KEEPING the fire of the independent music scene burning in Spain and the Philippines, the Spanish Embassy, with Instituto Cervantes, are bringing together Spanish and Filipino acts in a series of concerts, which will run until December.
Posporos concerts aim to promote the indie acts from both countries and to highlight Spanish influences in the musical culture in the country.
According to Spanish Embassy First Secretary Guillermo Escribano, the concert also serves as a platform for Filipino acts to gain an international audience and opportunities to play abroad.
“The conclusion is that the potential of Filipino indie music is something that is not very well known in Spain. [Similarly], it is very difficult to listen to Spanish indie bands in the Philippine radio. This is our first objective, the goal is to generate familiarity,” Escribano said.
He added: “Spain is a country of very important music festivals. You deserve to be there. Posporos is the first step to generate visibility of Pinoy music in our country and also Spanish music here and in Southeast Asia.”
The concert series opened earlier this month at the Bar1951 in Malate, with three-piece rock band The Sleepyheads and folk artist Pablo Und Destruktion, who will be accompanied by his band La Tribu del Trueno.
According to Posporos Project Coordinator Isabel Pérez Galvéz, the acts in the concert are paired together based not only on musical genres but also in their attitude and sentimentalities toward music, as well as some similarities in background.
“We wanted to highlight different kinds of music but, at the same time, the quality and the personality of each one. In the selection of the Spanish bands, we wanted to promote this spark, this connection, atleast encourage the selected band to play together and jam, if possible,” Galvéz said.
Aside from the Spanish-Philippine pairings, the concert will also feature Filipino DJs to provide context on what is happening on the local turntables. A mainstay in underground venues and clubs, Major Chie joined The Sleepyheads and Pablo García Díaz of Pablo Und Destruktion.
Next month, world music veterans Kalayo, known for their mix of Filipino-Asian, western and contemporary music, will be sharing the stage with an artist that has an equally diverse arsenal of musical styles.
Soléa Morente, who comes from a flamenco background, with her father being a solid figure in the genre, will be showcasing both Spanish-infused flamenco performances and some musical experiments in the pop-rock side at the 70s Bistro in Quezon City. They will be joined by DJ Parallel Uno.
Highlighting the mix and match and numerous groupings in the local music scene in the Philippines, Posporos will have electronic-music duo Tarsius, composed of Diego Mapa from Pedicab and Radioactive Sago Project’s Jay Gapasin, playing with alternative dance band from Zarautz Spain, Delorean. Along with DJ Samantha Cole, the two acts will be performing at XX XX in Makati City on November.
Finally, in December old meets new with the Susie Ibarra band and their classical and jazz music intertwined with some indigenous rhythms from Mindanao. They will be playing alongside Mastretta band, which boasts of an orchestra setup and jazz overtones, with other musical genres in-between at TBD with a guest DJ.
According to Kalayo’s Sammy Asuncion, the Spanish element is deeply rooted in Philippine music and is already part of the culture, which must be represented well locally and internationally.
“There is no denying that growing up, it was all Spanish music around me. I was growing up without learning, because it is always there with my older brother, with our neighbors. All our music is inflicted with Spanish twang. It is there, even our kundiman,” Asuncion said.
He added: “Kalayo is a Filipino culture because it’s a mixture of the past. I try to fuse our tribal roots, the Spanish element is always there. I cannot deny there is already the American heritage. It is like a tribal thing, Spanish element and American thing and the future. It is world music. It is hard to explain but it is a kind of a fusion of your roots, the present and your own arrangement,” Asuncion added.
To further strengthen the cultural exchange, Galvéz said they are planning for the local bands to tour with the Spanish acts around venues and live-music stages in Metro Manila.
“We want to pave the way for a stronger exchange and connection on the stage. Our idea is that Philippine bands will show Metro Manila to the Spanish bands, but not like a traditional tour. What we are looking for is they show to the Spanish bands the place where they like, they play or where they think performances can take place. It is a very personal tour of the city,” Galvéz said. “We wanted to highlight the amazing network of the live-music scene here, where Philippine audience usually goes.”
Aside from this concert series, the Spanish Embassy, with the Uníon Fonográfica Independiente, an independent artists’ association, and Radio Republic, will also be launching a weekly radio program running Spanish music.
“Over the past years, we have been analyzing the evolution of cultural consumption for music in the Philippines. It is now the first market in growth for Spotify. They found that music consumption and streaming in the Philippines is something outstanding. Our countries have the same way of listening to music. We would be happy if there will be a Spanish Spotify, a little reference to what is going on with Filipino music and the other way around with Spanish music,” Escribano said.
Image credits: Danielle Gabriel