Music festival celebrates ASEAN identity, artistic wealth

Music festival celebrates ASEAN identity, artistic wealth

MANILA — From traditional to contemporary music, a free concert will celebrate the identity and artistic wealth of Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) member states by featuring their best regional solo and group performances.

The ASEAN Music Festival, slated November 14 at 7 p.m. at the Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati City, is part of the commemoration of the regional bloc’s 50th anniversary and the Philippine’s ASEAN chairmanship this year.

Foreign acts performing are D’Hask (Brunei), Nimth and Sophea (Cambodia), Mia Ismi Halida (Indonesia), Sack Celis (Laos), Nading Rhapsody (Malaysia), Eint Chit (Myanmar), Asia 7 (Thailand), and Tuan Anh (Vietnam).

Meanwhile, local bands performing are Franco, Silent Sanctuary, Sandwich, The Ransom Collective, Parokya ni Edgar, and Ben and Ben.

Spearheaded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), the festival will feature a wide array of ASEAN music.

In selecting the lineup of performers, organizers have asked the different Ministries of Culture which artists and groups could “best represent their countries.”

However, despite showing diversity, NCCA International Affairs Office of ASEAN Sub-Committee on Culture and Information focal person Annie Luis said that ASEAN music also has a lot in common.

“Music is a universal language. What makes them similar is they come from a community where we’re all Southeast Asian that comes out in various expressions,” Luis said in an interview.

“Even if they come in different costumes, sing in different languages, we are neighbors and it’s inevitable that we can find similarities,” she added.

ASEAN Music Festival Director Maribel Legarda said this festival will be even bigger than the ASEAN Landmark Lighting and Pop Music Concert held at the Bonifacio Global City Amphitheatre last August.

“It’s expanded to bring in other artists. Now we’re going to have ASEAN bands, two or thee will be solo acts but the rest will be bands — there will be jazz, traditional music, and rock,” Legarda said.

“Arts is one great way where a kind of unity and solidarity can really be forged between countries,” she added.

She said that audiences can also look forward to listening to a new arrangement the ASEAN 50th anniversary theme song, “ASEAN Spirit.”

Although the festival will be live-streamed, Legarda said the experience of watching the performers are best seen live.

The festival will be hosted by Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up Venus Raj. (PNA)

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