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ALBUMS

Writing lyrics and composing music are among my interests. Having produced four albums which are:-

ALBUMS
With His Word (Album 1 - 1990)

Touch

The story of the woman with "an issue of blood" touching Jesus's clothing has been a favourite with preachers. One sermon I remember well emphasised that a crowd surrounded the Lord, with everyone pushing and jostling. Yet Jesus turned around and asked, "Who touched me?" (Luke 8:45) to the throng of people who clawed at Him. The difference was, the woman touched with faith.

And Jesus arose, and followed him and so did His disciples. And behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Him, and touched the hem of His garment. For she said within herself, "If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole."

~ Matthew 9:19-21 (KJV)

Lyrics:

There with the crowd to see this man With the power of healing in his hands
Could a carpenter's son, Be the Lord's chosen one?
Still she dares to hope and believe!

Twelve years of suffering gone by Now the Saviour is right before her eyes
Trembling hands reaching out Wondering but not a doubt
And for those who have faith will receive!

CHORUS:
If just a touch of Jesus His garment to hold
If I may but touch Him I will be made whole
If just a brush with the Master My heart tells me so
If I may but touch Him I will be made whole

Lift up your hearts to Him and pray For the Saviour is here with us this day
Like the woman did then Will you now take a stand?
Will you touch Him as he walks your way?
Chorus

ENDING CHORUS:
If just a touch of Jesus His garment to hold
If you may but touch Him You will be made whole
If just a brush with the Master My friend this I know
If you may but touch Him You will be made whole

Speak With Love And Listen With Your Heart

Sign language has always fascinated me. The beauty of "singing" in sign language often draws an emotional response. It communicates not just with hands but with expressive body and face gestures. I dedicate this song to the hearing-impaired. Let them share the experience of "silent talking" and beat noise pollution! Amen!

Lyrics:

Though I cannot hear I listen in my special way
Through God's love I speak What words can never hope to say
Welcome to my world Come and be a part
To speak with love and listen with the heart

Read my hands as they express a story often told
The love of God will fill your life to full and overflow
Come and praise His Name O how great thou art
He speaks with love And listens with His heart

CHORUS:
We must take the time to show we care
To listen for and hear what isn't there
Just let the Spirit lead
With a sensitivity
To look where others could not see


Let my fingers wave away The sadness in your eyes
There within your tears my soul Can feel its silent cries
When words get in the way Then it's time to start
To speak with love And listen with the heart.

If Only You Were There (Album 2 - 1993)

If Only You Were There

Journey with me to the scene of the crime. Walk the narrow streets of Jerusalem to witness for yourself the brutality inflicted on one who is innocent. Weapons of torture hurting Him who came to save, hatred poured upon Him who is Love personified. View the crucifixtion and listen as rusty nails hammers through flesh and blood. "Father, forgive, for they know not what they do" were the words gasped in His final moments. If only you were there, would you... could you let Him, die in vain?

"He was oppressed and He was afflicted. Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth."

Isaiah 53:7 (NKJV)
Read also: Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, John 19

Lyrics:

The tears He shed, the blood He bled Do you understand?
The lonely road, the heavy load Will you see?
Never a word, from Him was heard Because of loving you
God's only Son, the Work is done He died for you...

CHORUS:
If only you were there to see how He died
If only you were there to watch Him crucified
If only you were there to know He died in pain
Will you let Him? Can you let Him die in vain?


The tears He shed, the blood He bled Now I understand
The lonely road, the heavy load Lord I see
Never a word, from Him was heard Because of loving me
God's only Son, the Work is done He died for me...

If only you were there to hear how He cried
If only you were there to feel His bleeding side
If only you were there to learn He died in shame
Will you let Him? Can you let Him die in vain?

If only you were there I ask you again...
Will you let Him? Can you let Him die in vain?

No Room For Jesus

Christmas 1990, Orchard Road 'Light-up'. Winter landscapes, penguins, dolls, trumpeting angels, Santa Claus and reindeers. The commercial enterprise along Singapore's premier shopping district did not allow much for the meaning of Noel. The bizarre icons displayed often have little relevance to the occasion. In fact, one shopping centre had the audacity to put 'decorations' of demonic creatures like devils and trolls. It is ironical that even today, there is still "no room" for Joseph, Mary and the Lord Jesus!

"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."

LUKE 2:7 (NKJV)

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me."

REVELATION 3:20 (NKJV)

Lyrics:

In the streets of Bethlehem that night they went from place to place
You can tell how weary Joseph was by the look upon his face

And Mary felt the child in her As baby Jesus starts to stir
Still in the end upon a manger to this world the Saviour came
For though they tried to knock on every door
The answer was the same...

CHORUS:
No room for Jesus No room for Him to stay
No room for Jesus So they turned the Lord away
No room for Christ The King of kings and Lord of lords
They had no room, no room for Him

In the city streets one Christmas eve I walked amongst the crowd
All the things I saw just makes me wonder What's it all about?

The glow of the lights on Christmas trees With gifts and toys and things like these
Yet in the midst of Santa Claus and reindeers I could hardly tell
Of where is Jesus, God among us The Lord Immanuel?

