Be not MIA

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The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

IT appears Jack Cheong of Deck Lab takes this to heart. The owner of the organisation that was established to bring together local music and art enthusiasts is the brain behind Taiping’s inaugural “The ___MIA concert”, scheduled for New Year’s Eve.

Cheong said he saw the need for musicians, particularly in Taiping, to have a platform to showcase their gifts and talents — using music instruments or performing arts and envisioned no less than a themed music concert to usher in 2015 as it will also be a rocking countdown for the “Ipoh-malis”.

“The logo of the concert is an illustration of a rain tree, which symbolises Taiping and its identity as a town that is famous for high rainfall.

“The three underscores in a row symbolise the void in the music scene in this town that should be filled with new and continuous ideas, the endless possibilities and the vast room to always grow. It also signifies the many opportunities for collaborations that can be explored,” he told The Edge Financial Daily.

In explaining the abbreviation of MIA (pronounced me-a) which stands for “Make It Alive”, Cheong said the abbreviation sounds the same as the Malay word “punya”, which means ownership. And he wants to make mushrooming talents come to life at home.

To take the centre stage are five bands and three dance groups. Showing off their musical talents are the Part-Timers, D-Music,, Tic Tac 2, and the LIA (Alliance). Meanwhile, the troupes that will boogie down to the end of 2014 are Motive Fitness Dance Studio, DM-Funky and the exotic trio of the belly-dance group, Grace Angel.

Contrary to its name, the Part-Timers’ five members are fully dedicated to pursuing their career in music with due diligence. They boast original material and that they never waste the opportunity to participate in music productions and performances. The Part-Timers also mentor up-and-coming talents. LIA consists of three machas who do acoustic covers of hit songs and dabble in indie music. The trio are no strangers to Taiping folk and are well-known at the town’s functions.

The ___MIA concert, complete with food and drinks, will be held at Taiping Heap Thean Kiong Lee Ong Hoo from 8pm and will continue for 30 minutes after the clock strikes midnight. For details, contact Cheong at 012 708 5512 or Haw Han (012 505 7089) or log on to Tickets at RM30 can be obtained at Twin [email protected] Mall and Taiping Sentral.


This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on December 29, 2014.