Some people believe that you’d have to an acquired taste to enjoy jazz. Well, we simply fell in love with this jazz quartet the first time we heard them. With some lounging on mats and others sitting on stools, the crowd grooved to vivacious tunes from White Noise.

Mainly consisting of vocalist, Juliet Pang and pianist, Didi Mudigno, White Noise describes themselves as “rule-breaking” and utilising improvisations to create their own unique sound, much like white noise, which is the random signal in recordings.

The local band presented a passionate performance and aroused the audience with their first original composition, “Water Blue”. Juliet, the bilingual singer-songwriter looked ever so elegant in her monochromatic blue dress. She easily wowed us with her scat singing, a term which is synonymous to the jazz family.

Their next number, “Xiao Bai Tu”, which means, “Little White Rabbit”, had us tapping our feet to the upbeat tempo. Didi produced a flurry of notes and melodies during his piano solo, showing off his technical proficiency and proving the virtuoso that he is in his instrument.

Juliet commented in a soft heartfelt tone that “No More Blues” would speak most to anyone away from home. At one point, we thought they were going to tone it down a bit and perform a dreamy mellow song. But they jolted us with a bright and cheerful recreation of an old song. Drummer Tan Boon Gee, who was invited to play for White Noise, stimulated the crowd with a drum solo; rarely seen in mainstream music.

Another genius in his own field is bassist, Eddie Jansen. We were genuinely impressed by his capability in supporting the band and filling in the empty spaces of their songs. And his solos were simply exceptional, especially during the bands recreation of “Ni Wa Wa/Nature Boy” when he presented an array of bass riffs and licks.

“Ni Wa Wa/Nature Boy” has got to be our personal favourite from them. It displayed a soothing effect with a touch of seductiveness. It clearly got some of the audience in a romantic mood. Interestingly, Juliet used to sing the Chinese rhyme, “Ni Wa Wa” with her childhood friend.

Towards the end, they performed “Tears Alone/Qing Ren De Yan Lei”, which was specially dedicated to Juliet’s dear friend. The song was melodious and heartfelt at the same time, apt for a song about goodbyes. It ended fittingly with a shake of maracas.

White Noise ended on a high with perky set called “Wan Mei Zhi Lu”. Juliet, once again, dazzled the audience by whipping out a short melodica solo.

We simply admire them for their genuine brand of jazz and contemporary standards, areas of music which are not entirely appealing to the mainstream audience. Despite that, it was a pleasant reprieve for the MOSHIN’ team listening to a music style which deserves more attention than it currently has.

White Noise were playing as part of the Singapore Arts Festival 2012, an international showcase of ideas, art and discourse with a distinctive Asian flavour, known for its bold and innovative discussions between vernacular and contemporary art. The festival ran from 18 May to 2 June

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Muhd Dzulridzwan