In “Your Face”! #TVTuesday #TuesdayTunes

Oh, I missed these hash potatoes! So today, it’s #TVTuesday and #TuesdayTunes post.  Double fun, woohoo!!! Today, I am sharing one of my current favorite shows, Your Face Sounds Familiar (YFSF) Kids Edition.

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The YFSF Kids of Season 1: (From Left) AC Bonifacio (2nd Runner-up), Lyca Gairanod, Justin Alva (3rd Runner-up), Elha Nympha (1st Runner-up), McNeal “Awra” Briguela (WINNER), Alonzo Muhlach, Xia Vigor, and Sam Shoaf

Saying “Your face sounds familiar” sounds really weird and like utter nonsense. The premise of YFSF, however, explains it.  Okay, background with a little bit of disclaimer:

YFSF is a singing and impersonation competition owned by the Endemol Shine Group, known abroad for producing many reality TV shows (Big Brother and others). YFSF was franchised by Philippine TV network giant ABS-CBN and the first regular season started in March 2015. There came another regular season and then, the first-ever season of the Kids edition was aired in January 2017. It gained international attention when then-7-year-old Xia Vigor performed as Taylor Swift and the video of that performance went viral.

The second season of the Kids edition is currently running and the kids’ performances are making much more waves. That’s thanks to the already-big attention the YouTube reactors’ community has been giving Filipino artists.

YFSF has a set of screen and theater artists–singers, dancers, actors–competing against one another onstage every week. Weekly shows are divided into two parts with the first half of the performers shown on Saturday and the remaining ones on Sundays. That gives ample time on the second day (well, eve) to announce the week’s winner and show the participants pressing the “iconator” (just a coined term as abroad, it’s called “randomizer”, even simply a “buzzer”). That’s the button that every contestant presses to reveal his/her next icon.

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Xia Vigor impersonating Taylor Swift. Image courtesy of Elle.com

Competitors are each assigned celebrities that have become music icons or made waves in the industry one way or another. That’s regardless of the age of the icon, race, sex and gender (so expect cross-dressing in some performances).

But this is a step up from the usual impersonation stuff. A major part of this involves the makeup artists and prosthetic. Every week, performers are madeup and often–not always–made to wear prosthetic. The idea is to not only sound and act like the icons but to LOOK like them. This is where my disclaimer enters.

In the past, I saw some foreign YouTubers express concern prior to seeing an actual performance that the performer might be doing “blackface”, which people could find offensive. Then they got to watch and realize it’s not the case (especially when they saw it was a great performance!). It really isn’t meant to be offensive, not at all. It always depends on the look of the icon. It has nothing to do with being racist. So if s/he’s white, then the performer’s Pinoy brown color is turned lighter (sometimes, the prosthetic can be a tad weird and creepy-looking, though). So if we’re playing the race card, might as well call it “whiteface”. Or “yellowface” even, depending on who’s being impersonated.

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The YFSF Kids of Season 2: (Clockwise from Top Left) TNT Boys, Chunsa Jung, Marco Masa, Krystal Brimner, Telesa “Esang” De Torres, Noel Comia Jr., Xymon “Onyok” Pineda, and Sheena Belarmino. Image courtesy of Rappler

Just to be clear, not every performer is a good singer, or even dancer. He or she is judged on how well s/he has projected him/herself as the icon being impersonated.

Anyway, to show how talented our kids can be, I am sharing a few videos from this season’s (season 2) kid performers. They seem long, but that’s because the videos continue until all the jury members have made their comments. There are lots of funny stuff that follow a performance, but feel free to stop playing. (BTW, copyrights to all the images and videos here belong to ABS-CBN, unless otherwise specified. I got some from other sites, but of course, they’re still mostly from ABS.)

I’m starting with my biggest bet, Sheena Belarmino. People know her more as a singer as she was a grand finalist of the popular singing competition Tawag ng Tanghalan (TNT)  that was part of the noon-time variety show It’s Showtime. That ended late last year. Prior to that, however, she was a finalist of Dance Kids from 2015 to 2016. You can say she is a powerhouse of a talent. As of last count, she’s won thrice already, currently the most number of times this season. However, she’s also currently ranked 3rd-4th . That has something to do with how the jury individually assigns scores.

