FILIPINA singer, ethnomusicologist and cultural worker Grace Nono, together with guitarists Arthur Erskine M. Basilio, Ryan “PePe” E. Ednave and bassist Glenn Reniel M. Bondoc will perform on stage in a concert billed as GUGMA on April 23, 2017, 5:00pm at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater). The concert is presented by the CCP in cooperation with Grace Nono, Ph.D., together with some sponsors, organizational partners dedicated to arts and culture, peace, environment, gender issues, and friends.
GUGMA (“love” in the Visayan language) is a musical offering that features Visayan love songs popularized by various singers in the 20th century. Majority of these songs were also featured in Grace Nono’s recording Dalit: Songs of Love, Loss, and Finding Heart Again (Tao Music, 2009).
Featured songs in GUGMA concert include Kalibutan Nagdumili (Though the World Hinder) attributed to Fred Berame, Anugon (O Such Waste) attributed to Leonora Pacres, Kung Imo Akong Talikdan (If You Turn Away From Me) attributed to Gibbs Cabral, Dahong Laya (Wilted Leaf) attributed to Maning Villareal, Sala Ba Diay Ang Gugma (Is to Love then a Sin?), Himayang Nahunlak (A Glory, Extinguished) attributed to Jess Saclo, Kamingaw Sa Payag (How Desolate This Hut) attributed to Minggoy Lopez, Kung Mahimo Pa (If it Were still Possible), Saksi Ning Kabulakan (All the Flowers Stand Witness), Panamilit (Farewell), Dandansoy (Dandansoy [a man’s name]), Matud Nila (So They Say) attributed to Ben Zubiri, Ay, Ay, Kalisud (Ai! What Pain, What Sorrow), Pobreng Alindahaw (Poor Dragonfly) attributed to T. Villaflor, and Usahay (Sometimes) attributed to Gregorio Labja (previously, to Nitoy Gonzalez until 2010).
Grace learned the performance of most of these songs from elderly singers not in the Visayas but in Mindanao where many Visayans have migrated for centuries. She also learned a few songs from recordings and performances of other singers. The instrumental arrangements for the Dalit recording and the Gugma concert were provided by Hiligaynon-Visayan composer Bob Aves. The English translations of the Visayan lyrics were provided by poet Gemino Abad who is also of Cebuano-Visayan origin. Before the GUGMA concert, Grace performed the same repertoire twice: at the RCBC Museum in 2009 to launch the Dalit recording, and at the National Museum of Singapore in 2010. Between 2010 and 2017, Grace took a hiatus from active performing to finish her doctorate and to do postgraduate work in the United States. Upon returning in 2016, she began to reconnect with musicians. Butch Roxas, guitarist and UST faculty, introduced her to Glenn Bondoc, Erskine Basilio and Ryan Ednave. They have been practicing with Grace since late 2016.
Grace is known for her performances that draw from Philippine sung oral traditions. She has performed in over sixty cities/venues in over twenty countries in Asia, Europe, and North America. These performances have included solo concerts at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila.
Arthur Erskine M. Basilio was awarded “Best Filipino Guitarist” during the 2011 Philippine International Guitar Festival and Competition. He also won the UST Guitar competition in 2000, and placed 3rd in the NAMCYA Guitar Competition Category C in 2006. His performance credits include “Concierto de Aranjuez” at the UST Museum and a number of performances at the CCP together with the UST Guitar Ensemble. Erskine is currently a guitar faculty member at the UST Conservatory of Music.
Ryan “PePe” E. Ednave started playing guitar at the age of 14. A graduate from the University of Sto. Tomas Conservatory of Music, he became a member of the UST Guitar Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Band, Jazz Band, and Ethnic Ensemble. As a faculty member of the Band Camp Inc. and UST Community Development, he teaches General Music and Guitar to indigenous communities in Botolan, Zambales. He also teaches Music Theory and Recorder Ensemble to Grade 3 to 12 classes at the Manila Waldorf School, and additionally taught some music subjects at the PJC Virtuoso Music School in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. Presently, he teaches guitar at the Collegio San Agustin in Dasmariñas Village, Makati and at the Hymn of Praise Music Academy San Juan.
Glenn Reniel M. Bondoc graduated from the UST Conservatory of Music where he received a Bachelor of Music Degree majoring in Music Education. His musical influences are diverse ranging from classical music to extreme metal and everything in between, especially jazz. He has also shown interest in world music especially when he attended a symposium on Ethnomusicology in Minnesota, U.S.A. He has worked with various artists like Jireh Calo, Tots Tolentino, Johnny Alegre, Pete Canzon and others. He currently teaches at Rizal Elementary School in Tondo and is the bassist of Brass Munkeys and the 137 Trio.
Ticket is Php300, free seating, with 20% discount for Senior Citizens and Persons With Disabilities. For details, contact CCP Box Office at 832-3704 or TicketWorld at 891-9999.