Friday, June 21, 2013

Playing for Him

To be in the company of esteemed and renowned artists, and with upcoming ones, was no happenstance.  It was planned albeit I was just a mere player in it.

Pianist Katherine Fernandez-Asis occasioned her visit yesterday to the Philippine High School for the Arts for the Alumnayan.  It is a monthly event where alumni share their experiences before current students, parents and faculty.  She and Jay Gomez were classmates there and went to the UP Conservatory together (seen here together playing Claude Bolling's "Baroque and Blue", with self-effacing page turner Rubylee Valente-Gomez).  I had the privilege to listen to her inspiring story of dedication, passion and commitment to excellence.  She is good.

Katherine (center) is surrounded by budding talent.  Behind her are (tall)
PHSA director Vim Nadera, and music instructor and flutist Jay Gomez.
Jay is my flute mentor.  He is good. (Watch him here at TED X Diliman.)

The flute in prayer always moves me. It creates a wholesome sensation in the melodic internalization and elevation of self to God.  So I picked up a flute during my posting in Port Moresby for NDI last year.  With me were copies of the flute and guitar ensemble from Vespers 2 "If I Could Touch You" and Vespers 5 "Day is Done".

The last time I was face-to-face with a sheet music was in Grade 2 with my piano teacher -- eons ago!  I needed instruction.

So I had Jay Gomez, the flutist listed on one of the albums, looked up.  Impatient, I asked if we could do classes on Skype.  (Nina Perlove does.)  He refused.  We eventually met up and luckily for me, he accepted to mentor.  I said I will only learn to play prayer and he was all fine with it.

The drive to Los Banos, Laguna, with Mt Makiling first looming from afar, and then slowly enclosing you as if in an embrace as you draw near, is interesting.  Somewhere in the foothills and close to her bossom is the PHSA, a nest and incubator of talent. The school is surrounded with dark green lush vegetation and pure air and serene silence.  We were to have our 12th and last lesson here.

He picked the place where we could play for Him, and I could only marvel in awe and in gratitude.

1 comment:

  1. you are lucky to have such a great mentor and it is always better to learn the flute (or any instrument for that matter) up close and personal with your teacher. there are certain intricacies and nuances of playing that cannot simply be communicated even if you are taught instrument playing through skype. i always had affinity in playing the flute and in my research with regards the flute, in asian/filipino tradition, the breath or hinga is our connection to the divine.