voice; but with a touch of soft-rock by way of the drums, to evoke the contemporary-tropical night-time vibe unique to Singapore.

In my last post I spoke of the difference between Fulfillment, Pleasure and Happiness. I like to think that Happiness consists of this Stillness; this voluptuous silence between two almost-lovers, not yet ready to take the next step, but so enraptured with each other, that neither refuses to end the night and the precious time spent in each other’s company.

Again, this is only a demo. So it is best enjoyed with headphones.

LYRICS:

Time just stops, when I’m with you / You don’t know this and… / I don’t want to tell you just yet / But somehow we’ve become more than friends / You didn’t notice / But I’ve known it for sometime. 

It’s in the way we stare at each other / It’s in the way we talk when we don’t talk.

CHORUS: I’m so glad I took the risk / So glad I chose this card with your name written on it / You know it came with no warning. / I’m so glad I took the risk / So glad I walked that mile / But I’m scared I would spoil it / If I told you that I love you.

I want you to hold me tight / So I can’t breathe / And my life would be in your hands / Now would that be enough for you / To understand / Just how I feel inside? 

It’s in the way the stars explode inside me / It’s in the way I want you by my side.

CHORUS 

I’m scared… I would spoil it… If I told you that… 

Time just stops when I’m with you / You don’t know this / Maybe I will tell you some time…

© 2010 / 2019 Kennie Ting. All Rights Reserved.

About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
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