FILharmoniKa at the FilFest

FILharmoniKa, under the baton of Gerard Salonga, played Filipino classical music last June 21, 2008 at the Insular Life Auditorium in Alabang. Works by Antonio Buenaventura, Angel Pena, and Lucio San Pedro were performed. These pics were taken from my friend Adjeng Sarmiento-Buenaventura's site. (We kept wondering if her husband Rodrin was related to the composer, he he).







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Adjeng, Rodrin, Dex and me...

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Ardie de Guzman (guitarist), Adjeng, and Rodrin...
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FIlharmoniKa...
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I played in one piece, Angel Pena's Peace Beyond. The piano is on the far right side of the stage, so I'm not visible from where Adjeng is taking pics...
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The one and only Tots Tolentino, special guest soloist.
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More FILharmoniKa.
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Not in pictures, but Regina Buenaventura was also featured as a soloist on "Meditation" (composed by her grandfather Col. Antonio Buenaventura) and "Sa Ugoy ng Duyan" (music by Lucio San Pedro). She was fabulous!

Recordings of these composers' works are available here at the Musika Natin website... The purchase details for Col. Antonio Buenaventura's CD, "Heritage", isn't there yet but this is available in leading record bars.


Angel Pena's UGNAYAN

ugnayan
(click for more info)



Lucio San Pedro's LAHING KAYUMANGGI
(I wrote the blurbs on the music, on that particular page, namely the info on Lahing Kayumanggi, Buan Sa Kabundukan, and Sa Dalampasigan.. I am not an expert, okay, so that was for general consumption. Finally, all those years writing concert reviews for Music Literature class paid off)
lahing kayumanggi
(click for more info)


Col. Antonio Buenaventura's HERITAGE




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New Friends

They will rescue me from impending Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I've been experiencing pain on a nerve running from the tip of my index finger to the inner part of my elbow.



Logitech Marble Mouse - I set this up at home for my laptop.
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Kensington Expert Mouse. This one is currently my favorite. It came with a wrist pad. I wonder why this isn't available locally? Bought this abroad, courtesy of Lea and Gerard.
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PYSB Rehearsal

Last Saturday, I attended the Philippine Youth Symphonic Band rehearsal. I went there to deliver a new arrangement of Sitsiritsit and Leron Leron Sinta (in a medley). They also played my Sarung Banggui arrangement. Though the members weren't all there that day, I heard the arrangements and I felt really honored to be working with those guys. They play well for their age.

The new material are all Filipino folk songs, as an effort to remind the younger generation/s about them. They are slowly being forgotten. I remember that in High School, we used to sing some of these songs. Even then, some of the songs I learned were incomplete. I had to revise my Sarung Banggui arrangement for this group after the first reading because there was one part missing, due to the fact that I didn't know there was a C part. We were only taught the A and B parts at school.

Not only did I have the chance to hear the arrangements played (which I enjoyed making, not the least because of my own uncertainty as to whether it'll work out), these would be sponsored (read: professional fees), and I was fed some spaghetti and cake. What more can one ask for on a nice Saturday?




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Romy San Jose conducting the group
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Household Irritations

nilagang baka
Thursday morning, I had our helper go to the market and cook Nilagang Baka. We've taught her how to do it, and she's been able to do it most of the time. Today she forgot to put in the potatoes, and the beef cube (almost, if I hadn't reminded her). Worse, she would've put tomatoes in it, if I hadn't stopped her. I was so irked, until I remembered that in other countries, it is not even usual to have household help. Here in the Philippines, where labor is cheap, we can get a capable house helper for only P3,000 per month (approximately $60). Besides, she's very trustworthy, and she rarely complains - priceless qualities in a person.

And besides, in other countries, I don't think good food comes as cheap, too. A bowl of Nilaga that serves six costs around P250 or less (circa $5).

Let us be happy for the little blessings.


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Concert Band and Reggae Music

Concert band and Reggae. Do those genres even mix? I think they can. But the difficulty now for me, in this new assignment which involves writing a reggae arrangement of a popular Filipino folk song for a concert band, is that I couldn't find any examples for listening or reference - of a concert band playing reggae music. Suggestions or referrals are most welcome. I have also been told that this arrangement, plus the one I've just finished last April, will be recorded in an album.

