Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sound Art Conference this October

New Media Arts Manila(NMAM) was formed to curate, stage, and promote New Media Art -- art made with electronic, audiovisual, and information technologies. It includes sound art, video art, interactive electronics, algorithmic art, computer music, and whatever art forms new technologies may yet spawn. As NMAM's first project, ELECTROSTATIC SOUND CONFERENCE will showcase the full range of performative sound art pieces through the performances of the following artists:

Malek Lopez, Berklee-trained virtuoso who is the principal composer for the band Drip, and half of the abrasive electronica duo Rubber Inc.;

Mu Arae Transmission, (aka Moon Fear Moon aka John Sobrepena), who composes haunting and eerie instances of IDM (Intelligent Dance Music);

Blums Borres, 3D animator, performative video artist, and sound artist who dedicates himself to expanding the sonic territory of the electric guitar;

Jing Garcia, tech editor of The Manila Times who founded the seminal sound art group Children of Cathode Ray in 1989 and composes industrial/ambient pieces as autoceremony;

Tengal, frenetic composer, a tireless sound artist, the founder of S.A.B.A.W. sound art collective, and a one-man record label;

Lirio Salvador, sculptor and luthier whose ornate, chrome-plated instruments are featured on television, displayed in galleries, and played by his group Elemento;

Tad Ermitano, filmmaker and video artist who creates custom programs and hardware for his art installations. His work has appeared in Time magazine.

The ELECTROSTATIC SOUND CONFERENCE will be on October 10, 8:30 pm at Club Dredd, 2nd floor Gweilos Eastwood.

Admission is FREE!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The genius of the songs

So this is permanence, love's shattered pride.
What once was innocence, turned on its side.
A cloud hangs over me, marks every move,
Deep in the memory, of what once was love.

Oh how I realised how I wanted time,
Put into perspective, tried so hard to find,
Just for one moment, thought I'd found my way.
Destiny unfolded, I watched it slip away.

Excessive flashpoints, beyond all reach,
Solitary demands for all I'd like to keep.
Let's take a ride out, see what we can find,
A valueless collection of hopes and past desires.

I never realised the lengths I'd have to go,
All the darkest corners of a sense I didn't know.
Just for one moment, I heard somebody call,
Looked beyond the day in hand, there's nothing there at all.

Now that I've realised how it's all gone wrong,
Gotta find some therapy, this treatment takes too long.
Deep in the heart of where sympathy held sway,
Gotta find my destiny, before it gets too late.
-- Twenty Four Hours (1980)

This is a crisis I knew had to come,
Destroying the balance I'd kept.
Doubting, unsettling and turning around,
Wondering what will come next.
Is this the role that you wanted to live?
I was foolish to ask for so much.
Without the protection and infancy's guard,
It all falls apart at first touch.

Watching the reel as it comes to a close,
Brutally taking its time,
People who change for no reason at all,
It's happening all of the time.
Can I go on with this train of events?
Disturbing and purging my mind,
Back out of my duties, when all's said and done,
I know that I'll lose every time.

Moving along in our God given ways,
Safety is sat by the fire,
Sanctuary from these feverish smiles,
Left with a mark on the door,
Is this the gift that I wanted to give?
Forgive and forget's what they teach,
Or pass through the deserts and wastelands once more,
And watch as they drop by the beach.

This is the crisis I knew had to come,
Destroying the balance I'd kept,
Turning around to the next set of lives,
Wondering what will come next.
-- Passover (1980)

In fear every day, every evening,
He calls her aloud from above,
Carefully watched for a reason,
Painstaking devotion and love,
Surrendered to self preservation,
From others who care for themselves.
A blindness that touches perfection,
But hurts just like anything else.

Mother I tried please believe me,
I'm doing the best that I can.
I'm ashamed of the things I've been put through,
I'm ashamed of the person I am.

But if you could just see the beauty,
These things I could never describe,
These pleasures a wayward distraction,
This is my one lucky prize.
-- Isolation (1980)

When routine bites hard,
And ambitions are low,
And resentment rides high,
But emotions won't grow,
And we're changing our ways,
Taking different roads.

Why is the bedroom so cold?
You've turned away on your side.
Is my timing that flawed?
Our respect runs so dry.
Yet there's still this appeal
That we've kept through our lives.

