Looking out my airplane window at the vast blackness of the sea below, glowing cargo ships began to appear. First a few, then many, then… the land.
Even at 12:30am the airport was jumpin’. I waited through the customs line, and was eventually admitted entry to Singapore for the second time in two years.
A quick 30 minute cab ride took me halfway across the country to the downtown area where my hotel is. I checked in, called Lesleigh and Theo, and ordered a late night meal. By 3am, I was asleep to prepare for day 1!
My friend, Allyson, from the US Embassy greeted me at the hotel lobby with a smile and a hug. We worked together extensively on our band’s previous program, and she was eager to program me again while I was in the region.
My first visit was to a place called Cheshire Home – we were greeted by Kenny, a high-energy overseer of the facility. He gave us a tour, showed us a slideshow, and told us about the residents there: it’s a home for people with cognitive and physical differences and disabilities. They learn life skills and build community, and also enjoy musical guests from time to time.
I learned one song in Chinese that I was told they liked, and they joined me for many songs on their tambourines, shakers, and soda-cans-turned-percussion instruments.
I then had an extensive interview with a journalist named Kannan from Storm Media. He was a friendly, curious reporter with many questions about my music, influences, and especially my mission. Check out the full piece here: https://storm-asia.com/tony-memmel-guitarist/
My third stop of the day was a 19th century mansion turned local venue called Kult Kafe. The crowd was great, and we enjoyed some singalongs and good company on a warm Singapore night.