From the Personal Collection of Shri Vijay K. Jayaswal (2007.02)
In April 2007, the Archive received a generous donation of Hindustani (Northern India) classical music from the Jayaswal family. Shri Vijay K. Jayaswal was an avid collector of Hindustani music. His lifelong efforts resulted in a personal collection consisting of more than 2,100 commercially-released items, many of which are no longer published, or, can only be found in India.
Many of the albums come with extensive liner notes/booklets and artistic packaging. In addition to classical ragas, some of the musical genres in the collection include yoga, meditation, ghazals, and film soundtracks. The Shri Vijay K. Jayaswal Collection (2007.02) not only complements and enhances the South Asian component of the Ethnomusicology Department’s program, but it also serves those who want to gain a comprehensive understanding of Hindustani classical music.
Archive Recording Reviews
In this issue of the EAR you will find a review by Sam Parnes. If you are interested in reviewing Archive recordings for the EAR please contact us for more information at email@example.com.
Philippine Dance Gathering and Workshops 2001, organized by Kayamanan ng Lahi (Part of the Archive's AFAMILA Collection: Archive ID # 2003.05), Part II
(click here for Part I)
Reviewed by Sam Parnes
Of the thirteen videos documenting the 2001 Philippine Dance Gathering and Workshops, the third is the late Ramon Obusan’s presentation about Philippine material culture. (He died last December.) A sampling of his six thousand costumes, all modeled after originals, were displayed in this hour and a half lecture, with live background music, held in the Ackerman Grand Ballroom at UCLA. He presented each Cordillera society in alphabetical order, and mentioned any aspect unique to a given society, such as a tail on some Bontoc outfits. Dyes included turmeric, nara wood, various roots and leaves, and a mixture of three kinds of soils. The costumes of headhunters, and in one case, a headhunter’s daughter, were displayed. Beads came from as far as Austria, otherwise everything else in the BIBAK costumes were either local or traded from the lowlands, such as pearls. Although not shown, tattoos were discussed. For every head hunted, an additional line was added. Obusan stuck to the topic, with at least one exception. Recent incidents of headhunting involved part of a head, the most current in 1998, when a lower jaw of a Kalinga was used for a gong beater.
The next part of the fashion show involved the lumads of Mindanao. Because unlike the Cordilleras of Northern Luzon, often no clear border is found between any two groups, Obusan did not present the groups alphabetically. Although dyes and tattoos were no longer discussed through the rest of the material culture segment, the costumes were discussed in detail. The Maranao Muslims followed, but costumes from the other groups such as the Tawi Tawi were not displayed. Finally the colonial costumes were shown, some modeled after originals from as early as the eighteenth century.
In the musical overview (video 5), Orlando Ocampo focused on the kulintang as instruments. In the next video, consisting of two kulintang ensemble workshops, Danny Kalanduyan focused on the repertoire, symbolism, and technique. As his family members were all raised in Cotobato, they are from the Southern Maguindanao society. After reviewing the instruments, he stated that old and new styles of repertoire exist, then described each genre of the old style (kamamatuan): duyog, sinuug, and tidto. The new style (kangungudan) comprisaes binalig, and other varieties of sinuug, and tidto. Although the new style is fast and rhythmic, Kalanduyan preferred to demonstrate the more melodic focused old style and all its genres. In Mindanao, this is not possible; for instance, only the elderly perform tidto. In the past, only women could play the kulintang, the men the agung. He also demonstrated a piece from the Northern Maguindanao, whose style falls between the pure Southern Maguindanao and the neighboring Maranao society. The genres have to be played in a specific order, starting with the duyug. The repertoire is for entertainment with two exceptions, the first (Tagunggo) for healing, and the second (Siniyad) only if a promise to a wedded couple is unfulfilled for too long. Both of these rituals are needed to appease the spirits. One of the kulintang instruments, the gandingan, is used to communicate. Kalanduyan then described contests between two agung players, who had to perform continuously, usually from early evening until dawn, breaking only for snacks. They had to wear amulets to protect themselves against black magic.
