Tag Archives: Music

Art Journal #13: Sly Demon of Death

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And a productive weekend to all of you too. I just finished Brooklyn Nine-Nine and would you look at that. I did not have anything else to do–no more series to binge-watch and no more video games to play.

This is Papa Ge from a musical, Once on this Island. The story, which can be appreciated if you put things on perspective, was…okay. But the songs, damn. Those songs really make your ass shake. Plus, Lea Salonga is one of the cast!

Now, moving on to this entry, as you can see it’s not as clean as it’s supposed to. This actually as been a recurring problem. I realized I did not really have the patience of keeping my work clean. It has always been messy and careless, which is not a good idea. You see, there’s this article I read about art and perception. There are times when we get comfortable with making messy art because it’s…art(?) and we don’t really see a problem with it (regarding proportion and lighting and stuff like that).

But that’s where we’re wrong because that’s just our perception speaking. Our brain sort of figures out what the art is supposed to look like. It only registers the form and it fills in the blanks and it tweaks the shading. And the details are completely erased. So one look and we’d think, “Oh it doesn’t look so bad,”. But if you look closely you’d see how careless everything is!

Gah it’s amazing how our brains do their work.

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Summer ’18

Well now, it’s been a while. Stuff happened so let’s talk about them before I get preoccupied with even more stuff.

PART I: THE FUN THING ABOUT NOTHING

I went on a trip to an island somewhere in Sorsogon. I was there with some of my co-workers and we all have that understanding among ourselves about how much we needed this break away from the office. It was a few hours away from my parent’s hometown so the whole experience was new. No, it’s not the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen clearer water and finer sand. But it was definitely one of the best vacations I’ve ever had. You know why? Because that was the only vacation where I actually get to do NOTHING!

And by “nothing” I mean just staying inside the cottage and waiting until it was okay to swim under the sun.

I used to believe that in order for a getaway at the beach to be worthwhile, I had to stay in the water for as long as I can. And I would just end up extremely tanned and nothing much has changed within me. I finally understood that delightful feeling of watching the waves as I breathe the fresh air of the ocean. I finally realized, in rare moments with nature like these, how important it is to pause for a while and reflect on life. Without plans and without other places to be. It was as if I was stuck in another space and it was just me and that horizon. And everything was at peace.

PART II: SUCH FOL-DE-ROL AND FIDDLE-DEE-DEE OF COURSE IS

I also went on another musical phase. I got obsessed with Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (2013). I guess it all started with watching Broadway Princess Party on Youtube. The whole event was fun enough–you get to see Broadway actors singing classic Disney songs. And one of those actors was Laura Osnes. Some of her performances was this beautiful medley of Disney songs and this wonderful rendition of “I See the Light” with Zachary Levi (guy who voiced Flynn Rider from Tangled).

In my everyday experience with music, I get to listen to beautiful voices by beautiful people from beautiful songs. But there are just some voices where you’d want for more. Laura’s was one of them. And I scrambled my way through Spotify and looked for her just to satisfy my ears. And that’s when I found myself drowned in this classic tale of glass slippers and fairygodmothers and dreams. And even though Cinderella is not my favorite (part of that is her passivity towards her so-called dreams because it shall be taken care of by karma and her deus ex-fairygodmother), she has become part of my childhood. And man, the songs were catchy and magical.

PART III: CUTE NAMES LIKE HIMIKO AND EZIO

I stopped playing Skyrim. And did that make me a more productive person? Nope. It was only replaced by more video games, Tomb Raider (2013) and Assassin’s Creed II. 

I’d like to start with Assassin’s Creed II since there’s a lot to talk about in Tomb Raider (2013). My first experience with this game was back in 2014 when I got this laptop from my cousin and there was Assassin’s Creed: Revelation installed. And I’m pretty sure I mentioned a little bit about it here. Anyway, it was a fun game. The parkour was awesome and having that liberty on choosing what kind of kill you’d do for a target was an exhilarating feeling.

Let’s move on to Tomb Raider (2013). I am in love with Lara Croft’s character in this particular game. Well, she has been part of my childhood but I didn’t quite relate to her. She was just, at least for me, a badass Angelina Jolie character and nothing more.

Then this game came along and suddenly, Lara Croft was like this girl you see in school but never really know and you never really cared. And then you two got stuck in a situation, like a lab partner in Science class or something. And she turned out to be a really cool person and you two become really awesome friends. And you’re sort of torn between jealousy and attraction because she’s really hot and really badass and she has everything you do not have. You either want to make out with her or push her in the hallways just to check if she’s vulnerable to embarrassment because seriously you can’t be all that perfect what the hell, girl, there has to be a flaw!

