Sunday, December 2, 2007

Violin Virtuoso

Where else can one get an awesome enchanted evening for only PhP 150? Only at the Luce Auditorium in Dumaguete City. After twelve years, Master Violinist Jay Cayuca returned to his mother’s birth city to serenade an enthused assembly that filled about ¾ of the 900++ seat concert hall. It was heartening to note that there were very young kids as well as very old folks, including one in a wheelchair, among the audience. As for the rest of the young people, perhaps they were two kilometers away at the Lamberto Macias Sports Complex where pop idols Sarah Geronimo and Mark Bautista were having a concert too (which my brother-in-law, Edgar, tells me was jampacked) at the exact same time.

The kainis thing about Jay Cayuca’s show was that there was no program which we could read. I wanted to know the titles of the songs. I wanted to know the names of the different instruments and something about each member of the band. I was hoping to learn more about the artists through a printed program. But there was none!

None, until after the first song when an usher came in with a few photocopied sheets of what I supposed was the program. But as I said she only had a few copies, maybe thirty copies. After the next song, another usher came in with maybe forty copies this time. And during the next song, another twenty copies. Distributed at random in the darkened theater. What the…!

Anyway I did not want to let such a wee little thing spoil my enjoyment of the experience. Let it be an evening of no words, only music.


Bass guitar

Jay Cayuca and his band played for one hour forty minutes straight with only brief breaks in between songs to introduce the next piece. His flutist was the lead flutist of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. Wow. And his percussionist was a lady whose tireless hands tapped the congo drums in a seemingly effortless manner. She also provided the vocals to the only piece with words in their whole repertoire that night. The bass guitar was as tall as the bassist who wore a tuxedo. (The photo I have here is not exactly the kind of guitar I saw last night, but close.) The keyboardist was a young lady named Ms. Lydia Cutay (got her name from a cd bought at the lobby afterwards). And finally, Jay introduced the lead guitarist, playing a bright red guitar and sporting a multicolored polo shirt, as “the man behind my music”.

And so the evening went, so fast, it seemed. Each number had Jay Cayuca gyrating and dancing and prancing all over the floor. It was not just a performance. The man was baring his soul. He was spraying sweat all over which reminded me of David Pomeranz who said “I’m a waterfall!” during his concert a couple of weeks ago at the non-air conditioned Lamberto Macias Sports Complex. The sound system there was really bad, I think the mixing was not so good, David’s voice being drowned out by the overly-loud band.

As for Jay Cayuca’s music, res ipsa loquitur...

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