High and Low

As the notes go higher, keep the sound grounded and full. As you sing lower, don’t press too hard – think light and high. 

Some paradoxes of life. Even choral singing has some something to say about finding center and balance. 

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Half Steps Up

A mere single note a half step up changes a chord from a minor to a major key and ultimately transforms the mood of an entire piece from melancholic to joyful. Perhaps finding happiness is a matter of spotting the right notes that need to be altered and is, like from a minor to a major key, only a matter of changing things a half step up. ‪image

Midnight in Italy

Speaking of rekindling childlike wonder, this video captures one of precious moments when I’ve felt like a kid again, like I was in a movie where anything can happen. Everything was just surreal. 

An Italian choir from Turin,whom we simply happened to pass by and befriend along the streets of Arezzo, jammed with us. When it was time for us to say goodbye, they serenaded us with a goodnight song. Incidentally, there was a couple passing by who heard the music and started to dance, and in the magic of the moment, heres what happened…Heres to music, to love, and to good madness in any corner of the world! ❤

 

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

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The Most Beautiful Sound in the World

So reader’s digest has a fill-in-the-blanks contest on their page:

“The most beautiful sound in the world is…”

Napaisip ako ah. I was tempted to link the Philippine Madrigal Singer’s  rendition of Randall Stroope’s Rivider le Stelle in the European Grand Prix 2007 in which they bagged 1st place.

There is no better sound in the world that speaks and sings of hope and reaching the divine. The Italian text is an excerpt from Dante Alighieri’s Divina Comedia.

Once Again We Beheld the Stars

But soon it will be night and we must rise to the stars.
Now is the time to depart this place
for we have seen and experienced it all.
Keep moving! Return to paradise.
The wings of hell’s monarch are heard nearby.
We must leave quickly,

but soon it will be night.
I climbed toward paradise with no thought of looking back.
I passed through a small opening
and finally saw heaven and the supreme light
and beheld once again the stars.

 

 

 

Bringing a Part of Home to Those Away.

Just finished a concert of sacred music together with 2 other amazing choirs, one from Sweden and another one from Italy. After our spot, and after having exited, the audience asked for more. “Bis! Bis!”, the Italians yelled. The chairs were being taken out when the staff were immediately instructed to put them back. We went back towards the front of the altar, towards our designated chairs and sir Mark went in front once again to cue our bow. As we sat down, sir Mark, still standing, addressed the audience, “Cantiamo Magnificat in Filipino” (We will sing Magnificat in Filipino).

As we started singing “Ang Puso Ko’y Nagpupuri”, which was arranged by Paulo K Tiról, I suddenly noticed that there were actually Filipinos in the audience, standing at the sides of the church. They wore such huge smiles filled with pride and a lady even started to sing along with us. This sight really made my day. It feels really good to bring a part of home to Filipinos far away.

In Search of Light

For those  of you who have happened to randomly read my blog entries and for those who followed me, hello! I figured it is only proper for me to introduce myself to you. My name is Cel. I am 26 years old. I graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in music, specializing in piano performance. Now, I mainly sing and travel around the world with the national choir. As part time job, I also teach an all-female liturgical high school chorale. Like any other artist, my lifestyle is quite different from those who work in corporations and institutions. My days are comprised of rehearsing 3 times a week, performing every other day and teaching. In certain parts of the year, I am out of the country with my choir doing concerts in different corners of the globe. So far its been an incredible experience to have music, travel and outrageously talented and amazing people all rolled into my life. I can never be too grateful for it.

In between those activities, when I am alone and doing particularly nothing, (yes i still have so much free time I sometimes don’t know what to do with it) I have a good relationship with my laptop, ipad and facebook. Occasionally, I go out and have dinner/coffee/movie night with my small circle of friends and endlessly talk about everything and anything from careers to love to life to sex to people and philosophies.

Every now and then, I like to upload in facebook the photos of the places I’ve been to, the people I’m with or people I have met and crossed paths with. Perhaps because of this, there is a born impression that I have it better than other people my age, most of which  are known to be undergoing some sort of quarter life crisis… I have had old acquaintances from high school telling me how they are envious of how I’m able to travel the world, and I’ve had people assume that my life is somewhat perfect since I also belong to this quite prestigious choir. Facebook, as well as other types of media, has a way of distorting and sensationalizing reality and deviating from what exactly is. I do not deny the fact that I am truly blessed and fortunate to have such an opportunity and such rich experiences, however, my life is far from perfect and I do not consider myself as someone who is extraordinary. In fact, as opposed to what I thought of as a child, I consider myself quite average and common, and ironically, on bad days, I feel that I am too different and a misfit.

So here is the truth:

I am 26, single and who is in possession of a diploma which I worked had for for 5 years and have not benefited from since the day i graduated 2 years ago. Sometimes, I do not want to wake up and prefer to sleep all day and dream, reflect and think. There are moments when I constantly question why I am doing what I am doing. There are moments too when I wish I could disappear from the world and  hibernate in the mountains or the woods where life can be much simpler . As much as I love music and travel, I don’t think I’ve found that thing that would drive me to wake up in mornings and immerse myself in so deeply that I would forget about time. I look at my friends surrounding me (most of whom are musicians and artists), the best at their own fields and who have quite figured out what they’re going to do with their lives. I, on the other hand, am a clueless scatterbrain who wants to try out everything and has become nothing but average in different fields. I envy people who have found their purpose in life. Those who have something to obsess about, even if its something weird or outrageous like being obsessively against killing sharks and dolphins. I envy people who’s eyes light up when they’re immersed and  just profoundly in love with their own craft. I have yet to figure out mine. Maybe I’ve found it already and perhaps just forgotten, I don’t know. I keep trying to figure out whats wrong with me. Like perhaps, I may  have ADD as I get bored easily with tasks. Right now, I basically feel that life is pointless and I have no idea which direction I’m heading. I’m in a serious case of quarter life crisis.

I guess what I’m driving at is, I want to be a master of  something. I want to be unreasonably passionate with a skill, a  craft, an art or about some cause.  I want to fall in love, not only in the romantic sense, but I want to fall in love with life.

So heres what I want this blog to be about: finding LOVE, enLIGHTenment and PASSION. I do hope that by my constant searching, trying new things and writing,  I would eventually discover my corner of the sky.

If you’ve reached this part of the entry, thanks for reading. I personally believe each of us has a purpose. I guess most of us are in the same boat in searching for it. I could only hope we will not give up in our search for our calling. If you do have any insights and stories you want to share, please feel free to comment.

With love,

This is me at the Kilometre Zero at Puerta del Sol, Madrid Spain. The Spaniards used this point as the marker to measure distances. Right now, I feel like I am back to point zero in my life, directionless still wondering where I go from here. Nevertheless, I am still happily traversing the world with a smile on my face. :)

This is me at the Kilometre Zero at Puerta del Sol, Madrid Spain. The Spaniards used this point as the marker to measure distances. Right now, I feel like I am back to point zero myself, directionless still wondering where I go from here. Nevertheless, I am still happily traversing the world with a smile on my face. 🙂

Cel