Saturday, June 02, 2012

Yusnor Ef Lyricist: 50th Wedding Anniversary

My Hari Raya Puasa Posting


This posting is for all but especially for my Muslim friends. Here is a love story that happened right here on our little island.

Hari baik, bulan baik.  Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.

Love is not finding someone to live with;
It is finding someone you can't live without*

An invitation to a wedding anniversary dinner took me and my wife to the Sheraton Hotel at Scotts Road for a night of feasting and music.  Cultural Medallion 2011 winner for excellence in an artistic field, Yusnor Ef and his lovely wife Jamila Jan were celebrating their 50th Golden Wedding with more than 200 invited guests that included a Singapore cabinet member Assoc. Prof. Faishal Ibrahim.  And the TV cams were there to record the occasion.

A band was in attendance on the high stage to accompany the various Malay artistes who were present that night. The evening's entertainers provided songs composed by Yusnor himself. 

There were at least a dozen and more songs performed, out of the 250 that he composed these past 50 years. Many personal tributes by family, friends and colleagues of the couple were given.
Even after many years of marriage,
I still bring home fresh-cut flowers,
It's the little things that keep love alive...*

What was just as important were the table gifts that Yusnor and Jamila provided for guests that evening, the usual traditional red boiled egg in a glass container and, a totally unexpected present of three box-files (Musim 1, 2, 3) that included 9 DVD's coprising 108 of his compositions, encased and presented in a black and gold folio. There were gasps around the wedding hall as guests received them. 

These discs are music videos and some of the songs included in the DVD's are: Gelisah, Normilah, Kaseh Sayang Suami Isteri, Aku, Dia Dan Lagu, Bimbang, Pepatah Pujangga, Anak Zaman Ini, Kawan Ku Bintang Capricon, Joget Idilfitri, Bersabarlah Sayang.
Musim 2 highlights: Gadis dan Feshen, Di Mana Persandingan, Cahaya Bulan Di Ayer Tenang, Joget Malam Berinai, Lanang Tunang Tah Jadi, Penyamun Tarbus, Si-Bujang Tua,Warna Gambaran Hati.

The silver discs are like personal You Tube videos, encased only in this special box collection of his.  Unique indeed.

This occasion wasn't the first time Yusnor had invited me. The other events included the launching of his book, Muzik Melayu Sejak 1940 An. The second was a concert in his honour, where artistes performed his songs at the Esplanade Concert Hall.  The third was an audience with him when his own composition and The Silver Strings', You're The Boy were played by the Wind Symphony conducted by Adrian Tan. (You can read them on the blog.)
An old teacher friend, we used to serve time at primary schools in Pulau Tekong Besar. Meeting at Changi Jetty late morning, we took the same little boat to the island daily. 

It was a 40 minute ride as we became friends on the high seas, with Singapore music as a mutual link that bonded our relationship since 1963. During stormy weather, balancing in the small sea-craft could be challenging. I remember as we neared Tekong jetty, others in the boat would shout with relief, "Land ahoy!" 

When I left for overseas studies, Yusnor was transferred to the Curriculum Development Institute Singapore (CDIS), Ministry of Education and mastered the techniques of film making, became a Mass Media consultant and later a producer and director of many Malay TV documentaries. But we kept in touch.

We have been contacting each other ever since.

Age does not protect you from love,
But love, to some extent, protects you from age*

I'm sure you are a family member, friend or colleague of Yusnor. Do write in to pen your thoughts about him.
*Personal quotes from Yusnor Ef.
Images: Google: A Personal Collection (Copyrights Reserved).

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