Anyway, Tomb Raider (2013) is an awesome game. Sure, the graphics and gameplay was already good enough but the thing that I really loved about it is the actual story of how Lara came to be. She started as this selfish, curious explorer who cared more about uncovering answers than the welfare of the people around her. Which then led to consequences and she gradually changed into this human being who is determined to save her friends despite the danger that comes her way. Then again, it may be because of guilt. I mean, if I were her, I would want to save everyone knowing the fact the I was the reason they were there in the first place.

Whatever she was, it didn’t really matter. I was inspired by her determination, resourcefulness and care for other people. To be honest, I see so much of Nancy Drew in her. I guess that’s the reason why I love her.

PART IV: SHORT MENTION OF NON-EXISTENT STUFF

Now, I have been made fun of for being attracted to video game characters. First of all, I am not attracted to video game characters. Second, even if I was, which I’m not, video game characters are no different from film characters or book characters. Sure, these are non-existent characters but see, there’s this thing in philosophy about universe of discourse and y’all guys should check it.

My point here is that I have come to relate to these video game characters more than the people in real life and that makes them stood out. That makes me interested and engaged (or maybe even attracted) to them.

Art Journal #9: She Don’t Give A

03-13

I’ve been trying out characters with outlines. I realized I liked drawing people a lot. And most of them are drawn from waist up. Now I need to practice full body poses. This is supposed to be my version of Dua Lipa during her BBC Radio 1 performance. She’s such a gem.

Anyway I’ve done this like weeks ago and I am only posting it now because busy busy busy. Maybe I’d talk about it sometime.

Art Journal #8: Sky

03-11

My first piece this month. Man, I’m been really busy last February. But here we are. I recycled my old sketches again and in this one, I tried this technique called Chromatic Aberration. It’s not as fancy as it sounds, it just means that you move the channels a little bit so it creates this really cool, distorted look. Anyway, it’s a quick art. I’ll come back for more.

Ma Lea

There was one time when I was playing a Call of Duty game which was set in World War 2. At that time I had played the game numerous of times so I decided to turn off the background music since I did not need to immerse myself fully. Instead, I decided to play the Lea Salonga Playlist that I made on my Spotify account. And the most beautiful thing happened!

There I was, barely holding on to my dear life. My health depletes in every second I fight for my survival with my comrades dying and my cries of despair are drowned by the canons flying above me. Amidst all these maddening chaos, Lea Salonga’s rendition of the old Filipino lullaby, Sa Ugoy ng Duyan started playing in the background. If you don’t know what this song is about, it is about a child longing for the song his/her mother used to sing to him/her at night. You can just imagine how relevant this song is to the scene where soldiers, who were young children once, are far away from their homes and in the middle of a fucking war. And as much as it’s thrilling and entertaining to play, it is also heartbreaking with her version so quiet and raw and only accompanied by the plucking of a guitar . Wow, all these thoughts just because of a Lea Salonga playlist.

After that, I suddenly started listening to my Lea Salonga playlist more often. Too often that I worry I might grew tired of it. But I just can’t stop. I don’t know much about the technicalities of singing, so I’ll probably describe Lea’s voice in the points of view as a listener.

She definitely knows how to turn your day around when you’re incredibly stressed or sad or bored. There has been many many instances when I have this slight panic at work, usually when the client gets a little bit more demanding than usual, and the Lea playlist would make everything calm and she gives you this promise that everything is going to be okay and it does, eventually.

Her Christmas album is my favorite because it made me celebrate Christmas in the middle of July. In it, she has the best speaking tracks I’ve ever heard. You know when you listen to an album and it’s got some unnecessary tracks where the artist just say irrelevant stuff just to fill the album? And you’re like, “Bro, why are you giving me this shit? I don’t need this. I listened to your album because I wanted to hear your singing voice, not this dumb mumbles,” But then you’ve got Lea Salonga talking in her Christmas album and you just fucking shed a tear because she sounded so loving and so nice and she sounded like mom from a Disney film and gah I love her. There is this one track there where she says something like, “Come on, sweetie. Wake up. Time to open your presents,” OMYGOD for a moment you’d expect to have presents for you to open.

I guess the most inspiring thing about her is that she made her passion and talent her life. She understands how good she is and she used every fiber of it and made her way to where she is right now. I mean if that isn’t life goals, I don’t know what is.

I love her too much that I get giddy everytime I see her on twitter. And then there are beautiful moments when she’d have a conversation with the genius Lin-Manuel Miranda, the guy who created Hamilton. I mean, guys just make a collab already. They could like, make a song about a houseplant, I wouldn’t care. I would be so down to it. I would listen to it all day. I would make it my ringtone. Heck, I would lull my future child to sleep with it.

