Documentary film on the Music of Southern Mindanao Indigenous People at UP Music

The Humanities Division of the National Research Council of the Philippines, in cooperation with the University of the Philippines College of Music, invites the public to the preview of a documentary film titled The Meanings of Music in Manobo Dulangan, T’boli, Obo, and the Tagakaolo Communities in Southern Mindanao. It will be held on 29 April 2016, 7PM, at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium in Quezon City. This is the first of three films that Dr. Jose S. Buenconsejo, musicologist at UP College of Music, is producing as part of his grant “Resilient Music at the Margins” from the National Research Council of the Philippines in 2016.

In the film, indigenous music among the Manobo Dulangan, T’boli, Obo, and the Tagakaolo in Southern Mindanao remains practised despite the rapidly accelerating and profound Visayanization of places in which the indigenous people have been the first settlers. Songs learnt from the ancestors are still acquired through imitation and these have been put to a number of pragmatic uses, from managing negative emotions (thus aesthetically transforming raw sentiments like anger into the level of art) to the tasks of putting a baby to sleep and of indulging one’s self in leisurely music-making after work. Some songs are the basis of instrumental music like that rendered on bamboo polychordal zither togo, while others, especially those played in whistle flute sloli, disclose human attachments to nature and with Others.

Aside from songs, these people have rhythms that propel dancers in a mimesis of myths from the distant past, notably that of T’boli madal tahu which is about the creation of the world and, existentially, of the symbolic passage of death to life among the Tagakaolo. These “rhythms” are also simulated via delicate and undulating melodic contours on what is now an endangered music instrument of the Philippines, the lip-valley flute. Quintessentially precolonial Filipino, this music depicts the sounds of small creatures in the natural environment– the bird, the snail, the squirrel, and the cicadas of the tropics–but it manifests deep listening (i.e., with a clairaudient ear) in which the player hears a world beyond the sensible material objects on earth.

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Seeing-Sounding Social Transformation

The University of the Philippines College of Music and College of Mass Communication will have a jointly-organized conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Abelardo Hall in UP Diliman. The academic conference is entitled Seeing-Sounding Social Transformation in (The Music of) Philippine “Theaters” and it will be held from September 18-20, 2013 at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium and Plaridel Hall in the College of Mass Communication. This is an interdisciplinary conference in the humanities and performing arts that explores the relationship between what is seen-heard in public and society. In particular, the conference interrogates the critical role of theaters (including music, song, and dance) as tangible representations of sociopolitical processes in public spaces and as an expression of Filipino peoples’ historical experience, identity, and aspiration.

Plenary speakers for the conference are Dr. Ramon P. Santos and Dr. Nicanor G. Tiongson. The speakers are Jocelyn Guadalupe, Michiyo Yoneno-Reyes, Amparo Adelina C. Umali, III, Nikki Briones Carsi-Cruz, Arwin Q. Tan, Ma. Alexandria Iñigo-Chua, Jazmin Badong Llana, Basilio Esteban S. Villaruz, Verne dela Peña, Eulalio R. Guieb III, Mi Hyun Oh, Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, Matthew CM Santamaria, Resil B. Mojares, Vicente L. Rafael, Marian P. Roces, Raul C. Navarro, Teresita G. Maceda, Apolonio B. Chua, Jonas U. Baes, Lara Katrina T. Mendoza, Roselle Pineda, Ma. Patricia B. Silvestre, Crisancti L. Macazo, Reuben Ramas Cañete, Eufracio C. Abaya, Myra Beltran, Patrick F. Campos, José S. Buenconsejo, Nick Deocampo and Roland B. Tolentino.

An environmental music concert featuring the compositions of Jose Maceda, Ramon Santos and Jonas Baes entitled Ading, Quadrasyon, at Patangis-Buwaya will be held on the evening of September 19, at 6:30 in the evening, free admission. On the 20th, “Andres Bonifacio: Ang Dakilang Anakpawis,” a musical play by Jerry Dadap and Dionisio Salazar will be presented, with Alegria Ferrer as the stage and music director. Tickets for this show will be available at the gate and are priced at PhP 300 with special discounts for students and senior citizens.

For inquiries regarding the conference, please call Josie Baradas at 9818500 local 2639 or 9296963.