Watch her perform as local artists Sarah Geronimo and KZ Tandingan and judge for yourselves. Sheena showed Sarah’s swag as the latter performed the song onstage (the hair and expressions were based more on the “Tala” video). That was Sheena’s first win. Everyone was definitely impressed. BUT she even topped that recently by showing more swag impersonating KZ’s viral performance of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” on the recently concluded Singer 2018 singing competition (Jesse J. won) in China. Sheena even wore the same outfit. She blew everyone away! I think you will agree. And she also got a wonderful surprise after she sang… 😉

Meanwhile, also check out her performances as Ariana Grande, (so good!), Chris Brown, and local artist Jessa Zaragoza (for which she also won, though I’m not crazy about it…The link I shared is just of Jessa singing at an event — she’s not wearing a gown and not doing much of the movements she’s been known for).

Next, the TNT Boys! They are composed of Kiefer Sanchez, Mackie Empuerto and Francis Concepcion–all grand finalists of the TNT Kids singing competition, like Sheena. Among all the contestants, they are undoubtedly the most popular due to their emotional rendition of Beyonce’s “Listen” in the GGV show. Actually, for fun, they were asked to sing it while pretending to be fighting (Francis bullies Kiefer, then Mackie defends Keifer who tries to pacify both of them). It was a hoot! And it became viral. Suddenly, the group TNT Boys was born and they have now performed in Little Big Shots US and UK. Since then, a lot of their performances onstage and offline have been going viral, particularly their YFSF numbers. They’ve won twice and are currently ranked 1st.

Below are two of their performances. The first is of The BeeGees. They didn’t win but this was the first video of the season that went and is still going viral around the world. The BeeGees loved their performance and actually tweeted about it. The next is–get this–their impersonation of Destiny’s Child! It was their first win and very well-deserved. These boys are so talented! I loved their performance of The Supremes as well, it’s my personal favorite–classy with less flair. Their second win, though, was their Mariah Carey and BoyzIIMen one and,  you guessed it, it’s gone viral as well.

Now we have Krystal Brimner. She was a relatively unknown in the mainstream showbiz world until YFSF. Some people may recognize her from the movie Honor Thy Father where she played a vital part. Theater aficionados may remember her playing the title role of Annie, for which she won Best Child Actress and Best Female Lead Performer from the 2016 Platinum Stallion Media Awards and 2016 Philstage Gawad Bahay Awards. Based on her performances in YFSF, it’s obvious she’s been using her training to good use.

Krsytal is currently ranked 2nd. I am not sure if she’s an audience favorite, but I like her. For me she’s done a LOT  of great impersonations. Below are the two performances that made her win: as Jesse J. first, then as Alicia Keys. I would also recommend her impersonations of Miley Cyrus (on her first week, when she made her mark as a talent to reckon with), Stevie Wonder, and Dionne Warwick.

Last on my list is Esang De Torres. Among the top four, I think she’s the one who first made her mark on national TV. She was such a cutie joining the MiniMe contest of It’s Showtime, where she “impersonated” her idol Lea Salonga. But it was in joining The Voice Kids that made her. Coached by none other than her idol, Lea, she was the team’s grand finals bet. It was apparent that she had a singing talent that was perfect for the stage that, with a lot of encouragement from Lea, Esang joined the theater world. In fact, she was one of those who played the title role of Matilda. Like Krystal, it’s obvious she’s putting her theatrical training at work. She gets better everytime.

She’s won once so far, but her often-high weekly scores have tied her at 3rd to 4th rank with Sheena. I liked a lot of her performances as well. I am first sharing one of my faves, her impersonation of John Legend. The next is her doing a Christina Aguilera, her first actual win Feel free to also check out her Cher, Lea Salonga, Cyndi Lauper, and Bonnie Tyler. As fo this writing, she just did a Freddie Mercury, which was also good, by my standards.

