It was national service time for Zildjian's youngest artist, Ethan Ong (10), albeit not the usual military way but equipped with the best of Zildjian's cymbals and a sparkly Mapex drum kit. A film crew was commissioned with the task of selecting the best of Singapore's talents for a video project, earmarked for one of the most exciting events this year - The Shanghai World Exposition 2010. Ethan was activated.
Identified as one of CNN's list of top 20 Singaporeans to watch, the recently crowned junior champion of the prestigious China-wide Youth Percussions Competition is the pride of Singapore, or at least that was why film director, Eva Tang, was set bent on flying the boy home for this project over last weekend from Guangzhou where the latter's family currently resides. "Ethan was without a doubt, the choice for me. We are very thrilled to have such a talented and accomplished child drum prodigy who has done our nation proud. Featuring him at the Singapore Pavilion literally delivers the maximum bang in representing our country's youthfulness, dynamism, vibrancy and creativity."
As the project's brainchild, Eva's artistic vision is to produce a three to four minute video of Ethan's drumming history from when he was only three, pounding on Milo tins, to his current artist status at 10, performing complex drum solos on international drumming platforms such as the China Drum Festival in Beijing. The video is designed to first unravel a series of close-ups of a much younger Ethan drumming on his home sofa pillows with tiny hands, before finally revealing a panoramic shot of the now Primary five boy, grooving on a full drum kit and set against the city's spectacular landscape as viewed from the Marina barrage. Scenes from the boy's history, juxtaposed against the nation's unfolding cityscape, are intended to eloquently portray a nation ensynced to progress and harmony.
Other segments of the video include Ethan performing during assembly time at Henry Park Primary School where he is a registered student, Ethan busking outside the newest, ultra-sleek shopping mall along Orchard Road - The Ion, and him playing right in the centre of Singapore National Stadium. For now, we await with bated breath for this stroke of genius to complete!