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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

A Dream

Updated: Jan 7, 2023

  1. FADE IN

  2. Act 1

  3. INT. STUDIO - 10:30

  4. Using his phone's GuitarTuna App, PETER starts tuning his guitars.

  5. PETER (V.O.): Since Jan 3, 2023, I've been reading and watching media reports about the late composer Joseph Koo.

  6. Tuning a 12-string acoustic one.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In a special TV programme, I learned from his disciples that they had to learn experientially.

  8. Tuning a red electric one.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And in a video clip, I watched that he and his friends, with pre-written lyrics, could compose a melody on the spot.

  10. Tuning a blue electric one.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): For me, I like his first published music in a 1961 song called "A Dream" (夢).

  12. Peter begins to play the song's melody.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): How did he compose it?

  14. Act 2


  16. Repeating.

  17. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It seems that he made use of the pentatonic scale of Eastern Asian music.

  18. Playing.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): A major scale is a 7-note one. The pentatonic scale is a 5-note one.

  20. Repeating.

  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The major pentatonic scale consists of the root, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th degrees of the scale - the 4th and 7th intervals are left out.

  22. Playing.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As the 4th and 7th intervals are semitones, they're generally considered as dissonant.

  24. Repeating.

  25. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): There's no 4th interval in the music...

  26. We hear Peter playing the 7th interval at times.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The timing of the 7th intervals is so appropriate that it resolves any tension and adds a dreamy mood.

  28. Playing.

  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That's why the catchy music has staying power.

  30. Pausing.

  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Who was the lyricist?

  32. Peter surfs the web with his phone.

  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): He's Doe Ching 陶秦, the film director of the 1961 movie "不了情" (Love Without End).

  34. Reading texts on phone.

  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): He wrote the lyrics of three songs for the movie and invited contestants in a competition to provide the melodies.

  36. Pausing.

  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The film director was more concerned about the songs' messages than the tones.

  38. Peter examines the lyrics of the song "A Dream" (夢) on screen.

  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, his structured lyrics were song-like already.

  40. Pausing.

  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The same for my recent Cantopop number with the "HKUST" cum "Red Bird" theme.

  42. Reading.

  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Doe told the story of "life's but a dream, within a dream", in three verses and a chorus.

  44. Reading.

  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): He died in 1969 at the age of 54.

  46. Pausing.

  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): If life is a dream, one must wake up before one can dream again.

  48. Pausing.

  49. PETER (V.O.): For the dead, I like to think that they're having an eternal dream.

  50. Act 3


  52. Staring at his guitars, Peter is in thoughts.

  53. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Whether "life is but a dream, within a dream" or not, it's fleeting.

  54. Pausing.

  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): If life's a dream, I've been striving to make it musical, meaningful and colourful.

  56. Peter grabs a guitar to play.

  57. 'PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I only began my singer-songwriting in my late 50s. My best song is the last one that I've written.

  58. Having played the minor pentatonic scale, Peter plays the major one.

  59. THE END

  60. FADE OUT

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