After setting up the kulintang electronica live rig in the historic KPFA studios in Berkeley, I watch the clock while sampling the hospitality and enjoying the community vibe as Filipinos took over the Northern California airwaves under the leadership of Lapu Lapu (aka DJ Kayumanggi).
This studio was also where some tracks from Master K’s third CD, “The Oral Tradition of Maguindano” was recorded. For kulintang recording collectors, these few tracks are extra special because they are hi-fi recordings of two of the Kalanduyan brothers, Danongan and Datuan playing complex kulintang pieces on the kulintang a kayu (wooden kulintang) in unison.
I was joined in the studio by Palabuniyan members Pinay Mujer and Alexis Canillo, also onsite for their contributions to the radio program. We had four live mics to capture the gongs and the electronic elements were piped directly to the radio waves while in the studio we monitored using a small bass combo.
The cue was given and we started off with some traditional kulintang, a Binalig. After Lapu Lapu’s introduction accompanied by yet another Binalig, we played a brisk Tagunggo, which became the point of musical departure into the imagination.
As we entered the world of kulintang electronica, I took the opportunity to make a live dedication to Tim Lincecum whom I dubbed “Fil-Am of the month,” and then proceeded to mix live kulintang and agung playing with guitar looping and dance music.
It was truly a pleasure to make music in this historic venue, in the company of so many fellow Fil-Am artists, broadcasting Filipino America to Northern California on the airwaves.