This year I’ve reconnected to my “ethnic roots” twice – first during the Fête dela Musique 2014 and second during last night’s Moonrise Festival. There was a reason why, in my first year of college, I joined Kontra-Gapi – the ethnic instrument and dance group in UP. It was to serve as my introduction to the fundamentally astounding genre of world beat music. Although active for only a year, my Kontro Gapi experience will last me a lifetime. Not to mention it has also influenced me to take up World Music as one of my GE (General Education) subjects. Here my appreciation for world beat music grew.
World Beat Music has this kind of effect on me. Dancing to its beat is effortless not to mention totally relaxing. I can feel that it allows me to be myself where dance moves are not confined by strict rules and I can just flow without worry of appearing stupid.
This is my kind of dance. My kind of music.
Playing the instruments – the gong, gangsa, kulintang, sarunay, gabbang and soon, djembe – brings a different kind of satisfaction wherein although in itself they are simple, when played with a group, the harmony created is just totally out-of-this-world.
Right now, confined in the concrete walls of the office while listening to the recorded videos and music of last night’s festival, I can’t help but sway with the music. If left unchecked, I might just get up and dance. That’s how powerful worldbeat music affects me. That’s how my art flows.
And so I’ve considered – with resolve slowly growing – to have my very own djembe so I can play to my heart’s content and to learn poi dancing up to the point where I can play with fire.