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Toward a Truly Philippine Music

Do Filipinos have a unique musical sound? My answer is yes. But it isn’t being practised much by people outside of the local world music genre (Grace Nono, Joey Ayala, Bayang Barrios, Pinikpikan, etc.) Right now it exists though it’s more a vague fog than a typhoon of output.

I’m talking about folksong-inspired music — music which uses our local folk songs as inspiration. Not remakes of ethnic chants or remixes of kundimans, but rather traditional folksongs as building blocks for new music regardless of the genre of the final output (be it pop, classical, electronic, or death metal.) National artist and composer Lucio San Pedro called it Creative Nationalism.

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Use Your PC to Make Music

You like music, you have a PC, and you’ve heard that people use these contraptions nowadays to make music. People are writing and printing sheet music using software. Some put together songs from scratch using only their PC. Some remix other people’s music using software and loops of music. Many music professionals record live instruments onto their computer, incorporating their computers into their private and commercial studios. Others use their computers to spin tunes like a DJ, or to perform live electronic music using software geared towards performance, installed on laptops which are chained to various instruments via USB or MIDI cables.

How exactly they do it all might seem like medieval witchcraft to you, but that’s why FAST FORWARD is here to enlighten with a beginner’s guide to making music on the PC.

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Concept: Electronic Mass of Light in G-Major

I have always loved classical music created with the Mass format in mind. Bach, Beethoven and Mozart had magnificent works which followed the Mass proper in Latin: Introit, Kyrie, Gloria, Alleluia, Agnus Dei, etc. And this intrigued me as a composer of liturgical music, and now, as a producer of electronic music.

So why not a mixture of these things: the sung sections of the Mass, electronic music, and theater? I came up with this idea sometime in 1998: to stage a theater production in the same vein. And to call it the Electronic Mass of Light in G-Major.

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Manifesto of a Christian Electronica Musician

Each of us is being called to serve in his or her capacity. Which means I’m not being asked to give up my knowledge and skill in producing electronic music in favor of more traditional pop- and folk-styled praise music. Rather, I am being called to use what I have and what I know in the service of the Kingdom.

I must make a more conscious, focused effort in songwriting and song composition. A single solid direction and objective. Music not merely for sonic pleasure or merely for dancing, but music composed to touch souls. Music meant to uplift, to transcend, to inspire. Music that leads to God.