Uncertainty in outcome is a great motivating factor for me, though, that's why I readily said yes to the assignment. It can turn out really good, or maybe fall flat on its face - of course the former is more preferable, but the latter makes the whole exercise more exciting. (After all, who wants to be doing the same thing over and over, just because it's successful? A sure magnet for boredom).

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Ok, obviously I don't have anything more to write. When I decided to start this blog, I told myself I will update it regularly, whether or not people actually care to read it. So I'm updating it now. It's not as easy as I thought. And obviously, if I'm here writing my thoughts out, that means I'm not writing music.

Blog = the ideal procrastination tool. At least for me.

Pardon the so-so post. Things will get better over time.


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Hurrah for Guitar Hero

I failed to mention in my Bio that I also love playing Guitar Hero during breaks. Hubby Dex bought it for me last Feb 2007, in time for a visit from my childhood friends/bandmates Peewee, Kris, and Lawrence (who's now also a session musician). Was on my way to mastering the Expert level, but the controller broke a few months ago and I'm too lazy to have it fixed, so no Guitar Hero for now. I want to get Rock Band, only problem being we don't know where to put the extra instruments.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this interesting post from Future of Music, one of the blogs I read. The guy behind it is currently the vice president of Berklee College of Music, and one of the co-developers of MIDI. Click on the link below:

Video Games Prove Positive for Rock Acts

Now I wonder if anyone will come up with a Jazz Band video game? That would be interesting. Or a World Music Hero game with Kulintang controllers? Orchestral Hero with violin controllers? Hahahaha. The possibilities are endless.



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Bob Aves Group at Caylabne Resort part2

Photos from Tita Ning's site:


Hungry musicians. Left to Right: Simon Tan, Tusa Montes, Arnold Jallores. Bob Aves, Ria Osorio. Standing: Dex Osorio
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Setting up, soundcheck. My setup is: 2 keyboards connected to my laptop via 2 MIDI I-O's. All sounds come from Reason, which holds Bob Aves's own sampled Kulintang, Gandingan and Saranay sounds, mostly from South Cotabato . These are sounds not available in existing sample libraries, so I feel very lucky to have them (I got permission to use them in my projects). I also use Ableton Live, which contains all the pads programmed by Bob.
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After soundcheck, I thought we still had time to dress up (or dress down since this is a beach resort), but it turned out that the gig started away. Notice the huge crowd that came to watch us!
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Yeah. People or no people watching, we enjoyed playing. Except for the part where my volume settings in Reason (the piano sound, MIDI input 2) kept being triggered by the controller (RD 700). Till the end of the gig, I wasn't able to fix it. There were some settings in the RD700 which were sending unwanted MIDI signals, and even after the gig, I still wasn't able to figure it out, as I couldn't find the "transmit MIDI" page, just a "receive MIDI" page. Suggestions?
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Tusa Montes with Bob's custom MIDI Kulintang. I really think that is a genius endeavor. The bottom part (nearer to the player) usually triggers Gandingan samples, or the lower gongs I think. (Tusa tama ba?)

View Bob Aves website here
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Smokin' Jorge!
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Group shot. Us with the organizers
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This was the weather during the gig. No sun, but we're happy enough that it didn't rain yet, even if there was a storm brewing.
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Bob Aves Group at Caylabne Resort in Cavite

May 17, 2008. Bob Aves group. One of our rare beach gigs. Or should I say, one of our rare gigs, period.

Photos taken by Tusa Montes, our talented Kulintang player. That's why we have no pictures onstage. I'll just post a followup, if I am able to get performance pictures.


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That's Jorge, drummer/navigator.

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Arnold Jallores, the jolliest sound engineer...

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Looks like it's part of the bus! Installation art, anyone?

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Tusa and me... sunny smiles in spite of the sunless weather
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Einstein... err, Bob Aves Happy
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My hubby/roadie/stress ball Dex, and I.

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Jorge and Ning:
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Nothing beats this combination: great gig, great music, good company, good food. (Well I had a lot of technical problems with my setup, but that's another story...)
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Group shots! Jorge San Jose, me, Simon Tan, Bob Aves, Tusa Montes.
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On the way back home, I couldn't resist...
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