Sometimes I kinda wish they’re my parents. Not as replacements of my own because my mom and dad are the coolest and I wouldn’t trade them for the world but just as my second mom and dad. I mean I know they both have families of their own and stuff but can you just imagine Lin as your dad and Lea as you mom? I can dream, can I?

She’s just everywhere in my life right now and I want to protect this woman at all cost.

Barbie & Africa

Before I begin talking about the weird obsession I had this weekend with the Barbie film series, can I just talk first about the song Africa by Toto?

When I was a kid, I used to not share my parents’ passion for 80s music. It wasn’t as epic and groovy as I think it is right now. I believe that it’s because I was brought up where 80s music was sung in the karaoke by drunk adults and it’s usually just hollering lyrics until they pass out. So the appeal didn’t really get me until later on.

But man, this song is THE SHIT. It has been my anthem for days now ever since I made a playlist on my Spotify account about 80’s songs. I fucking love it! I know nothing about music language but the conga beats and the catchy electric piano thing (?) that plays repeatedly are the best parts of that song.

Plus, I just love songs that celebrate places. You know when they like, thank the Gods for giving them a place to stay and how that home is wonderful and how they always long for it whenever they are someplace far (although the person who wrote Africa has never even been to Africa at the time he was writing the song and he only had the television as a reference). And when they personify it and proclaim how the place is the only thing that doesn’t abandon them when life gets rough?

When I listen to songs about places, they’re all celebratory and nostalgic and these two things are a really beautiful combination in my opinion. I love that these songs teach about collectively loving and honoring something instead of being a bit possessive over a person which is present in romantic songs.

I think that’s why country and folk music will always have a place in my heart (even if Africa belonged to the soft rock genre).

So let’s move on to the Barbie series. It’s not that I’ve been obsessed. I was tormenting my friend for days by sending her one line each day of a song from Barbie Princess and the Pauper. BesidesI don’t think she was even tormented by that. Back in high school, Princess and the Pauper was our jam because back when we were kids it was everybody’s jam. I was just feeling nostalgic about our nostalgia in high school about that damn Barbie movies.

I should stop repeating words. It’s getting annoying.

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ANYWAY.  When I mentioned Barbie movies, I only meant the second generation Barbie films. So in the Barbie Film series, there are 3 generations. The first generation was in 1987 and was aired as TV specials. The second generation was from 2001-2009 and was about fairies and princesses and ballet and all that really good stuff. And no one dies in the end.  And that was THE SHIT. I haven’t watched ALL of them but I definitely didn’t hate anything about it. And I know there are a LOT of flaws and loopholes and white people in the Barbie second generation films but it’s the stories I grew up with so it’s stuck in my heart for as long as I live.

The 3rd generation was shit. It’s not even THE shit. It’s just plain shit. I won’t even talk about it…much. I haven’t seen any of its films but fuck I saw how they ruined To Be a  Princess song by auto-tuning it and changing the lyrics in Princess and the Popstar. HOW DARE THEY that is just offensive. Wha–are they trying to make inside jokes with themselves? I don’t know. I mean I understand that they’re all about modernity and fashion these days but could they not bring the classic Barbie films with them? Can they just leave them in  2009 because they can manage without the magical microphone?

Great, now I’m mad. Where is my fucking Call of Duty?

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Noises after Silent

Last night, I went to watch a local band play live.  Although we had to stay at the back where it’s too hot and everyone was sticky and sweaty because we didn’t pay a single centavo, it was worth it. Hey, it’s not easy to listen with great satisfaction to popular bands these days without throwing in some cash. And we didn’t have cash.

I decided to participate in that concert because it was one of the few local bands where I’m familiar with most of the lyrics. The band actually,  was the official soundtrack of our apartment days so it obviously meant something. And I get to go with the people I love whom I haven’t seen in a while. Plus it’s fucking free.

Also, I just got home awhile ago despite having to go to work in a few hours because the small concert ended at almost 10pm–too late and too risky to ride home alone. So I stayed over my friend’s house. Yep, I’m still crashing into people’s places. It’s been a while since we last gathered together in that rooftop. And everyone felt nostalgic and we went on recollecting the past events that happened of our tiny group. Our arguments on the details about these stories made me realize that I really should write more about stuff for future references.

My head’s a bit fuzzy so I’ll be cutting this short. I suddenly lost the ability to prolong my energy to last a day when I lack sleep. Surprisingly, I sort of miss it. Dammit I sorta miss going to school. But I’ll talk about that later.

Right now, I’m trying to get back on my reading and writing and stuff. I’m planning to organize my schedules for my free time so I won’t feel bad about myself for not doing anything. I’m currently on this book called Basagan ng Trip by Lisandro Claudio. So far, his commentary on the Philippine politics is hilarious and really informative.

And yes this entry is garbage but having to write about something is better than nothing. I’ll try better next time.