He discussed how a gong is tuned: Place it on a cushion and for thirty minutes at the most, hammer the outside, never the inside, around the circumference. He demonstrated how a piece begins, with repeated sounds on the kulintang, either a single tonic pitch (in one case the dominant), or two pitches sounded simultaneously. Kalanduyan did not elaborate on the interval formed by these pitches, and how they relate to the tonic, but the one example demonstrated involved a fifth, with neither pitch or tonic or dominant. Never does one start a piece with a scale. Although he asked various individuals in the audience to perform, as well as to clap the rhythm, he admitted that unless one is a native speaker, one cannot adequately improvise. The second workshop ended with a rehearsal of Kapagonor, a Maranao wedding dance. Four volunteers from the audience played part of the melody, but only one of them performed it correctly.
The next video consists of the rondalla and lumad workshops (see previous review). In the last two musical workshops, members of the BIBAK Dance Ensemble demonstrated and taught the indigenous repertoire of the Luzon Cordilleras. Michael Wandag was the principal lecturer, but Hospicio Dulnuan commented and reminisced. The session started with a brief history of the Kalinga, but focused on demonstrations of various instruments, beginning with the gangsa (gongs). They mentioned general features; for example, the men performed the gongs while the women danced. Each gong in a set has a name representing a person’s role in the culture. The instruments are typically brass, sometimes iron, and occasionally “red” gongs of bronze. The beaters are of wood or animal bone, in the past, a human jawbone. The next section of the workshop included demonstrations of two Kalinga dances: Tadok (for harvests) and Salidsid (for weddings). A briefer examination of performance techniques for the four other indigenous societies: Ifugao, Bontok, Apayao, and Benguet was followed by demonstrations of other instruments and their techniques: tongatong (stamping tubes), balinbing (buzzers), tabatab (tube zither), dongadong (hollow idiophone with blade), diwdiwas (panpipes), saggeypo (single blown pipes in a set), tongali (nose flute), paldong (mouth flute), and the kollitong (bamboo tube guitar). The last instruments demonstrated are not found among the Kalinga: the two Bontoc drums sulibao and timbal, and the palas iron bars of the Benguet.
The end of the seventh and the entire eighth workshop consisted of Michael Wandag teaching the tupayya, the music that accompanies Salidsid. The class members formed a circle, and were then divided into five groups, each hitting their gongs on their beat. A solo sixth gong, that of the teacher, improvised. The Salidsid has the rhythmic pattern opop throughout, in which a dampened gong stroke alternates with a ringing one.
Ramon Obusan directed eight dance workshops in the Ackerman Grand Ballroom at UCLA. Each one began with a short presentation that included a description of the dance and a demonstration of costumes. This was followed by the bilingual teaching of Raul Nepomuceno in English and Tagalog, and filled with the counting of the beat in English. Not until all the steps were mastered was the recorded music turned on. In those cases where the dance is also a song, the workshop concluded after the class learned the lyrics. They sat on the floor besides the stage, where the text was projected on an easel.
Although Idudu, the first dance taught, means lullaby in the Tinguian dialect, and some of the movements imitate the rocking of a baby, just as much of the dance alludes to rice pounding, with the men holding long sticks and the women, baskets. Many of the gathering participants wore casual clothes and used newspapers and notebooks, or nothing at all, throughout all the workshops, rather than props such as baskets or fans. Idudu is accompanied by gongs.
Pantomina, from the Bicolano-speaking provinces (Southeast Luzon), is accompanied by a rondalla. It imitates the courtship of a hen and rooster, and is performed at weddings and festivals. An example of the widespread kuratsa genre, the music begins in duple meter then changes to triple.
Minandagit, meaning “to swoop,” is from the Isamal culture of Davao Province, Mindanao. The dancers imitate two hawks diving for fish, and are accompanied by gongs and drums. Dressed in bell-laden costumes, the performers hold scarves, which represent wings. At one point, the dancers formed small groups and continued to rehearse. Seeing one of them, the teacher remarked: “Accent is late,” “Try to spread your arms when you fly,” and “Don’t run like this–glide.”
