Lee Hom holding Yvonne for a photo together

I had the privilege of attending Wang Lee Hom’s Music Man II Round II concert at the Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands last Thursday. I was given a free ticket, so I gladly went to watch Lee Hom perform despite not being able to hear him. Attending the concert with me were several members of Homaniacs – the official Malaysian Lee Hom fan club – who provided me with physical and logistical support on top of a delightful companionship.

When my friend checked whether I would like to go, she asked if I could see well. If I could, then I could enjoy it by watching. Hence, I went there expecting to enjoy the show mostly visually. I even brought a monocular along.

I have not attended a live music concert since losing my hearing completely by the end of 2005. Because, I thought it would not be worth the money to attend a music concert when you can’t hear.

When I was invited, though, I was open to the idea, probably because I have made peace with myself and my deafness over the past eight years. I was open to the experience of discovering how I might enjoy a music concert in my present physical, mental, emotional and spiritual condition.

As soon as hall lights went out and stage lights came on at 8:30pm, something told me a memorable night was ahead. Indeed, I was impressed by the entire show’s choreography. It was a two-hour non-stop performance consisting many songs of different genre, each accompanied by elaborate and varying performances. The main dance performer was always Lee Hom himself, utilizing the entire stage. An energy-taxing concert no doubt. No wonder he is well built for endurance.

I did hear the songs. I heard them with all of my other senses. Hearing with our physical ear is only but one way of appreciating music. At Music Man II Round II, I heard Lee Hom by feeling the music beats – the beat of his ‘East-meets-West hip-hop’ music, and the flow of sound waves that vibrated in the air. The light displays and screen shows added to the experience by giving me a better idea of how the songs were. I also felt the emotion and energy with my heart. Seeing Lee Hom in person through my monocular was touching even from a distance. It was very different from seeing his picture or watching him in video. It felt like seeing an old friend at last.

That’s how Lee Hom is to me. Someone I enjoyed listening to when I could hear. I was a teenager – a lifetime ago. I have grown so much since then. But despite having grown and experienced much, my liking for Lee Hom’s music compositions remained unchanged. I will never hear the songs that he composed post-2005. But I am happy just playing the songs I have heard in my mind. I still sing his songs to myself and to whoever that doesn’t mind off-tune singing.

I took a special liking for Lee Hom not because he was good looking, although I like his looks too. Rather, it was his music’s originality. Not every pop singer is a musician. They might write their own lyrics now and then, but not compose their own music. Lee Hom is a musician first and foremost. He has proper and concrete music foundation, and a college degree to prove it, while his singing and popularity came later.

Lee Hom’s singing is naturally produced, not forced. Many singers stretch their vocal cords beyond limit to achieve a wider vocal range and complex sound vibrations. Lee Hom doesn’t bother too much. His focus is in the music composition’s dynamic. And I admire him for this reason. A true musician.

The concert was so comprehensive and elaborate, that I was filled with satisfaction to the brim by time stage fireworks exploded. Little did I know, that there was something more in store for me. I have yet to experience the best of this evening.

My friends and I slowly inched through the crowd of exiting audience. But instead of turning right towards the exit like everybody else, my friends led me to turn left, towards the stage below. When we reached the stage barricades, I thought we were just there to meet up with a friend so we may head home together. But one of my friends said something to the guards who let us through the barricades, more security personel, and finally, into a room at the side of the stage.

This was where, I met Lee Hom, face-to-face.

I told Lee Hom that the last time I attended his concert in Genting, I could still hear him. That was eight years ago. I can no longer hear him now. Yet I am amazed to see how much his performance has improved (evolved).

Lee Hom then calmly wrote to me by paper and pen. I could tell, though, that he was understandably tired.

Lee Hom, if you are reading this, know that I am supporting you in spirit.

Categories: Wang Lee Hom

Yvonne Foong

As a child, Yvonne Foong dreamed of growing up to help others. To achieve her ambition, she began studying to become a psychologist. But things changed when tumours were discovered in her body at the age of sixteen. She was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2 -- a genetic illness with no cure. Fighting for survival, Yvonne turned to fundraising and embarked on a medical odyssey to the United States. Her experiences since then have transformed her into a motivational speaker; inspiring hope, faith and strength. Yvonne is currently working to establish a humanitarian foundation that provides NF patients in Malaysia with financial and logistical support. Visit Works of Gratitude to learn more.