You cry out in your sleep,
All my failings exposed.
And there's a taste in my mouth,
As desperation takes hold.
Just that something so good
Just can't function no more.
-- Love, love will tear us apart again (1980)

Procession moves on, the shouting is over,
Praise to the glory of loved ones now gone.
Talking aloud as they sit round their tables,
Scattering flowers washed down by the rain.
Stood by the gate at the foot of the garden,
Watching them pass like clouds in the sky,
Try to cry out in the heat of the moment,
Possessed by a fury that burns from inside.

Cry like a child, though these years make me older,
With children my time is so wastefully spent,
A burden to keep, though their inner communion,
Accept like a curse an unlucky deal.
Played by the gate at the foot of the garden,
My view stretches out from the fence to the wall,
No words could explain, no actions determine,
Just watching the trees and the leaves as they fall.
-- The Eternal (1980)

This is why events unnerve me,
They find it all, a different story,
Notice whom for wheels are turning,
Turn again and turn towards this time,
All she ask's the strength to hold me,
Then again the same old story,
Word will travel, oh so quickly,
Travel first and lean towards this time.

Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown,
Heaven knows, it's got to be this time,
Watching her, these things she said,
The times she cried,
Too frail to wake this time.

Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown,
Heaven knows, it's got to be this time,
Avenues all lined with trees,
Picture me and then you start watching,
Watching forever, forever,
Watching love grow, forever,
Letting me know, forever.
-- Ceremony (1980)

Caressing the marble and stone,
Love that was special for one,
The waste in the fever I heat,
How I wish you were here with me now.

Body that curls in and dies,
And shares that awful daylight,
Warm like a dog round your feet,
How I wish you were here with me now.

Hangman looks round as he waits,
Cord stretches tight then it breaks,
Someday we will die in your dreams,
How I wish we were here with you now.
-- In a Lonely Place (1980)


... a short conversation after watching Control, the movie that told the story of Ian Curtis, the enigmatic frontman of one of the greatest bands this planet ever had, Joy Division.

Jing Garcia:
The thing with Joy Division, no one came close.

Mon Castro: The band had their misfortune work for them. They didn't get the chance to become mediocre.

Blums Borres: And they never would have. New Order was no less as great.

Tad Ermitano: They also benefitted from the halo that surrounds those who die young and stay pretty. Same halo around Cobain, Hendrix, maybe even Eman Lacaba, Che Guevara, Marilyn Monroe, and the quintessential death angel, James Dean.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

No one writes articles about us?

Tad Ermitano's email reply on another soundartist's concern regarding the lack of articles written about the soundart scene in Manila.

"Well, it IS true that there are no writers (aside from me?) who write anything about sound art worth reading about. Although for an absolute beginner, Erwin O.* was actually not bad. That's true of almost everything to do with contemporary art here though. Nobody writes about the conceptualists with any knowledge or history, even though they stage show after show in SHOPPING MALLS!! Nobody (except Nick) wrote about the experimental films in Mowelfund. Nobody (except for Lourd?)** wrote about Publiko, Elemento, Lirio or Cathode Ray when we were doing stuff in the 90s.

(On a wider scope, we can wonder who wrote about say, the Futurists when they were active, aside from themselves.)

Tengal is different from Poklong (and Chabet?) in that he actively
resents the lack of knowledgeable art writing vis a vis the new stuff.

But that is why you have to tell your own story/curate yourself: because it's better than waiting for someone to get your story right/curate you.

Unless artists want to say that the most important thing for them to do is to wait for someone to learn how to write about them, then the most important thing for artists to learn how to do is to learn how how to write.

Jing was among the first to try to curate his and our work (maybe we can call him the godfather of Sound Abakanism? hehe)

Which is why we have to bring back manifestoes and pamphlets. We're lucky to have the net though, which gives free blog bazookas to all who would be Abakanists! hehe."

* - Erwin Oliva of recently wrote an article on the Sountrip blog about his soundart experience at Mag:net. Link:

** - Lourd de Veyra, frontman for fusion band Radioactive Sago Project and an acclaimed writer and music journalist.

TAD's blogs:

AND, here's another reply from the same issue by BLUMS BORRES:

"Obviously his (the soundartist) anger is displaced. I don't take it against him.

I guess the writing problem is inherent in any "emerging" art form. All we really need are one or two writers who are dedicated and knowledgable. Get Erwin Oliva or someone into it. Let's buy him a book or two about avant garde, electronic music, and sound art.

Someone should also write an article "What the FUCK is sound art?" and "Sound Art in Manila"