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.
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!
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 Friends’ Eric 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!
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)