Posts by Ness

Boarding in Flight 010!

Buckle up! The jet engines start up and full throttle with The Gentle Isolation boarding in Flight 010 on iTunes’ podcast I Am The Programmer on April 28, Thursday! New music and words from the artists themselves, and this episode also features icons Gene Loves Jezebel with Jay Aston, Echobelly, WE ARE ENFANT TERRIBLE, Two Wounded Birds & much more!

Hosted by (the Captain) Ryan L. Abato.

See you on board! 🙂

But – Hey! It’s not the just the first time that Gene Loves Jezebel was featured on IATP! (Among other great artists) Watch this intro video from last year, and take a peek as well on their previous flights.

Pianica or Melodica?


I got fascinated with the Pianica the first time I ever saw one. Monch had it for me as a no-occasion gift, and told me he got it from a Japan surplus shop near his workplace, owned by a doctor/friend. He also said it needed some love for a good cleaning. So, having the heart, he did dust off and wiped the keys, and as for the tube, he soaked it in a Cidex bath to kill all the soot it may contain, rinsed it generously and let hang to dry. Voila! It’s good as new! At home, he excitingly showed it to me, how it works and shared me his ideas on how we can use it melodically. Back then, I used to play (a little of) the keyboard for some of our new wave covers. So I happened to have a bit of ease playing tunes with it.


So to speak, it’s either pianica or melodica. Suzuki calls it melodion and for Yamaha it’s pianica, to various names like melodia, melodihorn, clavietta, et cetera. This musical instrument just gives a darling feeling as you listen to it. It instantly makes me imagine of kids at play, birds chirping in the morning, or even my dog sound asleep ~that kind of feeling. I learned that it’s commonly used by Jazz and Folk musicians in such amazing tunes, and in my favorite era, the New Wave had also used this free-reed instrument. But on top of the genres, having searched for more info about the instrument is a discovery of how it had been widely played, all this time, by Japanese kids be it on music lessons at school, by bands or even the connoisseurs of music.


The pianica’s sound gives off such playful, irresistible tunes like that of an accordion or a flute, and having the melody to equal is just chemistry. On this note, I’d like to share some music videos with pianica as the underscore and some charming art works, illustrations, and sketches I have stumbled over whilst writing this blogpost.


My Favorite “Burning Hearts”

This is My Favorite indeed! I’ve been stuck watching and listening to this song for months now. Song is entitled “Burning Hearts” which speaks of architecture & an experience in Hiroshima with a best friend to which they bid goodbye to.


The Wannadies “You and Me Song”

This song got more popular for being included on a soundtrack of the movie “Romeo & Juliet” (1996) alongside The Cardigan’s “Lovefool”. Another late 90’s favorite, music from the Swedes!


Innovation Invention “The Meloguitar”

This guy is either brilliant, or unemployed. But I am impressed!


Japan is Love

I have always been fascinated with Japan. The country, the people, the culture, the traditions, the discipline, their politeness and man, the many forms of ethics in every aspect, the language, Hello Kitty, and of course their music too! I recall that I often watched this program on NHK (old TV format), like that of American Idol, only on their show they get to feature anyone from young to old, in business suits or on a Lolita inspired getup, singing their chosen piece with a live band to accompany them which made me fond for it.

I was writing this post a few days before the tragic quake & tsunami hit their coast. My heart broke into pieces when I heard about the news and having seen the videos on the telly. High hopes and prayers go to all those had suffered and were affected. On the bright side, after hearing Mr. Naoto Kan’s statement (Japan’s Prime Minister) on fight for survival, to “Stay calm”, it takes a man of courage and a brave heart to face what’s left, to move forward and start again.

Here’s to share some photos I stumbled at  an illustration of a boy playing pianica with a strange cat and Japanese characters on paper’s background. Done in Gocco print, an old Japanese way of making beautiful stationeries. Followed by a cute fruit-shaped inspired wind instruments played by young girls in striped socks. Kawaii desu ne!


“Leona and her magic pianica” (in Gocco print) by better than butter / ceej on flickr


“Best Friend Forever” – Thanks a bunch to Eveline Tarunadjaja for her kindness! Click to see the rest of her art.


girl with red pianica seen on tumblr

To wrap up, listen to Antonette’s recording ♥ (of Lilystars Records) as she was ever so kind to catch this live performance at Café SaGuijo on ThePOPShoppe! event.