 

And my list is done! Basically, I think the TNT Boys getting into the finals is already in the bag. Sheena, my most fave, doesn’t always get the highest scores, so I’m crossing my fingers. Krystal, if she keeps doing what she does, would most probably be in the finals, too. I am crossing my fingers for Esang as well, but she does consistently get high scores…

I am actually surprised and very glad to know that my top ones are those who are leading the ranks. The girls are my faves, but biases aside, I thought that they should be in the top three.

Anyway, guys, I hope you enjoyed reading my post and watching the vids. I enjoyed putting this together. I could do another set next week, if I have the time 🙂

Wishes and Songs Part II #TuesdayTunes

I am excited to share this next set of performers!

But first, remember I promised I would explain Filipino music last time? Then, I will explain. Let me start by sharing someone’s thoughts regarding our musicality and how we are, in general, as a nation of singing addicts, all from a non-Filipino’s point of view  😉

David DiMuzio is a music artist in his own right and has lived in this country, so he knows what he’s talking about when he discusses Why FILIPINOS Are The BEST SINGERS In The World.

For the record, I don’t think that we are the best singers in the world simply because there are no statistics to prove that. I don’t think there’s been any study done to see who’s best, and if there was, I’d say that’s a stupid waste of money that could’ve been used for more relevant endeavors.

That said, I do believe that it seems we do have quite talented artists over here even though–*GASP!!!*–not everyone can sing well. Just to give you my humble estimate, 90% of us sing, so there’s the 10% who don’t or can’t. The 90% comprises these:

  • 40% good singers who can, at least, carry a decent tune
  • 30% really good singers qualified to join local amateur singing contests
  • 15% exceptionally great singers qualified to join much bigger competitions and, perhaps, be recording artists
  • 5% most fortunately blessed singers that soon become legends for their amazingly distinct talents

I agree with all of what David DiMuzio said. Although regarding that part about almost all households having karaoke,…Well, I suppose, if he is referring to owning a player, DVDs of sing-along songs and, hopefully, a mic, that’s possible enough even for poor families. But the actual karaoke, what we now call as videoke (not hard to guess why), is now a modern jukebox that is usually rented for 24 hours for parties and during occasions. Anyone, especially guests, can hang around and take turns belting out songs that can be heard kilometers away.

Anyway, David’s right, we love the ’70s and ’80s music. To add, we love and patronize even older songs because our parents and their parents did, too. Children from all walks of life grow up listening to music their parents also grew up listening to, so those are what are usually played at home and, often, on the radio…

Alright, ’nuff said about that. Let’s go to the artists already!

This trio, I already introduced in Part 1 of this two-part series. However, they’re so good, I decided to first share another one of their “jam sessions” on the Wish bus. This is a vid featuring Kyla, Yeng Constantino, and KZ Tandingan. Unfortunately, I could not find an original video so I’m sharing a reaction video instead. I do promise you, you can hear them clearly (jump to 0:40, if you need to). And thanks to Terrence Jr. for this!

Some of the Wish bus videos of artists I am featuring are reaction videos. That’s because the original performance videos are already missing (it’s a long story, but something Wish FM addicts know of). Don’t worry, I have chosen reaction vids where you can hear the artists clearly, and the reactors have done the least reactions during the presentations (based on my search, anyway)…

Now, this artist was one of the most requested artists to appear on the Wish bus and was their first-ever Artist of the Month. I honestly think the appearance was only made possible as she was/is endorsing a popular company’s new service. Who cares, though? It seems everyone who heard and saw that quite recent performance–on the radio, right outside the bus, through watching YouTube–loved her song. Dubbed as Asia’s Songbird, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid brought the house down when she did a cover of her past cover of the song  Araw-Gabi (Day and Night).

A little background: Regine first made waves when she won first in Ang Bagong Kampeon (The New Champion) at 14. She is best known as a “belter” who can reach such crazy high notes. (I personally am more in love with the lower registers she’s shown here).  She soon became the standard for high belters and many from the younger generation have been idolizing her then and now, trying to follow in her footsteps…Given this background info, you can now guess why she was most requested and why there was such a big crowd outside the bus, as can be seen from her Wish video.

