“Kadasagurongan” is a tradional Maranao kulintang piece that I learned how to play when I was taking my “Teaching Philippine Music” elective at the Philippine Women’s University School of Music. This recorded version was made possible through the use of “Philipperc”, a Philippine indigenous instrument sample library developed by Stephan Marche of Detunized.Com using my samples of kulintang and other Philippine instruments.
This is probably the first time I spent my lunch break on music rather than on food.
What’s happening here is actually a test of recording equipment. This is a video recording of myself and Jeepney Joyride trombonist Diamond Manuel performing a free improvisation jam. Everything here is completely improvised. The first piece is a 20th-century classical sounding ditty influenced by the likes of Bartok, Varese, Messiaen, Zappa, and maybe a bit of Debussy. The second piece is a pretty straightforward swing jazz in C minor.
Now, as to why I was testing recording equipment, I was checking recording levels on my Zoom H4n because I’m supposed to record Diamond’s trombone recital this coming Saturday morning. He will be performing his recital program on December 6, 2014 at the Philippine Women’s University School of Music Recital Hall. It’s free admission, and safe to say that I don’t think anybody’s going to hear this sort of jam session at the event.
The test did come out great on my Zoom H4n. I have to say, however, that the video posted here is from my crappy smartphone and so the audio quality is not so great. Since I usually have to take videos for my research, I suppose investing money on a real camcorder isn’t such a bad idea.
So, if any of you are in Manila on Saturday and happen to have some free time, please drop by and watch Diamond Manuel’s trombone recital. Cheers!
About 2 years ago, I wrote some music for Emi Waterson, lead singer and songwriter of Emi’s Eve (an original and covers band from Australia). Fast forward to today, the result of that collaboration is now here for your listening pleasure:
(“Love Rock” – Copyright 2012, Emi Waterson/Mark A. Galang/Jeni Wallwork)
“Love Rock” is a song that started out as a melody that Emi wrote. She sent me a recording of her singing the melody and I wrote music to accompany that melody. It’s a product of my first musical collaboration with somebody from outside of the Philippines, something that was unimaginable for me prior to the advent of the Internet.
The intro where the strings are sawing away was originally a guitar riff. I even wrote a shredding guitar run in the upper register prior to the part where the vocals kick in. The whole idea that I had in mind for the music was sort of a hard rock song for a pop singer. At the very least I was trying to put some hard rock integrity into the song in the same manner that a J-pop song would have a surprisingly technical twist that you would typically expect from a speed metal piece.
The great thing that I love about this recording is how Emi and the rest of her collaborators have tweaked the arrangement. I think most of the notes I wrote are still there, the most important ones being the riffs, the chord progressions, some of the licks and the basslines. The most surprising thing for me was how the Emi and the other arrangers turned the main riff and some of the passages into something useful for strings. The string passages gave that sort of chamber music appeal like a Vivaldi concerto.
Since the record is intended for a mass-market/radio audience, I wasn’t really surprised that the guitar solos I wrote were edited although a semblance of which appeared as a lick towards the end. Maybe Emi’s guitar player wrote it himself and could have been influenced by the solo I wrote: I’m not really sure.
To sum it all up, I’m very happy to have worked with Emi on “Love Rock” and a few other songs (regarding which I’ll keep my mouth shut for now). I was really glad how the whole recording turned out. It is a pop song, that’s for certain, but it’s one that requires a good level of musicianship to perform, a rarity in today’s music scene where garbage can produce millions of dollars. Give “Love Rock” a listen and you’ll be happy to hear how amazing Emi and her band are.
To get to know more about Emi and Emi’s Eve, visit http://www.emiseve.com.
Just this week, I was interviewed by Scott of Six String Madness regarding my work and insights as a music transcriber for Steve Stine and GuitarZoom.
Read the interview via the links below:
For more tips about playing guitar and info regarding getting the best blues, rock and metal guitar lessons on the net, go visit sixstringmadness.com.