Music alumnus Joseph Mirandilla holds his solo guitar recital, "Equinox," on Oct. 1, at the Manila Pianos Showroom in Makati. (Photo by Albert Earl A. Gomez/ The Varsitarian)

A THOMASIAN guitarist performed the works of late Japanese composer Tōru Takemitsu in a solo guitar recital at the Manila Pianos Showroom in Makati on Oct. 1.

Music alumnus Joseph Mirandilla, in his final doctorate recital, “Equinox,” honored Takemitsu, who influenced his musical journey. 

“I learned a lot from him while studying his music because first, it’s quite challenging technically, and it’s also very challenging musically,” Mirandilla told the Varsitarian. “You have to figure out how to play his unusual melodies or chords effectively in concert or while studying it.”

He opened his recital with a 1974 solo guitar piece, “Folios,” characterized by an intricate use of sound and silence. 

The UST Conservatory of Music graduate also performed the Takemitsu piece that was the recital’s namesake, “Equinox,” and other works of the composer, like the classic “A Piece for Guitar” and “In the Woods.” 

Takemitsu’s works, according to Mirandilla, showed how the Japanese composer was able to put Western and Eastern music side by side and “[make] it work.” 

“[It’s] very interesting because during the 20th century, a lot of composers tried to blend [Eastern and Western music] together, and sometimes it’s very superficial,” he said. “[But Takemitsu] tried to preserve the identity, [the] Asian-ness of his music, [and] not blend it with the Western music.”

Mirandilla also played music arranged by classical guitarist Shin-Ichi Fukuda, and by Beatles icons John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

A total of 10 compositions were performed in the recital.

Mirandilla received his first guitar training at the UST Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of the late music professor Ruben Reyes, one of the pioneers of the guitar quartet and guitar ensemble in the Philippines.

He pursued post-graduate studies in Japan in 2005, where he focused on contemporary guitar music. 

Mirandilla teaches guitar performance at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in China and is pursuing a doctorate at the Philippine Women’s University School of Music. Sofiah Shelimae J. Aldovino


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