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)!!!

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 🙂

 

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 🙂