Friday, August 21, 2015

Silent Scenery - "Play, Rewind, Repeat"

I have been a huge fan of Silent Scenery, and have been following them since the debut of their first album released in the year 2008. Their music is unique, one of its kind, and at the same time tunes that can be easily blended into our daily lives, becoming loosely described as "the soundtrack of your life". In every opportunity that I could find I would catch their performance live on stage and did my best to shoot photographs, and then video recording in later days. Silent Scenery has come a long way, having successful Asian tour (all over Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines, just to name a few) and subsequently launched their second album in 2011. Unfortunately all good things come to an end as the members of the band parted ways and Silent Scenery was officially disbanded in early 2013. My heart was broken. I even could not make it to their finale show before their indefinite absence from the local music scene!

I think my biggest regret was not being able to do justice to their performance in my photographs, due to the lack of equipment (imagine shooting with an Olympus E-410 and E-520 in dimly lit cafe or bar, with just mere kit lenses back then), and my inability to shoot high quality videos (what is music if you do not have good video recording?). I have only recently started to polish my skills in shooting video of live music performance (mostly Ariff AB and a few other local artists) and I have learned and improved so much. I have even started to consider the audio quality of my recording a priority! I have always thought to myself if only Silent Scenery was still playing, I could have recorded much better videos with what I can do now (equipment wise, and skills). 

Then suddenly, a few weeks ago, the dormant Silent Scenery Facebook page pinged a notification on an upcoming event, some sort of a reunion show, playing ONE more time, one last time, together with their friends Lightcraft (from Indonesia), Telephony and Take Two (from Singapore). I cannot believe this was happening! Last night was the show and boy, it was a blast seeing Silent Scenery performing live again one more time. Though the evening was short, it was one awesome evening to remember. 

The venue was at Live Fact at Taman Danau Desa, and I went there immediately after work. I brought along the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and M.Zuiko lenses 12mm F2, 25mm F1.8 and 75mm F1.8. Knowing that I can get near, the 12mm F2 is the primary lens, and 25mm was already too tight in many scenarios. Lighting condition was horrible (purple) but that was to be expected from such gigs. Though I originally intended to shoot more stills, somehow, instinctively in the final moments I decided to tilt my balance over to video recording. 

Here are the two videos, shot in full HD 1080p at 60 frames per second! Video was all recorded hand-held with only 12mm F2 lens. 

SILENT SCENERY - ANONYMOUS INTRODUCTION & FESTIVAL



SILENT SCENERY - STOP MOTION & FRAGMENTS


Video quality was not good, due to the extremely poor lighting. Even shooting stills at F1.8 I needed to use ISO12,800 in most of my shots to achieve at least 1/100sec shutter speed. I dare not go anything lower than that due to the band members constantly banging their head and shaking around on stage. White balance was a nightmare to handle but at the end of the day, I decided to just screw the technicalities, jump the ISO to 12,800, shot whatever I can and most, most important of all: ENJOY THE MUSIC!!!!















You can check out Silent Scenery at the following:
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/silentscenery
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/silentscenery

Special thanks to Ivan, Seikan and Kit for making the night so awesome! All the best to everything you do and Silent Scenery will always be in my playlist, and be the soundtrack of my life.

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