Bivouac. Live. Manila 马尼拉

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"Since I started recording live shows in NYC over 10 years ago, it had always been a dream of mine to record live experimental improvised acts around the world especially in the Philippines. Fast forward to 2018. so much time had passed since I had recorded live performances for my pretty much defunct Bivouac. Live. Part of the label. I had almost forgotten about it until this past summer when I decided to record my friend 'Junky' from Torturing Nurse at a venue in Shanghai. He had been invited to perform with other touring musicians and since I had not been to an experimental event in a long while, I figured I would get my ears blown out and record the process with my reel to reel. It turned out that one of the performing musicians , Arvin Nogueras (Caliph8) was from Manila and was very well established in the improvised and experimental music scene organizing and participating in many gigs at least once a month. He also is regularly invited to tours around Asia. I told him about how I wanted to record a documentary album featuring the 'who's who" in the Philippine experimental music scene. He was interested and at the end of the summer we started planning. After a couple weeks everything was ready to go. This was really happening.

10多年前,我开始在纽约的表演现场做录音尝试,自那之后,我一直都想去世界各地的实验即兴表演现场录音,尤其想去菲律宾。一晃就到了现在,今年是2018年,距离我刚开始做现场表演录音已经过去许多年,作为自己创办的品牌Bivouac的一部分,’Bivouac·现场’这本专辑被我遗忘已久,一直未有更新。直到去年夏天,我在上海的一个现场帮朋友Junky做Torturing Nurse表演的录音,才又重新拾起。他受邀和其他巡演的音乐人一起表演,我也很久没有去过实验音乐现场,就想着去现场感受一把听觉的冲击,并用我的录音带记录这个过程。去到之后发现,表演者里有一位来自马尼拉的表演音乐人Arvin Nogueras (Caliph8),在即兴和实验音乐界颇有名气,也很多产,每个月至少参与和组织一次现场演出。他也经常受邀在亚洲巡演。我和他聊到我想做一个关于菲律宾实验音乐现场"谁是谁"的纪录专辑。他也表示有兴趣,大概夏末的时候,我们就开始着手策划了。几周之后,一切准备就绪,这个想法真正开始落地了。

I used the time in Manila to see my family and for the first time I had some work to do. We were able to get a great sound system in the studio at the last minute. The recording session took 6 hours and I used an ORTF setup with my Sony TC-D5 recorder and Sound Devices mixer. As the session progressed people started trickling in after work and would casually would wait their turn and just play. Everyone brought their weapon of choice some homemade like Juan Sobrepeña's Bento box, others brought devices from Korg, Akai, Octasynth, etc. The atmosphere was warm with friendship and amazing sound. With every new performer a new facet of Manila's experimental scene was revealed. The night ended with drink and eats at a local restaurant.

到马尼拉之后,我去探望了我的家人,这是我第一次带着一些工作回家探望。开始正式工作前最后一刻,我们成功借到一个效果极好的音响设备。录音总共耗时6小时,我使用的是Sony TC-D5和混合音频装置,ORTF立体音效设置。随着演出过程的推进,表演者们也在结束一天工作后慢慢入场,等到自己的表演时间就不紧不慢地上台表演。每个人都带来自己的表演’宝器’,比如 Juan Sobrepeña自制的Bento box,还有一些Korg, Akai, Octasynth公司生产的设备等等。现场氛围热烈,充满音乐人之间的情谊,还有不绝于耳的美妙的声音。每一个表演者上台都像是开启了马尼拉实验音乐界的一个新角度。表演结束后,大家一起去了一家当地餐厅喝酒觅食,是一个难忘的夜晚。

I tried to describe the tracks with just a few words below as a point of reference. Take them one step at a time.


TRACK 1 by Juan Miguel Sobrepeña. Deep. Deep. So deep. Beep.
TRACK 2 by Pow Martinez. Meditative. Routine.
TRACK 3 by Malek Lopez. Master. Beautiful. Melodic. Precise. Surprise.
TRACK 4 by Jon Romero. Add. Plus. Repeat. Boom.
TRACK 5 by Arvin Nogueras, Harold Santos, Angelica Uson, Julia Yabes, Nelson Mon Alon, Jacques Dufourt, Jaime Dela Cruz. Acoustic, Evolution. Communication. Awareness.
TRACK 6 by Fred Sandoval. Chant. Metal. Lightenment.
TRACK 7 by Tusa Montes and Arvin Nogueras. Dialog. Handmade.
TRACK 8 by Maia Reyes and Arvin Nogueras. Pure. Advance. Native. Journey.

录音1 表演者 Juan Miguel Sobrepeña。深远。深远。深远。蜂鸣声。
录音2 表演者Pow Martinez。冥想。反复。
录音3 表演者 Malek Lopez。熟练。美。旋律性。精确。意料之外。
录音4 表演者Jon Romero。添加。附加。重复。轰隆声。
录音5 表演者 Arvin Nogueras, Harold Santos, Angelica Uson, Julia Yabes, Nelson Mon Alon, Jacques Dufourt, Jaime Dela Cruz等人。乐器原声。演变。交流。意识。
录音6 表演者Fred Sandoval。吟诵。金属。减轻。
录音7 表演者Tusa Montes及Arvin Nogueras。对话。手作。
录音8 表演者Maia Reyes及Arvin Nogueras。纯粹。前卫。本土。旅途。

Our next recording was a few days later. Arvin took me to the University of the Philippines (UP) school of music, and we had arranged a performance with some students in one of the rehearsal rooms. Upon arrival we met a teacher there, Tusa Montes, and she said that she really wanted to perform again with Arvin. She wasn't sure if she would have time that day, but after our recording with the students, we managed to catch up with her and got the final recording for the album.