93 Comments

cre8tone · April 2, 2013 at 11:22 am

Always love his songs..

E · April 2, 2013 at 1:34 pm

This is a really special and moving entry. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 And I’m really happy that you got to meet him! 🙂

D · April 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I am so happy for you. Good luck Yvonne and thank you for being so inspirational. 💖

JC · April 2, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Glad to know you had a great time at the concert. I am sure Lee-hom is happy to meet you too, he is a kind hearted person. Good luck and continue to strive towards your goals!

Yoon Hee · April 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm

That’s what I love about Lee Hom. He is not only a musician, but a good person with kind heart. He always inspiring people with his music, he let me truly understand and realize that music and love, there’s no boundaries in between.

weiwei · April 3, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Thanks for sharing Yvonne 🙂 you are such a tough person! I believe Leehom was happy and willing to write to you on paper, even he was exhausted! 🙂 this is the reason why I love him so much.

Phoebe · April 3, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Yvonne Foong , you are a good and loving girl~ ur perseverance, bravery and optimism deserve our respect and learning

Phoebe · April 3, 2013 at 5:06 pm

And thanks for your sharing~

tree · April 3, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Hello:)I’ve just read your article and I’m deeply impressed by your stories. You are so amazing and what you’ve done has set a living example for all of us. Good music can transcend geographical borders and all the external limitations.

And I’m thinking of translating this article into Chinese and post it to weibo.com ,so that more people can get to know your stories. I would definitely not post it anywhere before your permission! 😀 Well…I’m not exactly a fan of Leehom, but I’m touched by his persistence in philanthropy and the idea of chinked-out. BTW, I’m not good at English so maybe it takes time for me to do the translation work…

Anyway ,thank you for sharing !=3=

Yvonne Foong · April 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm

tree: You may translate this article and share it on weibo.com. Thank you for the words of support and encouragement, and thank you for wanting to translate this article. I am sure your effort will go a long way in benefiting others.

Yvonne Foong · April 4, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Cre8tone, we all do, don’t we? 🙂

Yvonne Foong · April 4, 2013 at 10:25 pm

E, thanks for sharing my joy. 🙂

Yvonne Foong · April 4, 2013 at 10:26 pm

D. thank you for sharing my joy and your good luck wish.

Yvonne Foong · April 4, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Yoon Hee, so Lee Hom inspired you about Love? 😉 Tell us your story.

Yvonne Foong · April 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm

weiwei, yes, now I have witnessed his gentle heart too. 🙂

Yvonne Foong · April 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Phoebe, you are too kind. 😀

Alistair · April 5, 2013 at 1:29 am

Im so touched with your story and sharing!
I’m just speechless… 🙂

Again, thanks for your great story, indeed music can be heard using our heart!
Take care! 🙂

MJ · April 5, 2013 at 2:25 am

aww and he reposted your blog post on facebook — obviously he was moved by your story and posted it.

Sean · April 5, 2013 at 2:44 am

+u

Nora · April 5, 2013 at 3:03 am

Dear Yvonne, I also came here through Leehom’s facebook page. He also wrote a lovely entry about this encounter with you, so I hope you saw it too! You are both very inspiring people and I’m glad you got to meet, because it seems this meant a lot for both of you! I wish you the best!

Shark · April 5, 2013 at 5:37 am

Hi Yvonne,
I am so happy for you and for Leehom. You’ve shown him something precious. I am pretty sure that you are now another sauce of power for him to continue his road.
Moments like this count a lot in our life. Carry these moments with you and fight on! 🙂
Wish you all the best.