Meanwhile, here’s someone whose talents I highly respect and appreciate. She’s showbiz royalty and I’m happy she is not just riding on her famous parents’ popularity (the mom is an actress-singer, the dad was called the Comedy King of the film and TV industry). This is Zia Quizon whose voice I have loved ever since I first heard her sing on TV.  She’s got a not-so-usual voice quality that you could definitely love.

For the bus, she sang Creep, Crazy, and The Scientist, all YouTube hits, and I could easily just share any of their originals. BUT, it is her version of Hotline Bling, a song which original version I totally hated, that I love most, and it was the most-viewed of her numbers, I believe. Watch and listen to her sing below. I have also posted a reactors’ video because Zia’s vids of this keep getting taken out of YouTube. So in case it doesn’t work anymore, check out the reactors’ vid (jump to 0:52 if you want). Thanks to HugknucklesTV!

Next is another non-belter. In fact, Sue Ramirez is more of an actress than a singer. She does have a nice, sweet singing voice that she likes to share once in a while. For instance, here, she sings popular TV drama Dolce Amore‘s theme song Your Love, which is a ’90s band Alamid original.

I like Sue, but I’m not crazy about this version of the song, so I was surprised to find out that foreign reactors were so smitten by her that her rendition became viral in no time. I did not expect that at all. I think it’s the charm that worked like magic, based on various reactions I’ve seen and on the number of reactors suddenly crushing on her. I leave it to you to decide.

She did sing, at least, another song that you might like more: Ako sa ‘Yo.

Another young artist has made it in our list of special singers worthy of mention. She is Sassa Dagdag of The Voice Philippines – Kids Edition season 2. Sassa has got this distinctly husky singing voice that makes her stand out. Her various song renditions, especially of If I were a Boy and Halo, were/are others’ easy favorites. Mine, though, is her interpretation of La Vie en Rose. For me, that was a really awesome performance, the most impressive of her renditions.

The Wish bus performance got taken down, though, so I am again sharing a reactors’ video. The vid is clear, the sounds are also, the reactors kept the comments to a minimum, enough for us to enjoy viewing (jump to 1:02). Thanks to MGN: The Echo!

Last, we’ve got a girl group, the 4th Impact. They are actually sisters and we have kind of seen their “transformation”, starting from years ago when certain TV shows first featured/introduced these then-very simple lasses. They grew up joining singing and dance contests to be able to help their family. In fact, up to now, these much-more stylish girls still keep joining–sometimes winning–in various talent competitions abroad. Most notable of their successes are winning twice in the World Championship of Performing Arts (2006, 2013) in separate categories, and bagging the fifth place in The X Factor UK (2015).

The group has had several name-changes until they settled with “4th Impact”. Basing on this performance, however, I believe that they can always change the name, but no one can ever deny their talent.

I thought that to corroborate David’s observation of how our singing artists hone their skills through competitions, here is an example of how great they can already be even before they officially become celebrities.

Below is a number performed the recent Wish Music Awards that featured finalists of the contest Tawag ng Tanghalan, a segment of the variety show It’s Showtime. For some reason, there’s only one guy here, Noven Belleza, who happens to be the eventual champion. It could be because of the genre. All the other guys had their separate number.

I have two personal faves. First is Gidget Dela Llana who was a part of the first set of semi-finalists (I was able to kind of follow some of them then). I was happy with her song choices on the daily rounds and she gave them justice wonderfully. Even when others seemed to be belting out higher notes, she was able to prove herself as a worthy competitor.

My second fave is Eumee Capile (I honestly could not find yet a relevant page to link to) whom I admit having not watched until her Wish performance (hey, I was at work, alright?). So much power!!!…

That’s it, folks! There are so many to share, but I concentrated specifically only on several. And if this set now screams of Girl Power, it’s unintentional. I chose only from what/who went viral and what I personally liked. Honestly, so far, only a few male Wish artists have sent me fangirl-ing. They do deserve to be given the chance, so I think I’ll do that in the future.

