LIKE the bamboo, Filipino music sways with the wind and resonates a soothing rhythm and sound. It echoes nature like the gentle flowing of rivers and the hard pounding of rocks.

Celebratory Filipino music was featured in Musiko Mundo: Pinoy World Music Concert last Feb. 9 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). The concert was part of the National Arts Month.

The two-and-a-half-hour performance showcased such musicians as Puro Ritmo, Makiling Ensemble, Cynthia Alexander, Grace Nono, and Pinikpikan. It aimed to develop a deeper awareness and appreciation of Filipino music here and abroad.

Puro Ritmo, known for its Afro-Cuban, Afro-Carribbean, and Afro-Brazilian rhythms, performed carnival-like music that had a danceable Latin beat.

The Makiling Ensemble, composed of students of the Philippine High School for the Arts on Mt. Makiling, Los Baños, performed songs that fused bluegrass, gypsy and Indian inspiration. They showed mastery with such instruments as the hegalong (an ethnic two-stringed zither) and kubing (a bamboo musical instrument inserted in the mouth). The music was contagious and eclectic.

Alexander combined Asian rhythms, eloquent English lyrics, and Alanis Morissette-like vocals. Nono brought the house down with her powerful voice and exhilarating ethnic rhythms.

The final performance from Pinikpikan combined Ifugao rhythms with African creole music. Lyrics were in Cebuano and Hanonoo, the native language of the Mangyans.

All in all, the concert showed that Filipino music has truly evolved. Myra Jennifer D. Jaud

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