COLLEGE of Fine Arts and Design professor Noli Vicedo paid tribute to his childhood past in an art exhibit at the ancient St. Joseph’s Church in Las Pinas City where he once sang as a child chorister and member of the Las Pinas Boys Choir accompanied by the world-famous Bamboo Organ.

“An Artist’s Tribute to the Bamboo Organ,” which ran Feb. 19 to 27 at the Bamboo Organ Museum, was a side show to the 40th International Bamboo Organ Festival. It consisted of 10 paintings showing romantic evocations of Las Pinas Church and the international music festival built around its celebrated bamboo organ, the only one of its kind in the world.

The famous Bamboo Organ of Las Pinas was built in the early 19th century by Recollect friar Fr. Diego Cera, who was also a naturalist and an engineer. The organ was restored and rehabilitated in the 1970’s and since then, an international festival has been held featuring local and international musicians and choirs.

The organ has been named a National Cultural Treasure.

“I grew up in Las Piñas and practically with the Bamboo Organ. Being a member of the Las Piñas Boys Choir, I had those opportunities to sing with the organ as accompaniment during Mass and some events,” Vicedo, an advertising professor at the College of Fine Arts and Design, said.

He said he joined the choir when he was 10 years old. He said that aside from the yearly festival at Las Pinas church, the choir also perfomed at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Malacanang.

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Founder and choir director at that time was Leo Reiner, who’s now the executive director of the Bamboo Organ Foundation which organizes the yearly international festival.

As a member of the choir, Vicedo said he was introduced to classical music.

“I see colors in Baroque music particularly Vivaldi’s concertos and Bach’s extravagant movements. And the visual artist in me seemed to flourish with my musical experience,” he said.

Perhaps Vicedo’s childhood is best evoked in “Bamboo Organ & Baroque,” which shows the bamboo organ surrounded by violinists and choir boys in their red and white choir dress. The painting is redolent of nostalgia and innocence.

“Whenever I am painting, I find inspiration from classical music,” said Vicedo. “And it was through the Bamboo Organ and the Las Piñas Boys Choir that I learned these things.”

Formative influences

Vicedo said his local influences are Carlos "Botong" Francisco, Vicente Manansala, Mario Parial, and Cesar Legaspi; his foreign influences are Modigliani, Cezanne, Diego Rivera, Picasso and Braque.

“My cubistic forms still reveal the basic image of the subject, but it is just simplified and sometimes deconstructed, forming a visual summary of emotions, gestures and compositions of people and objects,” Vicedo explained.

Painting in oil using the palette knife, Vicedo’s strokes and textures are influenced by the Fauvism, an avant-garde movements that flourished in France in the early 20th century. In contrast to expressionism, Fauves produced bright cheery landscapes and figure paintings, characterized by pure vivid color and bold distinctive brushwork.

The vividness and bold brushwork are evident in the works of Vicedo, who obtained both his bachelor’s and master’s degree in fine arts from UST. The works reek with musical nostalgia and classical passion to portray what has become an annual celebration of solidarity forged by communal values of faith, music, and beauty. Aliliana Margarette T. Uyao

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