Of all the dances taught, Pansak has the largest number of figures. The participants were more accustomed to Spanish colonial dances than to the fluidity needed to perform this bird and fish imitating dance from the Yakan society, whose movements are similar to those found in Indonesia. While the couples were moving to the gabbang xylophones, half of the crowd was not coordinated. Each figure has eight counts, and each count contains eight rapid gabbang pitches.
Of all the dance workshops, Sua Ko Sua (My Pomelo Tree) had the most extensive documentation, an hour and seventeen minutes. In this courtship dance song from Jolo, in the Sulu Islands, love is compared to the swaying of the pomelo leaves. In the major mode, the music, performed by gabbang, drum, and gong is more likely to be of colonial rather than local origin or influence, The dance leaders could not translate the lyrics to English.
Bayluhan are danced prayers addressed to three saints: for a wife addressed to Santa Clara, for a husband to San Pascual Bailon, for which the dance is named, and for a baby to the Virgin of Salambo. The song “Santa Clara,” sung to rondalla, accompanies this dance. These prayers are an important part of some festivals and religious processions in Rizal Province. With only three steps, this is the easiest of the dances in question, with the swaying of hats and scarves. Unfortunately, there is not enough documentation. Only fragments of the accompanying music are heard. It is not known whether the audience sat near an easel to learn the lyrics, because this was not documented. Fortunately the live rondalla performs the entire music during the final showcase.
Pig-agawan from the Talaandig segment of the Bukidnon society of Mindanao means “to grab,” and is accompanied by gongs. Using scarves and kris symbolizing sex, three women try to grab a man; however, the kris was not used in this gathering.
Pastores is a Christmas dance song. The version in question comes from Camalig, Albay province. Accompanied by the rondalla, the dancers hold flowered arches. Pastores consists of an anonymous Puerto Rican villancico (see www.geocities.com/cigneta) in duple meter whose lyrics depict an offering to the Christ child and a praise to the Virgin, followed by a triple meter song probably composed by the late nineteenth century revolutionary José Rizal, describing a departure from Camalig, sung in Bicolano. Although the dance leaders thought he composed the entire Pastores a Belén, he actually assembled it. According to Steve Loza, a professor in the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology, variants of the villancico segment are found throughout Mexico and the Southwestern United States. A variant of the repeated phrase whose lyrics are “Llevemos pues turrones y miel para ofrecerle al niZo Manuel” in Puerto Rico is the entire Canto de Los Pastores as rendered by the Montoya family of Albuquerque, New Mexico (Vicente T. & Virginia R. R. De Mendoza, Estudio y Clasificación de la Música Tradicional Hispánica de Nuevo México [Mexico: National Autonomous University of Mexico, 1986]).
The last video consists of the Philippine Dance Gathering and Workshops Participant Showcase. After an introduction by Joel Jacinto, those dancers who participated in the workshops, and volunteered to further rehearse, performed the eight dances during the showcase. Other than props, which were most frequently scarves and shawls, the dancers wore casual clothes, rather than costumes. Many of the dances were performed barefoot. The set was interrupted twice. Joel Jacinto showed off his young daughter Kai, and Ramon Obusan introduced his mother. A male and female dancer performed Jota Paragua, with clicking castanets. Danongan Kalanduyan led the group in Sagayan, a Magindanaoan warrior’s dance that featured a squat-like walk. Two musicians from the Bay Area-based Likha dance ensemble joined the Rondalla Club of Los Angeles. They performed Serenata de amor, Ciega (The Blind Hen), and Payong (Umbrella). Kayamanan then joined them in the grass harvest dance Gaway Gaway. Payong is noteworthy, as the performers briefly strum all four strings behind the bridge as a sound effect. BIBAK completed the showcase with three dances: the Ifugao ritualistic Tayo, the Kalinga Salidsid, and the Benguet war dance Bendiyan. The just-mentioned involved participation from most of the audience. A photo op closed the final video.