”You must make sure you know the meaning of each song and draw from the songwriter’s intentions for your interpretation. In doing a gig, it requires mastery of the elements. It’s even harder when one does an accompaniment with a guitar. You only evolve your craft as a musician if you are plunged into the public sea of audience and see if you can swim. With a beginner’s mind, you are a looking for fresh ways to attack – perhaps in instrumentation or some modification of the lyrics. It is not about range. It should be musical. Does your interpretation give what is due to the songwriter? It is a privilege to sing their songs.” – Mon David, as told to this writer in 2014.
Check out the photo of Mon David—captured by Enrique Delacruz—and note his facial expressions and total demeanor who came to see him at 3 for the Road, with this writer! Notice how Mon emotes , as he sings and how he pays tribute to what is important for each gig he performs at.
By the way, it is not 3 for the Road, the 1987 Indie film starring Charlie Sheen, Alan Ruck and Kerri Green.
This 3 for the Road is a dinner/concert/dance by Mon David, Giji Kocher Garcia and Maricar Cabasag on Feb. 10 at the Royal Palace Banquet Hall in Glendale , sponsored by the Asian Journal, as other 29 businesses.
For Mon’s performances, it’s a tripod of “the song is king,” the songwriter, and “the sea of audience.”
But it is now five, as his 7-pound grandson Leo, was born on Feb. 9 and Nico, 6lbs, minutes after, to whom he dedicated his performance.
His footwork had a special energy to it, an added spring, as if reborn to jazz away into the night. When he sang, the theme of Little Darlings with photos of the newly born were shown, as he crooned “If I Could.” Even his tuxedo was with beads and sequins and with changing lights, it shimmered like sparkles of light on the ocean surface waters.
With impact, he sang:
“If I could/
I would teach you all the things I’ve never learned/
And I’d help you cross the bridges that I’ve burned/
Yes, I would”
Mon was simply exceptional as he sang a Lou Rawls medley of “Lady Love,” “Pure Imagination,” “Tomorrow,” “One Life to Live” and “You’ll Never Find.” Of course, “Dandansoy” equally made a mark amongst the Visayan members of the audience. He is simply the master of his vocal chords and delivers the best expression of emotions, giving performances a new twist, a new interpretation, and a new experience each time.
But, he is also the wise grandfather these days, reminding us “to heal and to renew our trust in one another,” and to propagate “peace brought about by love.”
The audience’s favorite was his duet of “City of Stars”—the theme song of “La La Land”—with Giji Kocher as they sang with heartfelt feelings for Los Angeles, but also perhaps for their personal struggles to keep their focus on their love for singing, despite their life’s challenges.
Giji delivered her songs with guts and gusto, mirroring the depths of sorrow in losing an ex-husband, a good friend whom she just talked to, days before he passed. As she sang “Golden Slumber/Carry that Weight,” we surmise the depths of her personal burden, while he was being buried that evening, and that now, a piece of her heart, a past love is now gone.
Even the choices of “Alone,” “Huwag Ka Nang Umiyak” (Don’t Cry Anymore) and “Moment” carefully allowed her a trek into her personal past, and walking with her was the audience who appreciated her singing from highs to lows and highs again. Giji, a masterful professional, received a standing ovation after she sang, “This is the Moment. ” We admire how she also gave homage to her present husband, Vincent Kocher, whose love and loyalty she acknowledged, and who sweetly greeted her with his own personal bouquet of roses to mark their 16th wedding anniversary.
Maricar Cabasag sang comfortably in a duet with Giji and their Ladies medley was well received. She shined in singing the George Canseco medley – “Hanggang sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan, (Till the end of time),” “Kung Ako’y Iiwan Mo (If you leave me),” “Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan (How Often is Sometimes) “, while “Ngayon at Kailanman (Now and Foreever),” was Maricar’s best!
All in all, it was well-directed by Alvin Reyes, a script to thread all the disparate songs of Visayan, Tagalog and English, yet sang well by 3 for the Road ‘s singers , who shared their best. The venue had well modulated and balanced acoustics that we could hear all their lyrics and their voices at perfect pitch!
We are all artists in the making or already made, as these three singers/musicians show us by their examples. We all have that individual capacity to share our passion diligently, not just for our inner peace, but an inner peace to connect to another’s humanity. May we all express that wellspring of peace and love always!