Before I really go, I leave you with this Wish Awards medley number from Zia, Sassa, and KZ. there was the original video that was better, of course, but you know what happened. Thanks, at least, for fans like Dannie Buenaventura…ENJOY!!!

 

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Did you enjoy these? You did?!!! Good. Which did you enjoy most, though? Who did you like best? Let us know at the bottom, please! I loooove feedback (as long as it’s wholesome)!!!

Wishes and Songs Part 1 #TuesdayTunes

Welcome back to #TuesdayTunes! Woo-hoo!!! Been a long while since the last one, methinks. For today, I am sharing a very good set of songs and singers. While on hiatus from The Walking Dead vids, I discovered many reaction videos that are particularly about performances done while on the Wish bus. Yep, that’s right, the wish bus! And I’ve become obsessed!

What am I talking about? I’ve heard about this bus before, but it is only now that I’m discovering these videos. It’s really rather simple. There’s this bus that on given days, goes around the metro or parks in one place. What’s so special? This bus serves as the station for Wish 107.5 FM where various singing artists perform live, for real, in real time, like a mini-concert, and everyone around the bus can hear them! Guess what? Too many of their vids have gone really viral, like full-blown viral.

Can I just say “Really nice concept, Wish peeps”?

Of course, it features local artists, although I won’t discount the possibility that should foreign acts visit here, maybe some wouldn’t be too unavailable for such a thing. (UPDATE: They have been featuring foreign artists.)

Alright, guys, though these are all local artists, I encourage you to at least check them all out. I’ve put together a great collection of awesome performances with different flavors. A lot of them have more than one great performance, but I chose either my faves or what YouTube viewers and reactors loved most. You’re free to click stop and move on to the next ones, but before you do, please give each performance a chance first. You’re bound to be surprised.

BTW, this is the first of a two-parter and I promise to explain more about Filipino music next time (and links to be added while you read/watch, sorry…)

ENJOY!!!

Let’s start with the youngest — 14-year-old Darren Espanto with Chandelier, so yeah, you know what you’re in for. His I Believe rendition won for him the Best Wishclusive Performance by a Young Artist award in the recent Wish Awards, but the first is somehow his staple song (my opinion), so I’m sharing that one. If you don’t like this style, at least lend him an ear. He’s a Filipino who grew up in Canada and was already doing front acts in concerts before he joined The Voice Philippines – Kids Edition and won second place (he should have been first, but I’ll keep my mouth shut).

Alright, has he got your heart pounding? Let’s slow things down a bit with Bugoy Drilon, a former canteen janitor. A lot of our artists nowadays are products of singing competitions on TV. This guy won second place in the second season of Pinoy Dream Academy (PDA). Why second-placers often make it bigger than the first-placers, I have no idea. Anyway, he’s supposed to be a balladeer (he’s got a few hits), but when he joined the We Love OPM contest last year, I think that’s when they discovered his other hidden talent in singing. He showcases that here.

Nice, eh?

How about a little surprise? Nah, I’m kidding…It’s a BIG surprise! Just let Marcelito Pomoy show you the surprise 😉

Marcelito won in the 2011 Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT) contest. I think it’s not hard to guess why. Like many of our artists, he was also dirt-poor with a colorful background before finding fame.

Now we go to a real girl. By now, you can guess she was part of a singing competition also, he he. Well, not my intention. It just happens these vids feature them. Anyway, this is Morissette Amon, or simply Morissette, and if you check this vid out, you’ll understand why she won most of the awards in the Wish Awards.

We have her here singing solo a song originally sang by a group and, my goodness, she’s awesome! I mean I knew that when I saw her in The Voice Philippines (TVoP) in 2013, in fact, I was rooting for her, but she didn’t make it all the way to the top. So when I saw this the other day, can I just say I fell for her? And she looks so pretty here, too. Anyway, listen and find out why many YouTube reactors from around the world found her awesome, too…

Squeezed in BONUS –> Here’s a “duet” from the Wish Awards:

Up next is Klarisse De Guzman (sadly, I can’t find a good enough bio of hers for now) singing a classic with a lot of class. Her vids didn’t get that many hits/votes, but I think she earned a place here. She won second-place in the same TVoP season where Morissette was in and they had the same coach.

