Add a touch of wild ingredients to your favorite home cooked meal and garnish it with beautiful pieces of food, and what you get is a dish that’s elevated from the ordinary. Get a plain old shirt and interlace it with some colored fabrics, and what you get is high fashion—art, even. Pair a handful of your favorite local artists and musicians with an orchestral group of strings and horns, and what you get is Stages Sessions: Independent.
It should come as no surprise that our local music scene, regardless of the genre, is already riddled with talent. Seeing and hearing these acts wherever they find themselves is already a treat in itself. So what do you get when an ensemble of classical instruments comes into play and accompanies the songs we love so dearly? Watch with widened eyes, and listen more intently, of course! It is truly a beautiful thing when both the everyday and the extraordinary come together in one chic little parcel.
The Maybank Performing Arts Theater in BGC was Independent’s lucky locale. It was a fitting place for the message the folks over at Stages Sessions wanted to convey—that music, when taken to a theatrical scale, can reach a whole different audience, and inspire and instill a newfound love for the arts, and imbibe a stronger sense of pride for the country. People may have felt that the tickets were a bit pricey, but the fact it was a sold-out show spoke a different, understandable truth (because who wouldn’t want to listen to our favorite artists being complemented by classical instruments?)
One of the most quotable quotes of the night was from Gio Levy who said, “The event may be called Independent, but no big thing’s ever done independently. It takes a group and unity to do it.” Rapper Mito Fabie aka Curtismith even goes on to describe the whole event as “a melting pot of different types of styles that are collaborating together to make something and push the industry forward in the Philippines,”. Ultimately the six acts shared a sense of camaraderie, and it was evident in every way.
When the clock struck midnight, and everyone had been filled with the symphonic set lists of Gio Levy, Coeli San Luis, Keiko Necesario, Curtismith, Bullet Dumas, and Tom’s Story—their sounds bolstered and beautified by the likes of the Manila String Machine and the Ateneo Blue Symphony—it was finally Independence Day.
Needless to say, there was a sense of liberty in the air and the music gave the holiday a warm welcome into the night.
Special thanks to Stages Sessions for inviting us to the show!