Sharky

Mable Tan · April 5, 2013 at 5:48 am

Beautiful post Yvonne. What a fantastic way to describe music. It’s so true that music can be felt by all our other senses. Thank you for sharing it with us. Wishing you much love and joy. – Mable

Kate · April 5, 2013 at 8:57 am

In fact , I read your article yesterday , but I felt incredible that Leehom would post your website on his Facebook .
Reading your article , I think I am a lucky person because of having so many things . Your story really inspire me and other people and all of us will keep your persistence in mind forever . You have earned our respects . Thank for your sharing again !

jurren · April 5, 2013 at 9:07 am

Hope everything goes well with you ,healthy body.
Next time see lee-hom ,please must help me say hello,hope he can back to changsha for a concert.

Alice · April 5, 2013 at 9:25 am

Hi Yvonne,

I come here after reading Leehom’s reply to your blog entry. I believe I have come across your name a couple of times on local papers as it sounds familiar. And I am so glad that I check out on your blog today. You are truly inspiring and thank you for that, just as much as I thank leehom for his music.

Kudos to what you have done and I believe you are truly blessed by God for being a living testimonial for Him and an inspiration to us. Keep up the good work! 🙂

Esther · April 5, 2013 at 9:33 am

Thanks for your beautiful blog, Yvonne. I was very touched by it. I’ve always liked Lee Hom because he is one of those truly talented and genuine artistes/musicians and he’s so down to earth. Glad you had the opportunity to meet him. Wish I was there!

Caroline in Chengdu · April 5, 2013 at 9:46 am

I was moved by your words and emotions the day before yesterday,Yvonne.I saw this article on weibo,someone shared it here.
You have an open mind and a free soul.Enjoy your life with what you have,and we can feel you and your spirit.
Thank you!

Fiona · April 5, 2013 at 9:48 am

Hi! Yvonne!
Leehom saw your blog and has shared his thoughts both on his weibo and facebook. Check them out. 🙂

Huiping · April 5, 2013 at 10:32 am

Thank you for the inspiring input! There are words that need not to be said. There are feelings that can be felt through so many ways of senses besides hearing.

Best wishes from China!

aunchian · April 5, 2013 at 10:44 am

Many would have given up when they are born without one of the five senses.
Even more would have given up after experiencing a loss of one of the five senses.

Yvonne,
It is proud for us to know that despite these all,
you are standing strong, standing high, with a powerful spirit!

All the best,
in leading a different, yet uniquely meaningful life!

Leehom’s music,
Has always been enlightening to me,
soothing,
warming.
And once in a while, like now,
he proves that he does more than that,
much much much more.

Music,
a capacity to transform,
even unheard.

JIAYOU!

aunchian

Laura C · April 5, 2013 at 11:06 am

Yvonne, you are an inspiration! You are right that there are many ways to understand music. I live in the USA and do not speak a word of Mandarin, yet I truly enjoy Wang Leehom’s music. Of course, not understanding is not the same as not being able to hear. Music is an intensely personal experience for each and every person and is much more than only being able to hear notes or understanding words. God bless you!

Elsie Cheong · April 5, 2013 at 11:29 am

Thanks for sharing your amazing experience at Leehom’s concert. I was at his concert too at the final night and it truly was a fantastic one! Your story really makes me count my blessings as I was able to enjoy Leehom’s music with all my senses! I sincerely thank God for giving me an ear and heart for good music. I also thank God for gifted musicians like Leehom who tirelessly brings beautiful sounds from the heavenly realm to us earthlings to enjoy! As for you, Yvonne, look up to Him who creates life for strength to face your days ahead, for when one door seems to close, another will be open for you.p

Jane · April 5, 2013 at 11:42 am

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. “Hearing with our physical ear is only but one way of appreciating music.” We can “listen” to the music with other senses, and the most important, “listen” it by heart! You are a inspirational people to us too! Take care Yvonne, hope can meet you soon!

李静 · April 5, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Hi Yvonne, I want call you dear sister, I quite admire your hard attitude to fight for the disease. Seting a better sample to someone like us who feared when just meet some difficulties. Thanks for recording someting really sincere about Lee hom concert in a different way. I ‘m very happy to see it. Support U! Hope you healthy !Happy!

