Sunday, November 01, 2009

Flute music from Europe all the way to Asia

  The flutes used by Bonet and Gonzalez at the performance. I saw a couple of spectators went onstage after the show and took some pictures. Nobody reprimanded them so I took liberty in taking some shots as well.

My love affair with music was reignited when the same studio where I learned playing electronic organ and piano invited me to play a piece in a recital in Batangas last May. I practically grew up with music and drifted away from the craft for several years due to the demands of studies and work.

Now that I am at it again, I always see to it that I am able to check out free performances around Metro Manila as much as I can.

Just last September, Instituto Cervantes de Manila organized a mini-concert dubbed "El galeon de Manila: Music from the Manila Galleon Route."

The show featured Pedro Santiago Bonet and Belen Gonzalez. Bonet is a professor of flute music at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Madrid, while Gonzalez is a concert and recording flutist.

Bonet (left) and Gonzalez (right) in one of their performances. Photo courtesy of Instituto Cervantes.

The interesting aspect of this performance is that Bonet and Gonzalez played traditional and classical tunes from Europe and Latin America -- probably dating back to some 300 years ago -- which somehow evolved as they traveled half the world to Asia including the Philippines.

Music travelled with goods from China, the Philippines and other neighboring Asian countries to Latin America, Africa and Europe and vice versa through the Manila galeon route, thanks to the discovery of "tornaviaje" by Spaniard Fray Andres de Urdaneta in 1565.

The two musicians used about 16 kinds of wooden flutes -- some are probably at least two feet long, while the others may be as small as a piccolo (about six inches long).

Some of the songs that they played include Cancionero de Uppsala, Dos himnos a duo sobre Ave maris stella (probably by Antonio de Cabezon who lived between 1510-1566, not sure since my Spanish is limited and I can barely understand the programme written in Spanish); several marches and minuets by anonymous composers; a song from Bolivia, France, and China; just to name a few.

The tunes actually reminded me of flute music that are commonly played as background music in movies set in Elizabethan England.

I managed to record the whole thing in my MP3 so for copies (which are not for sale and solely for personal satisfaction), please feel free to e-mail me.


Alunsina said...

Ikegai! Nice one, Gerard, write more!

Loling said...

I wonder when they'll showcase salseros. Kaka-excite!