过了一些天,我们开始了第二个录音。Arvin带我去了菲律宾大学(UP)音乐学院,在那里我们组织了一些学生在其中一个彩排室进行了一场表演。在大学里,我们还遇见了一个老师,叫Tusa Montes,她说她很想再和Arvin一起表演一次,但是当时她不确定自己当天是否有时间。等我们和学生录完音之后,我们和她再约了一次时间,完成了专辑最后一个录音的录制。

The students finally gathered in and they used the traditional Filipino instruments that were in the room such as: Kulintang, Dabakan, Agung, Gandingan, Babandir, Saggeypo, Kulintang a Tamlang, Gandingan a Tamlang, and Tongali. It took a little bit of time to get warmed up to the idea of free improvisation but they slowly got into it. It can be a challenge to find a common thread when playing with more than one musician but eventually you can hear this evolution, this awareness. Sometimes when recording live improvised performances, you don’t know what you have until you listen to it several times. You can't just take it for face value because it is pure circumstance, reflex, discovery, and exploration all at once- that’s the beauty of it. What was captured was an amazing evolution of the escape from rhythm and the interpretation of emotion into sound. By the end of the piece, you feel an awareness of sound by everyone. Beautiful.

这些表演的学生终于到齐了,他们用的都是放在彩排室的传统菲律宾乐器,包括Kulintang, Dabakan, Agung, Gandingan, Babandir, Saggeypo, Kulintang a Tamlang, Gandingan a Tamlang, 以及 Tongali。我们花了一些时间解释自由即兴表演的形式,他们也开始慢慢适应这个新概念。要在多人表演的演出中找到一条共同的主线不是一件容易的事情,但是最终可以听到这种不同声音交流的演变,听到表演者们意识的变化。有时候在给现场即兴表演录音的时候,我们刚开始并不知道自己录到了些什么,需要反复听很多次。我们不能以表面听到的声音去评判,因为它是完全的即兴场景,是一种突然之间的惯性、探索还有发现,这也是现场表演录音的美好之处。录音捕捉到的是偏离韵律之外的令人惊奇的声音的演变,是声音夹带的情绪的解读。到录音最后,人们可以感受到每一个表演者发出的声音的意识。这是非常美妙的。

After the recording, we waited for Tusa to finish the things she had to do and we created an impromptu concert in her office. She got some instruments over from the rehearsal room including a drum from Africa she learned to play when she was in Ghana. The connection was amazing between the two, their sounds intertwined as if in a dance. Tusa and Arvin's mastery of their instruments allow them to express their emotions through them; extensions of their person. There were no instruments there, only them. Some of Arvin's samples are from the field recording archive of renowned Filipino ethnomusicologist and composer, Jose Maceda who was a also a teacher at UP. Shortly after the recording, the static of the rain against the metal rooftops swallowed all other sounds as we made our way back home.

和学生们的录音结束之后,我们等Tusa忙完她手上的事情,在她办公室开了一场即兴音乐会。她从彩排室拿来一些乐器,比如非洲鼓,她在加纳的时候学了打非洲鼓。Tusa和Arvin的配合默契,两个声音的交织宛若双人共舞。两个人精通各自的乐器,通过乐器表达各自的情感,这种表达就像是自我的延伸。现场感受不到乐器的存在,只有演奏者本人。Arvin表演的录音样本有些来自知名菲律宾人种音乐学家和作曲人Jose Maceda的实地录音存档,他也是菲律宾大学的老师。录音后不久,下起了雨,空气中雨滴落在金属屋面的声音掩盖了我们回程路上的其他声音。

Like my previous projects, after I digitize the tapes, I usually let them rest and take a while to distance myself from the recordings to distill my memories to the ones that made an impression to me. This really helps me objectively decide what edits need to be made and how to preserve the story and truth of each piece. I decided to leave the tape flip pauses on a few of the tracks that went over 30 minutes to be aware of the medium, the recordist, and to emphasize that this was live. The beginning and end tape 'clicks' also serve this purpose.

This trip was an amazing sonic experience that went beyond my expectations. Listening to the tracks many times over these past few months, they are still as fresh as when I heard them for he first time renewing and evolving the deeper I listen. They are by no means alone, Arvin mentions many acts that are amazing live, playing amongst the audience and incorporating entire theaters within their performances. What a way to whet the appetite. So it looks like Volume 2 wont be too far behind. I can't wait.


Thanks for listening."


This audio documentary was recorded live at Stoa Sound in Mandaluyong (9/17) and University of the Philippines College of Music (9/20).

这个音频记录分别实地收录于Mandaluyong的Stoa Sound(9月17日)以及菲律宾大学音乐学院(9月20日)。


About Bivouac. Live.
‘Bivouac. Live.’ is a project starting from March 2006 in New York City and features live performances from experimental musicians in some of the most interesting venues. ‘Bivouac. Live.’ is a ‘living’ project that will be added to as we have new recordings. Your purchase helps support future recordings just like this.

If you would like to feature an experimental live performance on Bivouac please contact us for more info.

bivouacrecording [at]

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