Alright, enough of the high-note divas and divos! We have here another artist, a diva in her own right. Oh, she’s very special! She won first place in The X Factor Philippines in 2012 (Note: Filipinos really love music! Singers tend to win this contest when it’s supposed to be for every kind of talent…Well, singers and dancers, actually, ’cause we love to dance, too!).

This is Soul Supreme KZ Tandingan.

Anyway, I decided to post two vids here of her ’cause I couldn’t help it. I don’t know which one’s better! There’s a third with her, R’n’B Princess Kyla and songwriter Pop Rock Princess Yeng Constantino (she won first place in the first of the only two seasons of PDA).

Kyla’s the one with the sweet voice and she rapped, too, to my surprise. Yeng is more into alternative, so don’t expect her to go all-diva like the others. She writes wonderful songs, one of which is my favorite that I have shared here before called Hawak-Kamay. They sang another song but it’s been taken down. I’ll be sharing it in Part 2 of this post.

And now, last in this first list and definitely not the least, is music icon Gary Valenciano. Some foreigners will most probably get bored with his style because it is the Filipino style of writing and singing sentimental songs. But he actually sings dance songs also and is not called Mr. Pure Energy for nothing. A lot of us grew up listening to and idolizing him. With this vid, however, you won’t get bored AT ALL, as some reactors found out later and what made them apologize for some negative comments on his other videos that they first saw.

Oh, you will love this, I promise! (BTW, thanks to Lukas MD’Gams.)

 

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Did you enjoy these? You did?!!! Good, ’cause I’ve got more next time.Which did you enjoy most, though? Who did you like best?

Stay tuned for next time!!!

Awesomely Techno-weird Musical Instruments Part 1 #TuesdayTunes

First, let me greet you with this one:

LOL!!! I know, I know, the whole thing leaves a lot to be desired. But what can you expect from an AI writing (and singing!) Christmas songs???

To write the song, the researchers first had the computer produce a story about the festive image. Then, they selected a rhythm of one beat per word, linked the endings of sentences to the endings of the music’s bars, and tuned it so that the vocals would occur in a “natural” pitch range, the scientists said. The neural network then took the song to completion.”

Sadly, you can’t add actual talent to AI, just memory, even if this is the newest innovation. Not yet, anyway. We need more innovative technology for that.

Speaking (playing?) of technology, check out the “untouchable music of the theremin”. I never heard of the theremin until I chanced upon this on TED Talks. Here,

Virtuoso Pamelia Kurstin performs and discusses her theremin, the not-just-for-sci-fi electronic instrument that is played without being touched. Songs include ‘Autumn Leaves,’ ‘Lush Life’ and David Mash’s ‘Listen, Words Are Gone.’ ”

I enjoyed this talk. Part of it was because the theremin was interesting, part of it was because I was in awe of Pamelia’s talent and I loved the music, and still another part of it was because Pamelia was charming in her shy, giggly way. She started off nervously, and actually seemed nervous all throughout, but she made up for it with her anecdotes and funny little jokes. Love her already. Well, this was filmed way back in 2002, but who cares? Oh, and she does not anymore carry the last name Kurstin (from her former marriage), so call her by her birth name Pamelia Stickney.

And while we’re talking technology, who knows it best (my opinion) than Japan? Just ask Maywa Denki…Okay, I’m not really sure what they’re going to say, but these guys are taking technology and music to a funn(i)er level.

Although Maywa Denki is known and appreciated as an artist, its promotion strategies are full of variety: exhibition, live stages, performances, producing music, videos, writing, merchandising toys, stationery, and electric devices.”

The two-men team of Tosa brothers Masamichi and Novmichi are responsible for some of the most fun instruments around. I like them because this is also the way I create sounds when I’m in the mood–I try stuff. I like them more because funny aside, they are actually inventors and have musical abilities themselves, it seems.

