Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Filipino Brass

March 8th, 2013 · No Comments


The annual Musikahan sa Tagum, which just wrapped up its 2013 edition, touts itself as the premier music festival in the entire Philippines. I don’t know enough about that nation’s arts scene to judge the validity of that claim, but I certainly can’t stop watching videos of the Musikahan’s marching-band competition. (The one above, for example, features an epic transition between “Fame” and “Don’t Stop Believin'” about midway through.) The event seems a perfect example of our species’ wondrous knack for hacking culture—the musicians here have taken a distinctly American art form and made it all the more splendid. What I love most about these performances is the way they don’t seem weighted down by their influences—they are not just imitating the stuff of SEC halftime shows, but rather spinning out their own thoroughly Filipino spectacle.

Oh, and be sure to watch for the dancers who kick in around the 3:30 mark. Love how they seem to be doing their own thing to some extent—minor rebels amidst the straitjacketed order of the march.

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