By ALMA SINUMLAG
BAGUIO CITY – An experimental Organik Muzik was staged in this city, 246 kms. north of Manila, entitled Palay Bigas Kanin (PBK) on February 23, a part of a series.
The PBK’s recorded songs are collaborative efforts of poet Vim Nadera and other contemporary artists like Radio Active Sago Project, Junior Kidlat, Sigaw ng Tundo and Cynthia Alexander.
The project allows the local artists to make their own interpretations of the songs in the album. The modifications are in accordance with how they understand the songs. They can modify vocal and instrument lines, re-arrange, re-harmonize and edit. They can also translate the lyrics into their local language. In addition, local artists can also interpret it through dances and even audio visual clips. This will help in giving local color to the key ideas and issues generated from the material.
Organized by the University of Baguio (UB), the project is initiated by Committee on Music of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) headed by Joey Ayala who is also the president of the Bagong Lumad Artists Foundation Inc.
PBK was first staged at the Atrium in Tagum City, Davao on February 19. The second was at the University of Santo Tomas (UST). The PBK here in Baguio is the third in the series of four concerts. Three local contemporary artists participated in the concert. Graces, the dance troupe of the University of Baguio, interpreted several songs through dances. The Open Space, a Baguio based theatre group, sang two of the songs in the PBK album using their own interpretation. They also sang four of their original songs about the Centennial of Baguio.
The Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera (DKK) sang the Pagey, a Kankana-ey song asking the Almighty for a bountiful harvest. They also staged the “Ab-afuyug”, a musical dance that depicts how to strengthen one of the indigenous practices which is the collective working group for food sovereignty.
From the PBK album, they played the Lumad rhythms using Cordilleran instruments and accompanied it with a Lumad courtship dance. They ended the activity by breaking down the barrier between the audience and the performers by leading a community dance which was participated by all.
The audience were anticipating a Joey Ayala performance but he was not able to perform although he joined the DKK in playing the gongs in the community dance.
The fourth Palay Bigas Kanin concert will be held in Iloilo city.