Two of the stuff these crazy inventors made:

The popular but absurd otamatone (that’s the funny Novmichi presenting). I want one for the kids! (and me!)

Check out the cute Otamatone Melody, hee hee…

My favorite, so far, because I love beats, Mr. Knocky

They have more inventions so just check out their site. Meanwhile, here’s a cheery little Christmas song. Guess the song 😉

Okay, now we go classic. We’ve got the barrel organ. I still call this “technology” as every generation has its own technology, regardless of whether they’re new or innovated.

The basic principle is the same as a traditional pipe organ, but rather than being played by an organist, the barrel organ is activated either by a person turning a crank, or by clockwork driven by weights or springs. The pieces of music are encoded onto wooden barrels (or cylinders), which are analogous to the keyboard of the traditional pipe organ.”

I find the barrel organ quite interesting, innovative, and judging from this Patrick Mathis tribute to the King of Pop, quite hip despite its history. Trust me, you’ll love this video…

Lastly, for today, we’ve got a truly fantastic instrument called the Marble Machine from Wintergatan. It’s not so much the music that interests me here,  but how the machine was awesomely created by Martin Molin. Such creativity and precision!

Martin explains how he thought of this mechanical-slash-musical instrument: Martin Molin tells all on his Marble Machine. His marble machine is said to be not the first of its kind, nevertheless, what a marvelous invention!

 

I know you enjoyed this post as much as I did. Love you, guys!!!

Listening with Your Soul #TuesdayTunes

It’s amazing, isn’t it? You’d think great musicians grew up all normal but with exceptional musical abilities. But in actuality, a lot of them have impairments that could have stopped them from becoming great. Beethoven was deaf and is an excellent example of how anyone can overcome such a grave challenge and, in fact, use it for the better. Boy, did he use it! Eric Clapton, Sting and Bono? Also hearing-impaired.  Andreas Bocelli, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles? All blind.

It’s like wonderful armless painters who have found a way to use their mouths and feet,  painting their obra maestras. It’s like Stephen Hawking using his genius mind over his physical matters. Or how about Nick Vujicic? No arms, no legs, no problem. He’s become one of the most influential life speakers of today…

Oh, but here,  we go back to music. I thought I’d share this TED Talks session to you (I told you I like TED Talks).

In this soaring demonstration, deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie illustrates how listening to music involves much more than simply letting sound waves hit your eardrums.

It’s a very enlightening and entertaining talk. I’m pretty sure you’ll like it and her, too. I wish I could actually see this wonderful artist perform!

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Hope you guys enjoyed that and learned a thing or two. If you have similar talks to share, please share. I love listening to stories of triumph like this 🙂

 

Poetry in Music #TuesdayTunes

I like music and poetry. Put them together and…magic! So I thought I’d go the poetic round on this one, in a sort of way.

First, we have a vid from a TED Talk session. I’ve always liked TED Talks, especially because they often inspire. This one, I rediscovered while going through my old posts on Facebook. It’s Natalie Merchant “singing old poems to life”.

Natalie Merchant sings from her new album, ‘Leave Your Sleep.’ Lyrics from near-forgotten 19th-century poetry pair with her unmistakable voice for a performance that brought the TED audience to its feet.

Next is a collection of songs by the famous Enya, one of my favorite artists. Her album The Celts was what introduced me to her. It’s hard to choose a fave song, but I guess if you wrung my wrists, my most faves would be “The Celts” (the intro you hear here) and the hauntingly beautiful “Boadicea”. Her music always comes across as poetry to me, perhaps because they somewhat are, having been often based on Irish Gaelic songs, rich in lore and mythology.

I think, with Enya, you either like her music like I do or not. Do give her a chance and listen to this. Go to the actual YouTube video, though, to see the list of songs featured.

ENJOY!!!

 

 

 

Fight Songs! #TuesdayTunes

Last year, I shared (more like reminded you of) this song, Just Stand Up. Well, it’s October once again, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month  and my default All-Cancers Awareness Month.

