Kulintang Music Update
We are almost a week away from completing our six week Kulintang course for 2020. This has been an experimental experience for me as the teacher, and for the students learning from my online video lessons. The process of learning Kulintang music has historically been person to person, hand to hand. But today, practitioners here in California have had to pivot in order to adapt to a changing world. Some of us are using Facetime. Some are teaching in person, six feet apart. For us at LMKA, we’ve been using prerecorded lessons to learn Kulintang music. I decided to focus our lessons on songs we would use for dance. Starting with Tidtu (a piece we often use for martial arts and a dance called Asik) students have been learning a new Kulintang genre every week. We’re currently on Silong, which is a musical genre from the Tagailud community of Maguindanao that we often associate with dances like Silong sa Ganding and Pandala.
Each music lesson is coupled with a quick read, so that our students can learn about Kulintang-playing cultures in Southeast Asia. Between origin stories to the exploration of ritualism, Kulintang Academy has been diving into the diversity and rich heritage of Muslim Mindanao. The material can be both inspiring and shocking, because we address historical and present day challenges of ethnic communities in the Southern Philippines that are oftentimes overlooked by mainstream education and media. I truly believe that if we are working to understand their dance and music, then we must also strive to understand their lives as well.
My hope for the 2020 season is that we can come together in a space once again. Togetherness is an essential part of Kulintang music, as important as learning how to play. But until then, we will continue on this virtual path of cultural discovery.
The KA crew is going strong with Matt and his students. Check out KA student Edith Montemayor (above) in Sacramento developing her Tidtu! Thank you KUYA MATT for your tireless mentorship of our KA students.
Dance Warm-Up Series UPDATE
We are excited to add a Waltz Combo video to our series. Thank you to Ate Danica for taking the time to shoot the video for us! Please stay tuned for more dance videos through the summer.