For me, music in film is of utmost importance. I am simply working on the coverage of BenCab Museum’s inauguration yet I could not use the background music I have asked someone to “compose” for it. Well, not because the music was not good. It was just not appropriate I believe because it was not representative of “their” culture—and here I mean the Cordillera people’s music. More than drums and guitars, they use flutes and gongs.* [Oh well, they actually use drums as well but the beats differ so they didn’t really sound “Cordilleran” to me]. I imagined them [flutes more than anything] while editing the pictures. It must have been my fault in a way. I have tendency to let creative people interpret the scenes before I say my take on it. It’s because I believe that they should be given that right. It is only when they do not jibe with my “taste” or the scene’s needs that my personal preferences enter. It is only then that my subjectivity comes in.
I actually only needed a few background music that would thread some of the scenes to enhance some portions in the film because I already largely used the actual ritual music that went with the dances. Except for one, I have changed everything. With the help of more research on indigenous music, I finally got what I wanted anyway—a beautiful bamboo flute music and a song of rejoice they call “E-la-lay” lasting less than two minutes made my day. I myself rejoiced!
*Not the gongs used by Muslims in the South. I honestly do not know how they call them. I will just post a picture later.