Influences (or Why I Write the Way I Do)

Natalie Goldberg (free-flowing writing)
Clarissa Pinkola Estes (wild woman writing)
Jane Hutchison (direct-to-the-point writing)
Ernest Hemingway (simple words writing)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Daddy and Pinoy Folk Rock

it's my daddy's influence. our then cassette player at home played not only beatles, elvis, the mamas and the papas, jose feliciano, neil diamond; but also freddie aguilar, sampaguita, banyuhay, asin and florante. it must be with how my ears were attuned to such music that when i became a cd collector (not avid though --- mahal! thanks youtube!), i took a liking to pinoy folk rock bands, in particular, Juan dela Cruz Band, and Pepe Smith.  the first time i heard Juan dela Cruz's Ang Himig Natin, my feeling was...'I've heard this song before'.  i wasn't awakened. instead, i was reawakened. as if i was hearing the song, the beat that was really me.  it's no wonder i take myself as a cowgirl. my preference for the old, the earthy, and no frills is not whimsy at all. 

this taste for old pinoy rock extends to even foreign music.  i'm so into Janis Joplin, Rolling Stones. Jimi Hendrix's rendition of the 'Star-Spangled Banner' left me breathless. the unorthodoxy of old jazz in BB King and its extensions in Lenny Kravitz's music made me realize the soulful connections of music from the 1950s to the 1970s.  the associations of rock with drugs, unbridled sex, and orgiastic lifestyles i will not contest.  but it must be the realist approach to music writing; the fearless explorations of tune and rhythm out of the ordinary; the parallels of violin's peaks and maximums with the lead guitar; and the practical musings of old rock music to age-old issues of love (Janis Joplin's 'Ball in Chains), sex (Juan dela Cruz's 'Balong Malalim'), heartbreak (Rolling Stones' 'Losing my Touch') and even nationhood  (Pepe Smith's 'Mighty Great Big-Hearted Love Song). 

i am leaving for Manila tonight to attend a once-in-a-lifetime experience --- the UGAT concert at the Araneta Coliseum, featuring the legends of pinoy rock --- Pepe Smith, JDCB, Sampaguita, Banyuhay, Florante, Gary Granada, Coritha and Asin's Lolita Carbon --- which also begs the question, where's Freddie Aguilar? my Dad is no longer here to be with me in person, but i'm taking his influence along and the deepest gratitude for allowing me space within the soulful earthy renditions of pinoy folk rock.  my Jesuit will be coming along and i hope he would enjoy it, rather than just endure. i miss you so much Daddy. this is for you.

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