Interpreting “Flowing With The Waves v1.2”

Ivan Chew - ProfileSome songs hit me.

And some songs miss.

Adrian’s “Flowing (now with Thunder!) With the Waves v1.2” was a hit with me. For some reason, I had that nice tingly goose-bumpy feeling after listening to v1.2.

Adrian and I bumped into each other online and chatted about his version 1.2.

I informed him that when I first heard v1.2, I thought i liked the first version better. But after comparing the two, I realised v1.2. had more “feeling” to it.

Adrian wanted me to elaborate on what I meant by that. My interpretation would mean a lot to him, he added.

So I said I’ll blog it. But I qualified that he shouldn’t expect any literary analysis. This is purely my translating the goosebumps to words.

Here goes my ramble:

If both songs were a drink — then his first version was like tea/ coffee concoction from Starbucks, and his v1.2. was Chinese tea brewed simply in a teapot.

I’m not referring to cost/ quality here. I’m talking about the taste.

I like the Green Tea/ coffee concoction from Starbucks. The one with The Works (whipped cream). It’s tasty. It’s satisfying.

But I tend to go back to a simple brew of Chinese tea. Somehow, the simpler brew (drank without sugar; it’s just hot water to tea leaves) is more complex.

The Starbucks concoction hits me straight in the taste buds. First sip and I taste the creaminess and icy sweetness and bitter tea taste. It’s delicious. Subsequently each sip is about the same. Delicious but pretty consistent.

The Chinese tea is more subtle. When the tea hits the tongue, I sense the slightly toasted or fermented flavour. And then aftertaste hits. So it’s like the layers of taste slowly revealing itself.

Adrian’s first version was like a big wave hitting me, wave after wave. The big electric lead. It’s nice. Like the Starbucks drink, the melody is pretty consistent. I enjoy the song. And then it’s done.

“Flowing with the Waves”


V1.2 was like the Chinese tea. It starts off relatively slow and subtle. Then in comes the electric lead. It’s not as loud as the first version. Listened in totality, the entire song now takes a different feel. There’s also the ambient synth sound effects in the background, overlapping with the waves (it’s not in the first version).

“Flowing with the Waves1.2”


To me, v1.2. had a gentler and simpler feel. Yet in its simplicity, it was more complex that the first version. I listened to the song and imagined how it was put together, how it was engineered, how the acoustic lead was composed. I appreciated the effort into making the song simpler.

And in doing so, it was deeper.

It helped that Adrian explained to me (that evening) the circumstances in which he wrote Flowing With The Waves. I knew what he was trying to interpret musically was this sense of being free — letting go of one’s worries, like how seawater flowed with the waves.

The first version was more like “riding the waves” while v1.2. was closer to “flowing with the waves”.

Riding waves takes power.

But to flow, one needs a self-confidence that comes with acceptance. That was infinitely more comforting.

It spoke of a quiet kind of power.

~ Ivan


~ by Ivan Chew on November 6, 2007.

3 Responses to “Interpreting “Flowing With The Waves v1.2””

  1. Phoarrrrrr!! Now I can have a good night’s sleep. That was pretty deep man. Thanks for the effort analyzing it. It took me a while to decide to change it. Like your version of Into the deep as well. You decided to bite the bullet and change some parts due to comments. I realised that while an artist should not overplease the crowd, for amatuers like us, some of these comments are totally constructive and actually contribute to the song quite a bit. Of course we need to retain some semblance of originality.

    Spot on with that power thingy I tried to convey with that song. I remember standing on one of the breakwaters talking to my friend before I made a major decision. It was as though the waves were beckoning that decision. The waves were strong that day and the wind was blowing strongly as well.

  2. […] Post – “Interpreting ‘Flowing With The Waves v1.2′” (by […]

  3. Starbucks does hit you in the taste buds weather that’s good or bad I have no clue but wu-long tea also does hit me in the taste buds and in the stomach in a good way something starbucks is unable to do.

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