• Jonathan Shaw

"Final Rehearsals" - BIMCC #10 (22-24th July 2018)

This blog series details my experiences as a composer-fellow for the "2018 Banaue International Music Composition Competition" ("BIMCC") dedicated to the efforts of the "Banaue Rice Terraces Restoration Project".

For the full blog series, click here.

The final sprint had begun!

Over the next few days, we had a series of final rehearsals and additional workshops with more excellent composers who were to be judging the competition finals. Most of these took place in the "Philippine International Convention Center" (PICC) in Manila:

The Philippine International Convention Center

With an alluring floor

Where the rehearsals took place

And the entire rehearsal for "The Hills of Banaue" at the PICC

This rehearsal was far more successful than the first up at the Banaue Hotel, even with a throbbing throat. Instead of spouting irrelevant comments and general corrections (which simply required more practice), I focused more on specific parts and the uncommon techniques that were used; the bowless trilling for strings (0:36), the percussive breaths for the flutes (3:57), exaggerating the dynamic swells in the "Evening" section (27:59), and the syncopated open 5ths of the "Afternoon" section, which they utterly perfected at 34:25 - bravo!

While these rehearsals were ongoing, a few corridors away were the workshops. The first of these, given by the National Artist of the Philippines for Music Dr. Ramon P. Santos, detailed his life with music, starting with electronic computer music, his shift to Gamelan, rituals and music based on traditions, such as his "Klintang" taking elements of Gong music.

The next day, two more judges presented workshops to share their music with us. The Cambodian-American composer, Dr. Chinary Ung, discussed his use of Cambodian folk music and his "Spiral" series utilizing a fusion of Eastern and Western techniques with modal melodies, and Dr. Ricardo Lorenz talked about his "Concerto for Maracas and Orchestra" which led to performers developing new techniques and methods for playing maracas.

All workshops finished

And so, after having ice cream created by a Pikachu, indulging in a glorious pizza night and furthering the immersion program at a local Jollibees, it was time for the final rehearsal.

Pikachu-made Ice Cream

Pizza Night

Enhanced Immersion Program

The final rehearsal took place on stage at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) - the venue where the works would be premiered the next day.

The CCP Stage and Rehearsals


"The Hills of Banaue" Final Rehearsal

And after a few more small revisions and comments, that's it. It's all in the hands of conductor Chino and the performers. On to the concert!

The Structure of the forthcoming Concert

Next blog post - "The Concert" (25th July 2018)

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