Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Day Music Died

Our team was on a 90’s blast from the past frenzy a few weeks back. We were playing songs we remembered growing up with like Neocolors, Alamid, Orient Pearl, Side A, Put3SKA, Wiseguys, Rockstar, Passage, Men Oppose, After Image, Vanna Vanna (formerly FOJ), Prettier than Pink, Introvoys and Bodjie’s Law of Gravity.

Some solo artists were also in our playlist; the likes of Lloyd Umali, Ima Castro, Carol Banawa, Dingdong Avanzado, Ella Mae Saison, Joey Albert, Wency Cornejo, Cookie Chua and Rannie Raymundo.

We’d just realize we were swaying our heads or tapping our feet to the beat.

And the nostalgia trip wasn’t enough for me. I downloaded a few more stuff over the net and haven’t stopped playing them yet.

This was the music that we danced to, laughed, cried, hummed and grew up with. For some reason the music of today has less than distant effect.

When I listen to the radio, I’d have to ask someone or wait till the DJ announces the title of the song and artist. The pop music of this generation seem to lack creativity, distinction and longevity.

Jose Marie Chan said that music since his days lacked the “depth and richness of melody.”

Chan’s influences are far greater than mine. My exposure to artistry began in my college days when I started in our college choir. Of course, the classic love songs, French chansons, madrigals, sacred and secular music where standard studies but I would always be drawn to ethnic and folk arrangements for voice.

The power and passion from the simplest like Rosas Pandan to the spine tingling recreations of Tinig ng Lupa, majestic plea to the gods of Ilay Gandangan and Dumbele to the tribal wars in Bal-laygi, the playful Kaisa-isa Nyan to the lullaby of Catorog na Nonoy and Ili-Ili Tulog Anay. All in a capella. I was in tears when I first heard the Circle of Life in a concert by the Philippine Madrigal Singers.

My contemporary music choices are a bit more mainstream. Maybe because of the lack of exposure from the independent and underground musicians I have been nitpicking from what is heard over the airwaves.

The 90’s was a time of eargasms from the variety of popular music. Sadly this is also the reason for singers and bands of great potential lost in the battle of prolonged existence.

For now I wallow in the chords of the music of my generation, awaiting once more artists’ talents and creativity to bring me to a new level of Filipino musicality and craftsmanship.
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