When I was studying piano and classical guitar back when I was still attending classes in Benedictine Abbey School, I remember how it was to line up and wait for my cue to perform. Today, my son is experiencing the same thing for the third time, another step closer to what I hope to be the development of a future violin virtuoso. While waiting for everything to unfold, I’m currently listening to the MSE Orchestra (one of my past clients for sheet music preparation and music transcription). They are performing the kind of stuff they do best: pop songs reconfigured for strings, piano and flute. As expected from professional musicians with years of experience, they are excellent performers. The repertoire, however, is reflective of the sad state of the musical tastes of many Pinoys: instant entertainment that drives the emotions and the feet rather than the mind. Perhaps in as much as MSE and the ensemble would like to perform something artistically gratifying (which they do on occasion), they need to keep a business running, and this is why at this instant they’re churning out what I call canned music. It’s like Muzak being performed live.
Don’t get me wrong. I have great respect for the musicians themselves. It’s impressive how they produce renditions of hits, chamber orchestra style. The pianist’s improvisations are spot on, and the rest of the orchestra play their instruments as if they were just brushing their teeth. However, as much as I’d wish to hear them play stuff like Penderecki, Bach, Debussy, Liszt, or even Wagner, it’s unfortunate that I won’t get the chance to do so. So canned music it is for now.
The set is just bad here at SM Bicutan. If I were Ric and Mariza (MSE’s owners), I’d be really pissed off. First thing is that MSE plans to serve lunch. The assholes at SM failed to provide tables. How are the guests supposed to eat lunch? Minutes after writing this, I see some tables being set up. I’m hoping that they’d put in enough tables for everybody. Second problem is the awful slide in the middle that just gets in the way of the audience. If I was shelling out tons of cash to rent the place for a few hours, I’d expect it to be put out of the way, no excuses.
In a few moments from now, my son would be performing a Gavotte by P. Martini, one of the standard pieces found in the Suzuki Violin School Literature. He could already pull off pieces like Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in A minor. However, it seems to me like because of the Suzuki methodology, he has to go through recitals in chronological order of the books. Since it’s his 3rd year of playing the violin, he’s playing something from book 3 I believe. Maybe he’ll have a better chance of demonstrating his skills in the School of Tomorrow’s Junior Student Convention in 2014, an event he’ll prepare for after this.
Now I’ll be stopping my critiques and do my best to enjoy the rest of the day. So, I’m guessing that I’ll be expecting the same stuff year after year: classical music from students and canned music from the pros. Maybe if my son goes into another program things might change. It’s a good thing that my son is learning from the pros but I hope I could find an opportunity for him to go for higher artistic goals, the kind of stuff that people like Coke Bolipata would go for rather than play canned music. Well, performing canned music would help pay the bills but musicians need to go for dreams way bigger than that.