I’ll Pocket You A Rainbow (Live) by The Gentle Isolation



xoxo Ness

The Year 2010 in a Thousand Units (Second Part)

“The Darling Buds of May”

May 01 “A Tribute to the music of Club 8” at Club Dredd, Eastwood Citywalk

In much anticipation for Club 8, The POPShoppe! threw a tribute to Club 8 with guest bands alongside LSR rosters to cover their favorite Club 8 tunes. See our cover song entitled “Heaven” as blogged by Denise Atas of Lilystars Records.

May 14 “Club 8 Live in the Philippines!”

It was a high-bright sunny day. Went off from Bulacan after lunch hour. We’re so excited, and also nervous. To see Club 8 in the flesh seem already enough and a bit of a struck, but it’s a fact ~we were front act. By the time Karolina & Johan arrived at the SMX Convention Center, we finally had “hello-intro. The two were so friendly, as well as the rest of The Sweet Serenades. Fast forward to the event, we were the first to perform on stage with a 3-song line up. All original compositions, which then became part of our first EP entitled “It Started With An April Shower“. Read our previous blog about Club 8  called Happy Are Twee!”. Here are some pictures taken on that very day…

Monch & Ness with Karolina Komstedt & Johan Angergård of Club 8

The Gentle Isolation during Club 8 Concert at SMX, Photo by Anne Vitug of SPARK Magazine ♥

& we had our own CDs signed too… ♥

“Rainy Days…”


So much of delight we had for the past month, and rainy days are here! On this wet season, we were down recording for the EP at SonicState Studio in Mandaluyong. We enjoyed every minute being there because it was learning express! We did not at all notice the hard to hit sections and repeated takes whilst in the process. Bachie got recorded first , then followed by another element until all tracks were complete. It’ll be hefty to write in detail about how the recording went on. So to sum up, I guess everything just went to place, gently…


“And Mondays…”

July 19After many moons, here comes the radio debut of the single “Let’s Go Slow“! I was in the office (as for every working day), when I had my ears locked and tuned in at NU107.5 for our first single’s air play. And I good-naturedly waited until I heard that familiar intro – – – THERE IT GOES! What a good-good feeling! I had to buzz Antonette about it, text message Monch, Bachie & Joseph, my Mommy & the rest of my folks to share my wonderful hunch! I guess everybody waited for it too and I thank them for their support. ♥ The song was aired at “New Music Monday”.

“Here Comes The Sun… and The Shower”

August 5 – “Another Sunny Day: A Tribute to Belle & Sebastian” – It’s another exciting tribute to one of our main music influences, and it was fun having covered some of their hit songs. We had our rendition of the songs “Asleep On A Sunbeam”, “Photo Jenny”, “The Boy With The Arab Strap”, & “The State I Am In”.

A few more days before our EP launch, we were counting down the time remaining with pounding hearts ~Excited and nervous at the same time like mentioned on  the blog of Denise Atas of Lilystars Records. Everytime I reminisce that gorgeous feeling, Having launched in a luxe venue such as the Ayala Museum was really a grand experience for us. We could not believe ourselves that we were the luminaries of that night. Not to mention the heaping support by a great lineup of guest indie artists”, I could not help it but it still takes my breath away. Read the full story and take a peek at really lovely photos during that special night on this link:

The Gentle Isolation’s “It Started With An April Shower” Opens The POP Shoppe! Music Series: A Call To Mind

After this big event, it surely showered our way to be acknowledged in the indie music scene. The band grew a number of fans and followings, invites and they were all heartwarming! We would like to thank everyone who supported The Gentle Isolation’s EP Launch. To Lilystars Records, the LSR Team, Clementine, Antonette, Denise & Val, The POPShoppe!, event partners the Ayala Museum, NU 107 FM, BusinessWorld and the Manila Bulletin (official media partners), The Camerawalls, Your Imaginary Friends, SonicState Studio, Robert Javier, Jonathan Ong & Jinky Tuazon, Angelo Maniquis & Melody Castro for the wonderful EP cover, Jorge’s Portrait Studio, Francis Brew Reyes  for hosting the event, guest artists Kate Torralba & Outerhope, to all the great writers who had a big heart & had us on broadsheets & spreads and blogged about us, to all the great photographers who had our photos taken ~marvelous! To Elyrey you’re so kind, to Powerbooks and A Different Bookstore (exclusive distributors of Lilystars’ recordings),, Sony Philippines and to everyone whom we had met along our pursuit to the musical journey.


