Yay! Tomorrow afternoon, I will be on KWMR’s Rhythm & Muse, to be interviewed by Brian Kirven, and to read poetry from Poeta en San Francisco and Diwata. This in itself is awesomeness, but even more awesome is that I’ve been asked to bring some music. What follows is my (tentative) playlist, something like a soundtrack, not completely faithful to the original writing process, but for sure faithful to (poetic, historical, and cultural) intent:
- “Tagonggo,” from the World Kulintang Institute CD, which features Eleanor Academia-Magda, Danny Kalanduyan, and others. According to the liner notes, “Tagonggo” is “a piece performed to accompany a healing/ritual dance.”
- “Diwata,” by Pinikpikan, from the album, Obra Encantada. More on Pinikpikan later.
- “Hudhud Manait,” from Chin-Chin Gutierrez‘s Uyayi album. This is a spooky Ifugao lullaby about the approaching “he who cuts off children’s ears with shears.” Hudhud refers to the epic chanting tradition in the Northern Philippines. This recording is jazzy; the track was arranged by Bo Razon.
- “Golpiado Makimallo,” from Grace Nono’s Diwa album. According to the liner notes, this song is a prayer, “imploring and acknowledging God’s benevolence,” and “inspired by the Itawit and Ibanag people of Cagayan province.”
- “Manang Biday,” from Florante Aguilar’s The Art of Harana CD. This is a lovely arrangement of an Ilocano folk song my Mama taught me when I was very young. I thought first of including instead, “Hindi Kita Malilimutan,” from this same album, only because it was sung by the congregation at my Papa’s funeral. But I think “Manang Biday,” is better because it’s a joyful memory.
- “Ilog,” from Joey Ayala at ang Bagong Lumad’s Magkabilaan album. This is actually one of my favorite songs of his. The English translation of “uukitin sa bato ang kasaysayan,” by Tad Ermitaño and Eric Gamalinda, is “leave our mark in history.” I prefer, “etch into stone our history.” It’s a literal translation, but also poetic. It’s concrete, active/proactive. I considered also “Bathala,” and his version of “Ultimo Adios.”
- “Dasal,” by Pan, on the Balanggiga 1901 album. This is a Tagalog version/revision of Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer.” ‘Nuff said.
- “Mandamira,” by Pinikpikan, also from Obra Encantada. What can I say? First, the vocalist’s singing voice is troubling and fierce! Second, this song is, from what I can discern, in Spanish. So it’s this awesome world music/indigenous/Spanish mash-up.
- “Laya,” by Imago, from Probably Not, But Most Definitely. This is one of those CD’s that Joey dropped in my shopping basket when we were shopping in Megamall some years ago. So I know very little about this band, but really like this CD.
- “Paglalakbay,” from Grace Nono’s Isang Buhay album. “Di ba’t / Ang buhay / Paglalakbay / Paglalakbay / Sa daang / Makitid / Na puno ng / Mga tinik.” So with this, and Joey’s “Ilog,” there’s a noticeable theme? Also, see those line breaks? She really adheres to them in the song!
- “Pandanggo ni Bobby,” from Bobby Banduria’s Shiny Silver Jeepney album. Such fond Bindlestiff and Pinoisepop memories! And again, that cultural mash-up stuff that I love.
- “Young, Gifted, and Brown,” by the legendary Joe Bataan.
I’ve also been thinking of Freddie Aguilar’s version of “Ang Himig Natin,” because it reminds me of my many uncles (Tito Doming, Tito Romy, Tito Puying) in Manila in the 1970′s with their San Miguel, pulutan, and jeproks. I thought also of e:trinity, but I don’t want to overdo the kulintang. And finally, also from Florante Aguilar, there are some gorgeous tracks on his Manila Galleon Guitar Music album.
Anyway, please tune in tomorrow at 4 pm. You can listen online.