About & Credits

My name is Wei, I'm a web developer based in Singapore. I have a personal profile site that you may visit here.

About me playing the viola

I am not a professional musician. I grew up playing the violin but not so well. My violin teacher back in high school is a violist. She always suggested that I shall try the viola some time. Although, I stopped playing with her as I left my home city for college. In college, I was having a much better time with the drumline in our marching band than with the orchestra, so I stopped playing the violin altogether. It took me a long journey playing many other instruments before even thinking about classical music again.

Recent years, from time to time there's a soft voice at the back of my mind that I shall get back playing the violin one day. And it was the COVID-19 lockup at home that finally made me make the commitment, with one tweek – I thought it was a good occasion that I take up my violin teacher's suggestion and try the viola first.

Before I started, I was neutral between the two instruments. I had zero knowledge about the viola (apart from its similarity with the violin). While I was open to getting introduced to it, I was also prepared to switch back to the violin if I want to. But since the moment I played the first note on a viola, I knew it is the instrument for me and I never looked back.

My teacher

My teacher is Jonathan Lee. He is a great teacher and violist. He is extremely bright with high standard and noteworthy commitment in teaching. He helps me solve problems that I didn't think I could solve.

Lots of thoughts were inspired from our lessons and conversations. Although if I have made any mistakes, it is me remember wrongly.

My friend Huijing and the Fluffy Phil

Introducing my most amazing web developer friend Huijing, who is also the artist behind all the Fluffy Phil artworks. Even though she doesn't play a string instrument, and whether she really plays the piano 40 hours a day is quite dubious, she has been with me throughout my journey picking up the viola.

Alongside playing the viola, me and Huijing collaborate on the wonderful world of Fluffy Philharmonic and RedViolaPanda sticker shop (because stickers are big in our industry). The musical exploration and the development of the Fluffy Phil storylines fuel each other. This is the most amazing side project and collaboration I've been part of so far.

About this site

Aside from growing up playing the violin, I also grew up making websites. Anything that doesn't end up on a website doesn't count. I've also made websites for most organizations I've associated with, this includes websites for my middle school class, high school class and the school, more functional websites such as a forum and a news website for my high school, website & poster for my violin teacher's string ensemble's annual performances, etc. I landed my first job as a web developer out of such playful implementations, it was clearly the job for me.

Years after, the industry or the job market for a web developer is subtly shifting away from the crafts of making websites to software engineering. A quick analogy - from the artisanal craft of making a violin, to the engineering of mass producing violins. At least I have transited with my job to have become more of a software engineer than a web developer. But I can't really feel satisfied with pure software engineering implementations. I love the arts and crafts making websites. And I have no excuse to miss out this opportunity combining them with the topic of music, and particularly my favorite instrument. You will see my exploration in viola playing, some of my reading, and some random web-based artwork I create as I explore the topic.

Design and implementation of the site

The design of the site is from Violins and Violinists, an occasional magazine by a British violin dealer, Benjamin Hebbert. As a web developer, I thought it is very interesting to consider website a magazine and actually go about implementing it. A careful study by trying to replicate parts of the site sparks a lot of inspirations of what web developers can do and should explore in the making of a website for an artist.

I have fairly faithfully replicated many of the design elements and implementation of the Violins and Violinists site. In particular the card animation and the magazine layout. I have taken my own approach in implementation, though. If you are interested, you may read about this story in my development blog here.

The site is implemented with Nextjs and Preact.