Then, we would NOT forget that we became: NU107’s ROCK RECRUIT for the whole month of SEPTEMBER!

It really felt like as if we won the NU107 Rock Awards!

“A Picture Parade”

September 2 Radio guesting at UR105.9 with the hilarious gang of The BrewRATS, and here’s a dozen photos we took from the studio:

“Imagining and dreaming no more!”

September 17 – I’m a huge fan of Your Imaginary Friends. The first time I got my ears hooked on them was when we had a gig together for The POPShoppe! at 70’s Bistro. (I think, if my memory’s serving me right) That was when they played this familiar song I so like “Young Folks” by Peter Björn & John, from then on I can say there’s something interesting going on with this band. Oftentimes, we get to bump with the band on different gigs, and became music buds. I would always stand in front of the stage whilst their set is on to expect my ears to be happy. 🙂

I happened to have the chance of taking a peek on their EP cover design while it’s on the making process. We were at LSR HQ that time, Eric and Ahmad showed me two designs and let me give inputs, as they were voting on what design to use. I thought it would look something like a lively image like the persons that they are but seeing that carousel in gloomy theme, not to mention the horse that had run away, it felt odd for some time until after their EP launch. They gave each one of us a copy of their EP, signed by the band. Opening the case, was a shiny CD in deep blue color and I  instantly liked the little stars detail there, by the way. I guess it took me a week or two to discover what’s on the background underneath the CD holder, and to my surprise ~a big belly laugh! Well I always thought, “There’s something interesting going on with this band!”.

I wish I had the clearer illustration though 🙂


October 09 – WATCHING THE WHEELS: A Birthday Tribute To JOHN LENNON – On this special tribute, we’ve done renditions on hit songs ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ and  ‘If I Fell’

Photo by Ana Knicolai Muñoz Mendoza

“Early for Halloween”

October 16 – The POPShoppe! and Lilystars rosters celebrated Halloween early, but were all in comical costumes and characters. Emerald of Your Imaginary Friends enumerated them in her created photo album and I happened to stick the list here.

ahmad - construction worker/gigolo.
eric - erap.
allan, khalid, rodel - the 3 jasons.
em - bloody alice.
ness - tinkerbell.
monch - the scarecrow.
bachie - the mad hatter.
clem - pastry chef.
antonette, denise - pseudo-highschool students.
ericka - ballerina out of control.
law - random mexican guy.
val, alex - doctors fresh from the OR
jon - clem castro
kevin - jack-o'-lantern

and those oh-so-classic yummy sweets!!
crazy night!!! heeeeeh! 

“Heima is where the Heart is…

October 23 – Heima launched their new collection of funky furnitures on an event called “From Heima with Love The Collection 2.0 The Launch Party”. We happened to meet Mars Sambo of Heima before the launch during a gig at SaGuijo, and she gave us post card invites of the party. I fell in love with post card design, at first sight! It tickled my fancy and even got more excited having a glance on their website to find more for my eyes’ delight.

“Helloween, before so long, NU…”

October 31 – On the night of Halloween, we were one of the last to be featured on NU107’s “In The Raw” with DJ on board that time was, well, if it isn’t who dubbed me with, “Dimples as the new cleavage…”, Francis Brew Reyes! On brief interviews and chaffs, each of our songs was played, followed by the rest of Lilystars rosters, Your Imaginary Friends and of course, The Camerawalls, whom had their raw track (their first single “Bread and Circuses”) aired using a mobile phone (since it was “In The Raw”). Funny, it had to alert for an incoming message whilst on air. But it was a bit of a melancholy wrapping up the program, for the radio station will bid its farewell the next day. Raised our glasses high inside the booth, for the station that rocked the nation, and for the music! Cheers!

LSR rosters at NU107 during the last episode of "In The Raw" with Francis Brew Reyes


“Bracing ourselves for more…”


◊ The Camerawalls embrace Joseph Rudica, as their official drummer. Read on web log entry on this link.

