Jem Robert Talaroc, who hails from the town of Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon province, has won the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Composer’s Prize, a biennial event honoring talented musicians in the country.
The award was organized in 2016 by the NCCA National Committee on Music, giving recognition to deserving musicians in the country, said project development officer Niño Kristobal Selibio.
“It is in line with the mission of NCCA to encourage the continuing development of the pluralistic culture” of the Philippines,” he explained.
This year’s judges included National Artist for Music Ramon Santos and professors Alfredo Buenaventura and professor Herminigildo Ranera, who’s also conductor of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and University of Santo Tomas Symphony Orchestra.
Talaroc’s work “Anima,” a standard full orchestra based on an Ifugao chant, refers to the human soul and the soul that is something beyond the material world.
Talaroc, a graduate of the Silliman University who also studied composition in the University of the Philippines-Diliman, said he was inspired by the Filipino music culture which is very rhythmic, earthy, and not bounded by forms.
Buenaventura said Talaroc was unanimously chosen since he presented a very serene way of portraying a chant from Ifugao, well-balanced, and the melody used recurs throughout the piece aside from being really good in orchestration.
The inaugural winner two years ago was Timothy Pacpaco with his guitar composition titled “Pagtangis ng Kahapon.” –CONTRIBUTED