Here are songs for our loved ones who continue to bravely fight the Big C, and for our loved ones who bravely did until God said it’s time to go home…

(Note: Most I got from AboveAndBeyondCancer.org)

“3AM” by Matchbox 20

“During a 2001 episode of VH1 Storytellers, Matchbox 20 vocalist Rob Thomas told the story of how he wrote this song, inspired by a difficult period of his life when his mother was dealing with cancer.” (AboveAndBeyondCancer.org)

“Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day

Not exactly a “cancer song” but it’s beautiful.

“Mission” by Lupe Fiasco

“Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco describes this song ‘as a track to empower those facing cancer, revere cancer survivors and remember those who have passed to due to cancer related illnesses.’  This song nails the cancer fight in so many ways.” (AboveAndBeyondCancer.org) Rap song has some unwholesome words, though, so just a warning.

“Clouds” by Zach Sobiech

“In early 2013 the world was captivated by the amazing story of Minnesota osteosarcoma patient Zach Sobiech.  Zach’s cancer diagnosis…didn’t stop him from writing this beautiful song.” (AboveAndBeyondCancer.org)

“Hope” by Capri Ruberto

I honestly originally did not want to include this here for the simple fact that…it made me cry. But it’s so beautiful! A song written by Capri herself when she was 12 when her mother was diagnosed with cancer….This is the live version that tore my heart: “HOPE” Live.

And now, I saved this for last! I think this is the perfect fight cancer song even though I don’t think it was written for such purpose.

“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten

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For our loved ones.

Out of Oz #TuesdayTunes

You’re most probably familiar with the word “Oz” already. There’s the original Frank L. Baum book, then there’s the 1939 movie with Judy Garland, then the ’70s Broadway musical version, followed by an all-star cast film adaptation of that Broadway musical version in 1978, and then there’s the Gregory Maguire book inspired by the original book but not quite, THEN the Broadway musical inspired by that book inspired by the original…Yeah, I know you’re familiar with it. And you know what I’m featuring today: WICKED songs!

I’m sorry if I’m tiring you with a lot of WICKED stuff in this blog…Actually, I’m not sorry, he he…I love, love, looooove the Broadway musical. Couldn’t you tell with my WICKEDly Ozsome review?

That intro aside, I am happy to announce I found this series on YouTube. They call it the #OutofOz series and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying them. It’s “where favorite Wicked alumni and current performers sing re-imagined versions of Wicked songs.” Not sure if there should be more, but so far, I’m only seeing four of them.  Gimme MOOOOOREEEE!!!!!

A new take on “For Good” (a song they originally sang) by Kristin Chenoweth (Glinda) and Idina Menzel (Elphaba)

 

Duet version “Defying Gravity” by Rachel Tucker (Elphaba) and Aaron Tveit (Fiyero)

 

Cute “Popular” song by Aaron Tveit! Hee…

 

Lastly, “I’m Not that Girl” duet version by Rachel Tucker and Kara Lindsay (Glinda)

 

LOVE ‘EM!!!

 

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Hope you loved them as much as I did/do. Check out last week’s #TuesdayTunes, They Say Something Together 🙂

They Say Something Together #TuesdayTunes

Today, I introduce to you #TuesdayTunes!!! This is all about music, folks. Please keep in mind, if you are in Asia, that I am following a different time zone, so forgive me 😉

So for our “opening salvo”, we’ve got Hanna de Guzman (from my college years) doing a SMULE duet with Ian Axel, one-half of A Great Big World, who originally sang this song:

 

I’ve known Hanna since college. We were from the same city but never met until college, taking up the same degree and going to the same university in a nearby town. I knew she was a singer in her own right, in fact, she sang our college radio station’s theme song. I have always loved the quality of her voice.

Fast-forward to these days. I have been checking out (and enjoying!) Hanna’s duets with her friends when I saw this duet with the lead singer himself of the duo that sang “Say Something”. This happened after she got an invitation for a duet.

ian-and-hanna-duet-invitation

Ian Axel’s invitation for a duet

We’ll get to know more about Hanna one of these days. Meanwhile, like I always say, ENJOY!

 

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If you’ve done something like this, feel free to let us know 🙂