REPEAT CHORUS

Now in the realms of paradise I stand I saw from heaven above
Hell's a fiery furnace of lost souls Who rejected Jesus' love

I heard their cries of agony An endless final tragedy
Yet though the Saviour knocked upon Their hearts' door time and time again
They had no part of Jesus and His love Their answer was the same

In Your Temple (Album 3 - 1993)

In The Presence of The King

Lyrics:

In the presence of the King
All bow down
When before His Majesty
We will kneel on holy ground
Lord we fall upon our faces
As we offer up sweet praises
In the presence of the King
All bow down

One Step At A Time (Album 4 – 2004)

Lyrics

Can I Wash Your Feet

 

Wrapped a towel around

With a basin to fill

Preparing the water

To do His will

 

Lowering myself

Choosing to serve

Removing the sandals

Of the ones I love

 

Chorus:

Brother, can I wash your feet?

Let me do what my Lord Jesus did

As the Master did then

With His very own hands

 

For a love that is made complete

Brother, can I wash your feet?

Brother, can I wash your feet?

 

I’ll rinse the towel once more

Please be patient, be still

What the Teacher commands

I now fulfil

 

Gentle I’ll try

To wipe, cleanse and dry

From the feel of your soles

To the touch of the toes

 

Repeat Chorus

Ten minutes – being on stage and in the limelight isn’t as glamorous as it seems. Especially when you’re a tetraplegic on wheelchair. Read about Gilbert’s trials when performing and The Making Of – One Step At A Time.

THE MAKING OF - ONE STEP AT A TIME

Gilbert is very talented. He paints, sings, writes and composes songs." Usually before I cringe at the phrase, I would lighten up the moment by declaring, "But my biggest talent is eating!"

It will not be wrong to presume that if my accident didn't happen, I'd probably be slogging away at an architectural drawing board in an office somewhere in Singapore. I will find it difficult to imagine today what life would have been like for me in a 9 to 5 environment, pursuing the 5 Cs in this materialistic society we live.

Now I read Challenge, Courage, Character, Commitment and Creativity as my personal list to strive for. Having lost the use of my fingers, I made the choice of gritting the brush between teeth to paint. Nights when sleep was distant, my restless mind jostled with words and music to conform into lyrics and song.

A painting can be quite easily hung up the wall for everyone to see and enjoy. It's a different situation when it comes to songs. Days when I was walking around with guitar in hand where music can immediately be played and heard are now not possible. To arrange music for songs can be an expensive option. On the rare occasion where the Wataboshi Music Festival comes around, or sponsers and organizations commission a song, I will get the luxury of hearing my work in its full glory. Singing accapella requires a Celine Dion or a Mariah Carey to make it sound good. A song without music is sort of, like 'pulothitam' without coconut milk!

In 1989, six years after my spinal cord injury, I produced my first music album. It was an act of desperation, putting on the line most of my paltry savings, to "prove" I wasn't as crippled and useless as I was feeling myself to be then. I am glad and relieved to reveal the cost was recouped and profit was made. It was such a delight and encouragement to this fat fellow on wheelchair who was virtually unknown as a "performing artiste". Well, I have since done two more albums with moderate success.

To emphasize how amazing things were for a quadriplegic like myself, I must add that I lost most of my vocal power after my spinal injury. Most quads would be hard-pressed to just breathe and will probably be gasping for air, let alone sing. Some are attached to respiratory machines or require assistance in some form. With the help of a little training in singing lessons learnt during my choir days, I have been able to recover two-thirds of my voice and project it with some force. Practice comes sometimes in the form of shouting matches with my parents!

Producing an album is no easy task, to say the least. I lost weight more successfully while recording the first three cassette albums than whenI was actually dieting! Still, the thought of coming out with a compact disc compilation was quite an allure. What's needed was a collection of good enough songs to warrant such a major investment. It would be a very costly ego trip if otherwise. I had to work my electronic abacus very, very carefully.

It was a nice feeling to be back in the sound studio. Putting on the headphones and staring at the 10 thousand over dollar microphone, I suddenly remembered how intimidating the scenario was the first time I did my recording. Now it seems like old friends coming together, a walk down memory lane. Yet I had to cut short my nostalgia, as studio time is too expensive for such reminiscing. Anyway, there are twelve tracks to work on.

The marvels of modern computer technology is such that I can record over and over again as many times as required. Software tools to stretch my voice, adjust the pitch, cut this and paste that in are easily done in seconds. Although I did not have the quality of a Jackie Cheung or a Jeff Chang, the recording engineer assured me that I was much better than Fann or Zoe. I did wonder, was that a compliment?

Well, come Chinese New Year 1999, this CD project will be completed. That is when the harder task of convincing people to fork out their hard-earned money to buy the album will begin. A chef is only as successful as when people sample his cooking, a songwriter is only as good as when somebody listens to his song. Besides the monetary aspects of such a creative process, there's always the heart and soul that's infused. Perspiration mixed with tears mingled with some blood. It's a very stark description, but it's the way I feel. Like a painter whose life is framed and hung for all to see. I have opened my heart and made myself vulnerable for display and critique. It is an experience I will take in my stride, though I pray that most will be forgivingly gentle. But that's another story. So I will take life one day as it comes, and as my song says, "One step at a time".