A Celebration of Music, Heritage and Culture
The gong-chime culture has always been a large part of Southeast Asia, but not a lot know what a kulintang is. A kulintang is a modern term for this ancient instrumental form of music, done on a row of small, horizontally-laid gongs to create melody; and are accompanied by larger, suspended gongs and drums.
Technically, kulintang is the Maguindanao, Ternate and Timor term for the idiophone of metal gong kettles. By the 20th century, the term had come to denote an entire Maguindanao ensemble of five to six instruments.
The recent passing of the father of Filipino-American kulintang music, Danny Kalanduyan, has created a spark that commits to growing awareness of kulintang music. Kalanduyan was born in Datu Piang and studied in Mindanao State University-Marawi, From 1976 to 1984, he was an artist-in-residence in the ethnomusicology department of the University of Washington in Seattle; and at the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University in 2000.
This May marks Kalanduyan’s birthday month and OPM Republic is excited to present, “Gongster’s Paradise: A Kulintang Party,” on Saturday, May 27, from 4 to 9 p.m. at Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th Street, Oakland, 94607.
“Gongster’s Paradise” is a 5-hour event celebrating Kulintang culture and observing the milestones of the art from traditional to contemporary. The music celebration will be featuring traditional kulintang groups such as San Francisco Kulintang Project, Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble (San Diego) and Kulintang Academy (Stockton). The progression of the show will be followed by contemporary kulintang fusion artists DATU (Toronto, Canada), Gingee (Los Angeles), San Francisco’s pop kulintang icon, Kulintronica and Kulintang jazz band The Autonomous Region.
Alongside non-stop music will be featured visual artists Baybayin by Kristian Kabuay, Bayani Art and Malaya Designs. Folk arts groups Parangal Dance Company and American Center of Philippine Arts will also be participating to showcase dances and movements related to kulintang music rooted from Mindanao.
“Gongster’s Paradise” is also an opportunity to showcase individual artists who have mastered the art of folk dancing and have practiced the movements of these indigenous dances including Eric Solano, Kim Requesto, Brian Batugo, Jon Mercado and Jae Tioseco.
A feast with Maguindanao touch will be served throughout the evening to be prepared and served by Chef Rob Menor, historical Stockton’s favorite Filipino Food ambassador and will be joined by collaborator and official kitchen partner, Filipino Kitchen.
The goal of the event is to present kulintang music to the community and show its capacity from traditional roots to how far artists have been able to take it in a contemporary form. Outreach for the event will be done through social media, PCN (Pilipino College Networks) and community collaborations.
Proceeds of the event will go to Mindanao Lilang Lilang non-profit organization to help them fund their projects to grow awareness of Kulintang music and pass it on to the next generation.
For tickets, log on to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gongsters-paradise-a-kulintang-party-tickets-32460253492.
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1740637659514117/. (AJPress)
*Special thanks to Lydia Neff of OPM Republic.