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The Story of Contortion Guitar

A La Seconde Developpe

CONTORTION GUITAR is an original and distinctive performance act by Sapphire Ng which unites acrobatics and contortion with guitar playing.


#contortionguitar

Sapphire Ng | guitarist, dancer, model and pioneer of Contortion Guitar

The Birth of Contortion Guitar


Contortion Guitar was born during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I was performing guitar live, and dedicating myself to mastering lead guitar pieces in preparation for upcoming performances.

And then COVID-19 hit. My country went into total lockdown. I live in the capital city which had around 10 cases a day, and everyone was confined to their homes.

I continued my daily routine of guitar practice and contortion training.

A fancy idea striked. What if I performed guitar in contortion and acrobatics poses?

I attempted my first idea and video with burning excitement. All went according to plan.

I felt inspired. I brainstormed. I transformed a few more ideas into reality. I was exhilarated. I accomplished what most consider to be impossible. I surpassed my limits.

I was hooked. I couldn’t stop experimenting and witnessing for myself the possibilities of human capability.

The rest is history.

And the best part? Contortion Guitar is the perfect amalgamation of my greatest two passions in life. And I’ve found an almost seamless way to practice them both at the same time.


“But can you play a guitar riff in that pose?”


I was practicing guitar between 5 to 8 hours a day. And I was training my body obsessively and pushing my personal physical limits.

I was sharing my progress on social media. Both guitar and contortion.

One day I posted a photo of my best attempt at a contortion bridge pose on tiptoes.

And a friend of mine commented something along the lines of:

“But can you play a guitar riff in that pose?”

A lightbulb lit within me.

At that point in time in my guitar practice, I’ve been dedicating countless hours to each lead guitar arrangement I’ve created. It was a formidable task to perfect every single lick and note, and to recall the exact placement of these licks and notes.

It was an undeniably tedious process.

I would practice a single 5-minute lead guitar arrangement at least 500 times over. Or at least that was what it seemed. My mind would start to drift, I would daydream and my fingers would go on autopilot.

I was indeed accumulating hours towards my 10,000-hour rule of practice.

Not to mention it was considerably harder attempting several of these lead guitar arrangements back to back.

But… surely there had to be a way to spice up my daily guitar practice? Something that would make it a tad bit more fun? Or bearable?

I could perform my next guitar piece in a dance, acrobatic or contortion pose.

Why not? What did I have to lose?

I opted for the front oversplits. The splits are amongst the simplest flexibility poses. They can be executed in a rather relaxed manner as they belong to the category of passive flexibility poses, which do not require active engagement of muscle to hold the pose.

For this reason, passive flexibility poses are simpler to be held for a longer period of time. It can be 10 minutes or 5. In fact, the first 3 Contortion Guitar videos I’ve created last respectively 9.5, 7 and 5 minutes.

The front oversplits refer to front splits done with an elevation on the front or back leg to increase the extension of the splits beyond 180 degrees. In my case, I chose to have a small elevation on the front leg.

I’ve now both the guitar piece and the pose in which to perform the piece.

On the day of the shoot, I was exceptionally excited.

I succeeded in bringing my first Contortion Guitar idea to life. And millions more ideas poured into my mind.

I lost sleep at night. My brain was hyper excited imagining endless combinations of guitar solos, riffs and poses. I was getting up at any hour of the night whenever inspiration struck to jot ideas down in my notebook.

I could play guitar with both legs behind my head, in a Jean Claude Van Damme chair split, in a backbend, in a one-handed handstand, or even while swinging a hula hoop on my foot!

Some poses I can execute immediately, others would need up to months of training.

The more I successfully executed my ideas one after the other, the more confidence I had in myself and my abilities, and the more I was hooked on Contortion Guitar.

And this was only the beginning of my journey.


My Destiny, My Calling


I immediately understood Contortion Guitar was my destiny in life. My calling.

As aptly expressed by bestselling American author Robert Greene in his book “Mastery”, I have finally found my niche - a niche where there is virtually zero competition. Contortion Guitar allowed me to stand out from the crowd and competition. I was unique.

With today’s global population of almost 8 billion people, with inestimable and overwhelming talent in all corners of the globe, and made even more pronounced in today’s media saturated world, THIS…

Turned out to be an invaluable personal discovery and achievement.

I was electrified.

I started to dream big dreams for Contortion Guitar.

I wanted to sculpt it into a brand. I wanted it to gain greater recognition. I wanted to make it a more recognizable form of art.

I wanted to elevate Contortion Guitar beyond the noise of haters downplaying it as a temporary marketing gimmick merely to attract attention.

My mission was born. To show the world that Contortion Guitar is the purest form of self-expression as an artist, of following your inner calling and your heart, of heeding your passions and your instincts, and of pursuing it with courage.

But to do all of this, I needed a long-term plan.

I needed to put in the hours required. I needed to experiment constantly. I needed to challenge my boundaries incessantly. I needed to work out inconsistencies in execution. And I needed to understand the quirks and kinks of this novel artform.

I needed to be a practitioner of Contortion Guitar.


Today


I am exceptionally happy that you are here with me on this journey.

It will not be easy, but it will be worthwhile.

What I’ve learned so far and that I would like to share with you is:

Everything in life is possible if you work towards it.

It might sound like the greatest cliche ever, but I’ve discovered for myself that:

If you can dream it, you can do it.

The mind is the limit.

If you perceive something as impossible from the start, you will never find ways to make it a reality.

But if you decide that something is possible, you will find ways to make it come true.

Contortion Guitar has become a means for me to surpass myself in life and to transcend perceptions on what is possible.

Contortion Guitar is the ultimate expression of my values as an artist: To be bold and to be shamelessly yourself, and to never be afraid to be different or to break the rules.

At this juncture, the one thing I’m very sure of is…

This is a lifetime journey.

And welcome onboard.


Sapphire Ng

Sapphire Ng is a guitarist, dancer, model and pioneer of Contortion Guitar, an original and distinctive performance act which unites acrobatics and contortion with guitar playing.

She is also a 2-time scholarship winner, having graduated with a second class honours with upper division for her Bachelor of Laws, Law LLB at Queen Mary University of London in the UK, and also with a Summa Cum Laude for her Bachelor of Music in Music Business and Management degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, USA.

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