"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Travel
December 13, 2010

The Extraordinary Year

It has been an extraordinary year. In a nutshell, I launched a music production company, staged my first public photo exhibition, completed my third certificate with BerkleeMusic, attended a top flight photo tour, achieved Logic Master Pro certification with Apple and spent close to four months on the road, including first-time trips to Cambodia and […]

It has been an extraordinary year. In a nutshell, I launched a music production company, staged my first public photo exhibition, completed my third certificate with BerkleeMusic, attended a top flight photo tour, achieved Logic Master Pro certification with Apple and spent close to four months on the road, including first-time trips to Cambodia and Taiwan and a long awaited return to India.

Early in the year I created Soundwallah, my music production company. During the year SoundWallah has worked with a number (OK, not a very big number) of clients on sound identities, theme music, sound design, audio installation and music technology. SoundWallah is also a wrapper for my ongoing software beta-testing, audio design and a few other projects.

I attended the MusicMatters conference here in Hong Kong. Although MusicMatters is more of a big-end of the industry conference, it was a great experience, helped me forge some good networks and confirmed for me that creating SoundWallah was a wise move.

During the year I also went from being just another guy with a camera and a flickr account to a publicly exhibited photographer. Of course, I’m still a small fish in a very big pond. But, the fact I was able to do OK in the challenging conditions of Ladakh, learn a lot from David and Matt on the tour and mount a public display with the Fuel Arts Series only a few weeks later was significant for me.

In contrast to previous years, a lot of my writing in 2010 didn’t make it onto the blog. I got back into doing a little commissioned writing and reviewing and continued working slowly (and quietly) on two long-term projects. In May I attended a great workshop on travel writing with Claire Scobie.

It was a good year in the kitchen, exploring a lot of new recipes. In particular I focussed on Indian food, inspired by my trip in September as well Mexican and Italian food, inspired by two fantastic cooking classes (both at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, here in Hong Kong), with Chef Ignacio Granda from Mexico and my personal hero of TV cooking, Antonio Carluccio.

Health wise it was a mixed year. I sustained a good exercise programme, built around Pilates and personal training. But, I came down with two severe colds during the year, which each robbed me of a week. Moreover, the experience of altitude sickness in India is one that I won’t forget in a hurry.

Compared to recent years, 2010 has been about “shipping”, as Seth Godin describes it. In recent years I’ve had lots of great ideas and done quite a few cool things. But, it’s mostly been unfocussed, indiscriminate and occasionally anonymous activity. Sure, everything I’m doing right now is small-scale. But, there’s a greater sense of clarity and purpose to it all. And, there are results to show for it.

I’ve learnt, perhaps the hard way, that it doesn’t always pay to share your plans for the future. Part of me always wants to be open and transparent about what I’m working on. But, in this age of hype, it might be better to be a little more circumspect.

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Ms Jiff 12 years ago

“I’ve learnt, perhaps the hard way, that it doesn’t always pay to share your plans for the future. Part of me always wants to be open and transparent about what I’m working on. But, in this age of hype, it might be better to be a little more circumspect.”

In sharing plans I pitched one writing concept to a popular HK website and they liked it so much they made it their own without a backwards glance!

    Fernando Gros 12 years ago

    Ms Jiff – sadly I’ve had similar experiences.

    BTW. I’ve added your blog to my reader. Looking forward to reading more of your adventures in HK.

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