◊ Alaska embraces the song ‘Let’s Go Slow’ and had warm airplays at FM Radio. Hilo Halei went posting a message on the band’s FB Bandpage saying how she had stumbled the song and instantly becoming a fan. KWJG 91.5 Fm Kenai Peninsula’s Best Public Radio

◊ Had a photo shoot at the Amoranto Sports Stadium for PULP magazine’s Dec-Jan issue with a funny-faux Santa Claus. Hilarious shots. Along with the article on Homegrown, is a remarkable CD review by Jason Caballa (of PEDICAB).

Here are samplers of the shots that were on the magazine.

December 11 – The Camerawalls “Bread and Circuses” EP Launch at the Ayala Museum

The long-awaited EP was finally launched last December 11, a day after celebrating Clementine’s birthday. Cheers to the man behind the label, Lilystars Records and music of The Camerawalls!

December 30 – The POPShoppe! Year-Ender Party was a special last episode, wrapping up the year with Cheers for the best times gone by.

The Gentle Isolation.

We’ll always be grateful for everything that comes our way.

Our musical journey had been grand for the year 2010, and we could not think of a better way of sharing and celebrating it, for all it’s worth, the way it had been.

Mile high cheers for the music!




Xoxo Ness

Happy Are Twee!

It’s my first time attending a concert filled with finest indie acts, and being there, not just to witness Club 8’s live performance right here in our coast, but fronting for them is just splendid! Learning that we were to open for them a few weeks before the major event, it was a mixture feeling of thrill and delight. I remember reading a line from a blog entry of Your Imaginary FriendsEric Po, how they would describe us in our excitement:

“…Right now, we can only guess how excited The Gentle Isolation can be. These true-to-form beings from Bulacan have written and played the most pleasant, most fun Filipino indie pop songs ever. Their sound can surely segue in smoothly with that of Club 8. Doubtless. Doubtlessly seamless.”

They can only guess, however they knew how much we love Club 8. Blissful in appreciation to their really inspiring music to way back their Nouvelle album up to the latest The People’s Record and in our anticipation having to meet and be with them on that very day, is just astounding.

We played first act that night with three original compositions, a short and sweet set to grace the yearning of the swarm for Club 8. Subsequently was Your Imaginary Friends, who propelled the night with their buoyant & beguiling songs, then followed by The Camerawalls, first time brilliantly backed up with a 10-piece rondalla ensemble.

Club 8 at last welcomed the anticipating crowd with a new song entitled “Western Hospitality” from their recently released album The People’s Record. Together with them are some of the members of another band called The Sweet Serenades to back them up on percussion and guitars. They were inspiringly filled with beats and sound that of African & Brazilian music topped with Karolina’s sweet and gentle voice. After their performance, Johan & Karolina were so kind to meet with their fans lined up, who patiently waited for them for autograph signing and in all smiles when taking pictures with them. To put into detail all what came about that night will make this blog hefty, but guaranteed it was a success. Marvelous!


Our Jam Sessions Experience

It’s our second time to be at the Jam Studio last Sunday (January 10), but this time to play for Jam Sessions with DJ Tracy. Our very first radio guesting was also at Jam 88.3 to play for “Project Ondoy”, an on-air gig for a cause. Kicked off the session with an original song entitled “Define Love” with jangly acoustic strumming as to welcome the listeners with our jumble of excitement and pleasure.

In between songs were interview questions about the band. Most of them were full of chuckles and giggles. DJ Tracy may’ve had a hard time squeezing out The Gentles to talk and speak out, but it’s a given that The Gentles are such shy chums, and kept it very lucid in spilling out answers.

Our cover song was “French Navy” by Camera Obscura, being catchy and sets a mood to bop in a 60’s dance floor, a nice way to delight a Sunday afternoon. It’s as if “Summer in your ears”. Just like how The Gentles gets inspiration when in making their songs. We’ve always wanted to be at scenic places, with that to match a good melody or a song in mind, our muse in making music. Here is a list of song titles that we played with selected audio and video to listen to:

1) “Define Love” – The Gentle Isolation

2) “Possible” – The Gentle Isolation

3) “French Navy” – The Gentle Isolation (Cover, by Camera Obscura)

4) “This Song” – The Gentle Isolation

5) “Crossing The Line” – The Gentle Isolation (A sort of instrumental)

6) “Let’s Go Slow” – The Gentle Isolation

Thank you so much for those who tuned in! – Ness

%d bloggers like this: