German silent film musician and composer Pierre Oser is coming to Manila for the 3rd time this year to grace the 9th International Silent Film Festival, until Aug. 30, at the Edsa Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City.
Working with Pierre for this gig is Filipino virtuoso Jaimar Palispis, associate director of the group KontraGaPi (Kontemporaryong Gamelan Pilipino), an official ethnic music and dance ensemble of the University of the Philippines, Diliman.
Pierre and Jaimar have been exchanging notes for months in preparation for the festival. Together, they are writing the musical accompaniment to Germany’s entry, Walther Ruttmann’s hour-long documentary about the German capital, titled “Berlin, die Sinfonie der Großstadt” (“Berlin, Symphony of a Great City”). Pierre, Jaimar and his band, Big Jazz Balloon, will accompany the screening live on Aug. 29, 5 p.m., at Shangri-La Plaza’s Cinema 2.
Jaimar and Pierre are coming up with a piece that will incorporate an assortment of indigenous Filipino instruments, and will showcase a brand of jazz spiced with a unique Filipino flavor. Big Jazz Balloon’s “ethnic section” will include sets of Kulintang, Agong and Gandingan from Mindanao and a number of bamboo instruments from the Cordilleras.
Pierre Oser will be in Manila by the invitation of the Goethe-Institut, the German Cultural Center in the Philippines, which promotes cultural exchange between Germany and the Philippines. Pierre is a veteran of countless silent film productions and is the man behind most musical rearrangements of German silent film classics.
The International Silent Film Festival Manila will feature nine films from nine countries on its ninth year. Participating countries alongside Germany are the Philippines, Spain, Japan, Italy, France, Thailand, Austria and the United States. Admission to all screenings is free and open to the public. Seats will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.