When I am passionate about something, I want to learn how to do it. Instead of just being an audience, I want to be the creator, or at least a participant. That’s what I’ve been doing my whole life. From drawing, to martial arts, tennis, design, diving, snowboarding, cooking, protesting, investing, sourcing, selling… etc. Music too.
I got into the 80’s sound from Dublin so much that I wanted to learn how to create that sound. Got lucky and met another guy my age doing part time job after school, he introduced me to his pals and we shared our inspirations. Then we decided to form a band, all while we were in high school in HK. We spent our weekends jamming, without learning a thing about music. Slowly one if us started taking lessons, I learned guitar, our keyboardist learned how to use synthesizers and sequencers from a teacher who later on became a pop/rock music legend in HK who’s garnered a few platinum album. Mr. Tats Lau, right before we got branded by the record company who saw great potentials in him, in the 80’s. he too loved the sound from Dublin.
High school was over. Our keyboardist/bassist moved to Taiwan for his undergrad education. It left only the three of us. By then we’ve already started composing our own music, short on musical theory, high on creativity and curiosity. We had fun, we let Tats listen to a couple of our work. Then time came also for me, who decided to explore the word on no budget, to pursue higher education in college. I left for Paris first, that left only our drummer and other keyboardist, Ian, who was selling, also, keyboards at a musical instrument retail store. There he taught himself how to play, by listening and searching on keys. Totally unorthodox.
He hooked up professional composers and producers, learned from the pros and became a string player himself. First producing karaoke music for laserdisc, then joined the legendary producer of HK, Chris Barbida, and produced a few signature CDs, including doing arrangement for Coco Lee’s first full album released in HK.
Years later I looked him up and caught up with him again in HK. He was already a professional player in field. He told me he was tired, as he could only work at late night, and slept during the day… Typical life of an artist. He said he was ashamed that he was only creating commercial titles, not the conceptual, experimental sounds we used to be crazy about. I told him I was only designing for commercial clients, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of, able to do anything we like without serving a problem-solving goal isn’t really superior to what he (and I) was doing. Choosing to use creativity to solve a communication or market problem is not inferior to the self-serving, always indulgent “fine art” path. Besides, we had no trust fund from parents nor born in wealth, we should be proud to be able to feed ourselves, and family.
We stayed in touch after I returned to the US, few months after I found out from others he was diagnosed with Leukemia, I felt devastated… fast forward more years, he’s battled cancer hard for few years and left the world. I trained and ran a Marathon in Honolulu to raise money for Leukemia to honor him
Our bassist has already earned his PhD, and settled in DC with his new family. Sadly he too left us a decade later after battling pancreatic cancer, we had a few sessions of jamming of our old songs while he was on Morphine, few months before his departure. I drove to his service and said one last goodbye in person.
The music we loved has never left us. We are just preoccupied with obligations in life. It is always a conscious choice. I was lucky that after my divorce from first marriage, I had ample personal time and space after work to explore and indulge in a non-visual way to express and record my emotional contents and visions of the moment, with new found digital tools and analog instruments for sketching ideas on sound… I turned my dining room into a small music studio. Saying no to many single or holiday parties, spending hours, to days in my own world cranking out new pieces. Only after a song is done, I started seeing images in my head, always dark, and sinister, of significant events and history about my dad and myself. I shared my work with some friends… not too long after, I entered a new phase in life, and put my work back on shelf.
When my rep in CA told me and other artists recently that reels are better for SEO promos, and encouraged us to do more reels, I started dabbling on creating video clips in IG. I am having too much fun! It was much harder to use licensed music in the past. Now there’s a good collection for free use by displaying credit to artists. Once a while I use my own (always dark) materials too… then I began ponder how to share my work so others can use them freely in their videos too. I came across a few new online distributors, and entered my work for fun. Their analytics analyzed my remastered work and found them compliant with industry standard.
Now you can find my voice online (Spotify, Amazon, Apple music…etc.), I will remaster and release a new piece every few months… Like most things I do in life, I don’t start by having profitability in mind, but only because I LOVE doing them. NOUS Tea presents you my favorite elixir from nature. Here you see my interpretation of our clients’ brand vision. Now on Spotify you can listen to the soundtrack of my personal life.
A designer, illustrator, repro-media consultant, brand strategist, new product developer, real estate investor, new venture builder, scuba diver, martial artist… and most importantly, husband and father, Filip holds a BFA from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is constantly seeking equilibrium between Form and Function; Purpose and Survival; He is equally comfortable with fuzzy feeling and fussy