“Filipino Musical Achievements and American Benevolent Assimilation: Colonial Ideology in the Framing of Filipino Performance,” 40th Anniversary Center for Philippine Studies, University of Hawaii, Manoa, 10 April.
California State University, Dominguez Hills, 2013
“Symphony Halls and America’s Racial Others: The Philippine Constabulary Band and African American Conductor Lt. Walter H. Loving Tour the United States, 1909,” Black/Asian Encounters in Asian Cultural Production, CSU Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA, 8 April.
“The Racial Invisible: European Aesthetics and Black and Filipino Performance during U.S. Colonization of the Philippines,” Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy Colloquium Series, University of California, Los Angeles, 18 April.
Beyond Westernization: Southeast Asian appropriations of the romantic pop “ballad” in transnational perspective
Music and the Muslim Separatist Movement: Magindanaon Songs of Love and Rebellion during Martial Law in the Philippines (Mary Talusan, Ph.D., Tufts University)
After the declaration of martial law in 1972, Muslim Filipino activists joined forces to take up arms against increased military presence on their home island of Mindanao. Intense violence and political upheaval continued through 1980 with periodic eruptions until the end of martial law and the overthrow of President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. While Muslim Filipinos’ ethnonationalist sentiment hinged on the concept of a shared religion and history distinct from the rest of the Philippines, the musical vehicle through which rank-and-file supporters conveyed desires for political and religious autonomy was not, however, indigenous songs such as bayuk. Magindanaon rebel singers employed the melodies of American rock ballads—such as Bryan Adams’s “Straight from the Heart”—to frame protests of the Philippine government’s incursion into their homeland, the fight for their religion, and longing for love. In this paper, I investigate how and why the stylistic conventions of American popular music became the platform for rebels to sing Magindanaon lyrics expressing political protest, ethnonationalist sentiment, and romantic love during and in the aftermath of a violent period in southern Philippine history.
Panel: “American Empire and Cultural Relations in the 20th Century”This panel examines three instances in which American culture was influential abroad: in the establishment of a military band in the Philippines early in the 20th century; in U.S. government-sponsored musicians’ tours during the Cold War; and in the adoption of abstract painting techniques in Franco’s Spain. Several threads connect our topics: the first and second papers highlight questions of imperialism and cultural power, while the second and third demonstrate the sometimes surprising cultural connections that were cultivated as part of the global cold war. The detailed evidence gathered by the panelists suggests that international cultural relations are not merely an epiphenomenon of political relations, but carry many, sometimes contradictory, meanings.
PAPER TITLE: “Marching to ‘Progress’: Music and Race in the Philippine Military Band during American Colonial Rule, 1898-1946.”
“Sounding Sentiments through the Gongs: Musical Language in Muslim Filipino Courtship”
Mary Talusan Lacanlale, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral associate at Tufts, will present a chapter from her book-in-progress Women’s Courtship Voices: Music and Gender in the Muslim Philippines. She will analyze how courtship is made possible by the musical language of the gandingan or “talking gongs” in a Muslim Filipino society that traditionally forbids unrelated, unmarried young people to speak to one another.
“Women’s Courtship Voices: Music and Gender in the Muslim Philippines”
I trace the theme of courtship across a number of Magindanaon musical genres to examine the ways by which women articulate sentiments of romantic love. By doing so, I argue that an analysis of musical performance provides a way to hear these sentiments thus uncovering women’s agency in courtship and choice of marriage partner. Scholarly literature is absolutely silent on this matter, describing the choice of marriage partner as belonging solely to the man. While two musical genres I investigated provide ways to enact, facilitate, and communicate actual courtship, the dayunday is an improvised courtship drama, a staged show or type of musical theater in which singers act out a courtship scenario. It is a contemporary form of entertainment invented sometime during the 1970s, the period of martial law and intense armed rebellion in Mindanao, the Muslim Filipino homeland.
Conference sponsored by UC Riverside, Southeast Asian Text, Ritual, and Performance (SEATRIP) and Department of Music
One of four speakers, gave presentation on early Philippine-American encounters of the Philippine Constabulary Band in the U.S. (1904 World’s Fair, 1909 Taft Inauguration, and tours of America’s major symphony halls).