It was a hop back in time yesterday, April 24, starting with the musical glory of the 70’s up to the present time as DLSU-D Symphonic Band set up an orchestral time machine at Ugnayang La Salle (ULS) for this year’s Animusika 9, with the theme Mixtape Rewind.
What music doesn’t have
The band slashed the expiry date of music—because in the first place, there’s none at all. “Ngayon, parang gusto naming mag-reminisce…kasi ngayon ‘yong songs natin, ang sikat ay ‘yong mga EDM. (electronic dance music)” DLSU-D president Marvin Sernande said. He shared their united passion, highlighting that Mixtape Rewind is a ride back across the fleeting lists of top hits—proving that although changing, music is unfading.
Animusika 9 showcased the progress of music especially to the younger generation. The ensemble drew a perfect throwback as they tried to pull some irreplaceable parts of the past to the stage. Moreover, Sernande imparted what makes this year’s Animusika special: the execution is modern. As the word “modern” opens up a hole for irony to their throwback concept, he cleared out, “‘Pag sinabi mo namang modern, sa’min, ang meaning noon makaka-relate ang tao e.”
However, behind the grand and glam major production, he also admitted the struggle of conceptualizing. Go ask the band and they’ll spill the infinity of possible concepts for a musical show; and that’s what made it hard to formulate the anticipated event. Adding to the challenge was their lack in time for preparation given that they only started conceptualizing, proposing, and rehearsing in January this year. Sernande also revealed that it was easy for them to make the event possible; it had been rather “dramatic” due to the weight of pressure and inevitability of conflicts.
Remaining undeterred and propelled by the burning passion for musical instruments—despite that they are lesser in number compared to last year—the 28 official band members didn’t fail to set the entire ULS ablaze.
Time hop wrap-up
By 5 PM, the rows of seats already started to get filled with the audience expecting to be cradled towards the sweeter side of the world. Among the crowd were parents of some band members, DLSU-D students, Citizens Brigade Band of Dasmariñas, and children from the band’s summer music workshop together with their parents.
The show sparked to officially begin with a full-energy collaborative performance from the Lasallian dance groups and of course, the DLSU-D Symphonic Band themselves. Afterwards, the show rolled in three sets: 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s and beyond. The special performances brought different moods of performances and these are the energetic choreography of Lasallian Pointes ‘N Flexes Dance Company, the breath-taking dance of La Salle Filipiniana Dance Company, the cheek-blushing serenades of Lasallian Pop Band, and the heart-warming songs of Harmonium Music Studio.
When Symphonic Band’s line-up rendered softly to their ears, the songs were quite unrecognizable at first. Not long after, the people on their seats had the hey-I-know-this-song look on their face, matched with squinting eyes. The band did renditions of best-selling music artists of all time for each decade by executing honed medleys like those of Carpenters and ABBA Gold for the 70’s.
What’s noteworthy is how the songs were arranged together with flawless transitions that were undeniably a varying and familiar brand to our ears. Indeed, it was a freshening musical experience for the young ones and pure nostalgia for the older audience—as the Symphonic Band twisted the dimension of time right before their eyes and right beneath their ears.
The second set, the 80’s, fired the audience up with the ever-renowned songs of Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson and tracks from the film Back To The Future. The audience didn’t lose hold of their spell bound hearts when the band threw them a feel-good comeback of Apo Hiking Society through their wow-worthy assemble of their most popular songs. And it was downright evident that each and every person lost it when the saxophone, Goran Amandy, stole the show for Yakap Sa Dilim; soulfully sensual is inarguably an understatement.
For the third set, Sernande took the conductor’s place in the middle and led Rivermaya’s Kisapmata and a medley of Silent Sanctuary, composed by Citizen Brigade member Efraim Mallari, that brought the house upside down as students began to sing their hearts out. The latter set list also included new songs like Mahal Ko o Mahal Ako, Tuloy Pa Rin, and a mellifluous remix of Timber and Counting Stars. The harmonious musicale which turned to a jam session was sealed with an extravaganza of American Authors’ Best Day of my Life arranged by Sernande—leaving the audience with zero regrets of watching.
The music cycle
The pool of audience included the children who are part of the band’s summer music workshop whose ages range from seven to eight years old. They were all from different schools around Dasmariñas who have the same enthusiasm to learn musical instruments. Sernande remembers being part of similar workshops back then in the Citizens Brigade Band of Dasmariñas, “kasi galing din ako doon e.”
He finds the same hope in the children whom they teach as he knows that perhaps someday, they can be part of something bigger too just like him. “Nanuod sila dito ngayon kasi para alam nila ‘yong feeling; ‘pag sila na, alam na nila.”
Aside from this, Sernande also stated that their environmental advocacy which has been up from the previous years of Animusika hasn’t changed, and it will most likely not in the future. That is why until now, they continue using recycled materials for producing their tickets which come with a free seedling. The ticket owner could either take home the seedling or leave it for them to plant in the upcoming tree planting activity to be held within this month. “Kasi ‘yong advocacy naman namin hindi nagbabago e, ‘yong concept lang talaga,” Sernande stated.
Striving to continue the music cycle they’ve started, this year’s Animusika was indeed a success considering the support that flowed in, “Actually, ‘di namin in-expect na ganito kadami ‘yong pupunta,” Project head Aladin Buenafe shared in the aftermath of the event.
Animusika 9 didn’t just leave the audience in applause but also gave them a retrospect-appreciative music show, environmental awareness, and the ripple effect of the music cycle that they have started in the children they impart their skills with. It will evermore be embedded in all the people who watched, people who learned, people who helped—that DLSU-D Symphonic Band tried to revive the music of the old days—through their lowest and highest note, passionately going against the rage of time.