Raine · April 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm

You are strong-minded and inspire me a lot. Beethoven was also deaf but he still became an illustrious musician. You can also achieve what you want to do as long as long you never give up. And I believe you can do that. Music goes beyond sound waves and is not a tree falling in the woods. Hope Leehom’s music can invigorate you more!

Ky · April 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Hi 🙂
Thanks for share this awesome story for us 🙂
Hope u can enjoy yr life…yr story have impressed me much…
You are such INSPIRATIONAL person!

Sincerely hope that LEE HOM’s music can always enlighthen yr day <3
Actually, i also joined LEE HOM's Concert at first day 28 Mac, it's super duper nice…gave me wonderful moment and memories…Thanks for tell us the story that can see how sincere about Lee Hom and his gentleness !! It's glad 🙂
some more, i m so admired u ! =P haha…

anyway, take care always…^^

Applebutterfly · April 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Hi:) I have always felt difficult to express myself but reading your post was like I was experiencing what you “hear” and see. I read through your other posts and they are amazing. Amazing and heartfelt writings. I wish I can write better to express my feeling. Thank you for sharing all those inspirational writings!
(I found this link from Lee Hom’s post on weibo too!)

Louelle · April 5, 2013 at 6:12 pm

You are such an inspiration =)!!
true heart warrior!

I was so envied when i saw ur pix in lh’s posting.. I went: Aw… Lucky gurl!!.
Then i read his post, i felt a bit of ampathy flowing through my veins… Then after reading your blog, i have no tears of sadness, but full of praises for your courage and fighting spirit.. Bravo!! (^ ^)

zhang yong yi · April 5, 2013 at 6:43 pm

二哥爱心公益遍布全球!!!

fyyicy · April 5, 2013 at 10:09 pm

i’m so touched by ur artical.i’m addicted to lee hom.u know,he is kind and gentle besides,,u’re a beautiful and kind girl..i wish u would be so happy..anyway..thank for sharing ur feeling. best wishes to u.

Jeremy · April 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm

I’ve always thought I was a hardy one till I see your blog. Thank you for sharing this amazing experience. You never knew how strong you are until disaster strikes you. There’ll be more people stand by your side&pay close attention to your cause. Music lasts, cause never stops. Wish you all good.

Dew on the way~ · April 6, 2013 at 1:06 am

hi, Yvonne~~I know you because of the message leehom left on weibo. After reading what you write about, I found myself being greatly inspired. It is always hard for people to imagine how someonw who lose hearing can be involved in a concert. …however, music can be so powerful that it is even beyound the boundaries of sound, only under the condition that you sincerely feel it by heart. That’s how I am imagine you at the concert~

Summer · April 6, 2013 at 7:09 pm

hey, Yvonne Foong! i’d say u r an unfortunate girl but a lucky one at the same time. i’m sorry for your disease but i hope u can live with it happily. just as what Leehom mentioned, Beethoven is deaf too but he achieved great success. i mean, u r not alone. don’t be afraid! i said u r a lucky girl because u r now imprinted in Leehom’s mind, as well in all the fans’ mind. u won’t feel lonely. u know there must be many other unfortunate fans of Leehom who don’t have the chance to be known by Leehom, right? thus, u r lucky. all in all, i hope u can live well with passion and happiness. best wishes for u! 🙂

yslee · April 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Thank you for your caring & sharing! Both Lee Hom & you are indeed blessed by the Almighty and this meeting came about, to inspire and be inspired!

jayne · April 7, 2013 at 6:15 pm

let us fight for leehom,his rates have been exceeded!http://weiba.weibo.com/10029/t/znOsFcLDC

Yvonne Foong · April 8, 2013 at 11:37 am

Alistair, thank you. If you are speechless, perhaps you can try expressing your feelings with music. 😉

Yvonne Foong · April 8, 2013 at 11:38 am

MJ, yea I saw it. 🙂

Yvonne Foong · April 8, 2013 at 11:39 am

Nora, yes I saw his write up. I was very touched by it. 🙂

Yvonne Foong · April 8, 2013 at 11:40 am

Shark, yea I wanted to share my joy and gladness with him that night when we met. 🙂

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