“Music is always migrating from its point of origin to its destiny in someone’s fleeting moment of experience.” – Alex Ross, in The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century
I’d like to think that in a world that is particularly unkind to the unordinary, there are scattered, little pockets of heaven reserved for the misfits to cultivate and embrace their own; and eventually, each other’s quirks, boons, and banes.
For me, it all began one Friday night in April of 2012, when I went to my first gig. Three years’ worth of immeasurable happiness, unspeakable gratitude, bitter heartbreaks, forged friendships, severed ties with people, roistering adventures, dull moments, and unsavory choices after—none of which I regret (and none that melodramatic crying episodes can’t help ease)—I was not even remotely expecting this is where and how I would end up.
How Ian (Urrutia, founder of Vandals On The Wall and a very good friend of mine) and I found ourselves curating our own, regular gig called The Rest Is Noise is pretty much a cliché story. In late 2014, I was already musing about the idea of producing a gig for my birthday in February of the following year.
After consulting Ian, he proposed that we make it a two-night event, with him bringing in electronic act Skymarines and the Thea Pitogo-fronted folk band from their hometown in Davao to Metro Manila. I personally handpicked my favorite acts for the second night. The reception was overwhelmingly positive, and we decided to make it a bimonthly thing from then on.
At present, we’re at our fourth series—parts seven and eight—which will be happening on the 17th and 24th of October. Our process of curating lineups for each night remains the same way: pool our favorite acts (we have a couple of bands that regularly play for us) together, along with newcomers that we’re particularly excited about, and occasionally bring regional acts when schedules and budgets permit.
Essentially, Ian and I will book acts that we would want to watch ourselves in one night; sometimes throwing caution to the wind and out the logistics window to stick to our guts. Citing agenda, it’s actually simple: help out local acts by giving them a platform to share and perform their music to an audience, build networks and connections, and take opportunities to open doors to wherever these shows can take these acts.
If I think about it, it’s like chasing our dreams and living in them simultaneously, in a cycle of collective euphoria. I get to enjoy a great night with friends; listening to all these bands as they bring their music out, lingering and bouncing in the air—to an audience who, like me, would rather be in a cubbyhole in Katipunan or Makati rather than anywhere else.
It was never about a singular interest, and though this was a non-lucrative passion project we chose to delve in, we get to fuel our own drive—the same one that made us come back to these gigs we go to in the first place. For a couple of hours, our lives are momentarily suspended between our school/corporate/agency-riddled realities and youth-tinted, gilded dreams.
The Rest Is Noise, for me, is the launchpad of my life, converging with others towards a music-filled haven that will leave an indelible mark in my memories: too unbelievably real, too massively spectacular—like soaring to the skies.
This article was cross-published on Amplify.ph