“Salampati,” a book of choral arrangements of some Bikol folk songs arranged by Ruben Federizon and edited by Maria Christine Muyco, was launched recently at the Cultural Center of the Philippines main lobby.
The launching was on the occasion of the Philippine Madrigal Singers concert, “Mmmmm.”
Mark Anthony Carpio, Madrigal conductor, led the launch by playing three of Federizon’s choral arrangements in the book—“Kudot- Kudotan” (Pinching Game); “Gamgam na Periko” ( The Parrot); and “ Saro, Dowa, Tulo” (One, Two, Three), a medley of Bikol folk songs.
In his foreword, Federizon writes that his arrangement tries not to not lose the original folk flavor of the songs.
Federizon is a Madrigal alumnus and its resident composer-arranger of the group
The audience, especially the Bicolanos like this writer, savored the performance.
Federizon captured the essence of the folk songs, which he laments in his foreword, are not as popularly known as it was during his younger days. Indeed the present generation has become estranged to thier musical roots, richly expressed in their folk songs that reflect their ethos and sense of belonging of the community.
Federizon said he hoped to reintroduce Philippine folk songs to the next generations via choral signing. He noted that choral singing has gained much popularity thanks to the efforts of the Madrigals and major choirs.
Other folk songs in the book: “Salampati” (Dove); “Tikong-tiko” (Crooked); “Hilong Pagkamoot” (Forlorn Love); “Kasadorang-Berde, Bestidang Maputi” (Green Jacket, White Dress); “Ano Daw Idtong sa Gogon” (What might be in the Grass); “Si Nanay, Si Tatay” (Mother Dear, Father Dear), and “Sarung Banggi” (One Evening).
Of course the last song is not a folk song but a composition by Potenciano Gregorio.
Federizon, however, contends that it has become so popular, it is sung by non-Bicolanos as well and therefore has become a “public property” like a folk song.
Federizon earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music in Theory from the University of the Philippines. He took his graduate studies at the San Francisco State University and University of British Columbia where he earned his Master’s degree in Music in Composition.His choral works and arrangements are widely performed in major festivals and choral competitions both here and abroad. —CONTRIBUTED
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