When did you start your fondness for music?
As early as I can remember, my fondness for music came about when I was four years old. Local TV channels would feature music videos when they sign in early in the morning, and I would listen to the same songs day in and day out. I ended up memorising the songs.
Is there any musician in your family?
My mom loves to sing but only as a hobby. I believe that my other two siblings could have been more talented than I am because I have heard them sing. It just so happened that I was the only one who pursued performing music on stage. Surprisingly, I found out two years ago that my father used to play the alto saxophone. I guess he forgot to tell me.
Who is your musical influence? Why?
I have always loved how Martin Nievera sang because he does it with so much heart and power. When I started performing, my road manager told me not to listen to Martin anymore (because I would end up copying him) He told me to start looking for my own style. I also listened to Boyz II men, Michael Jackson, and John Mayer to name a few.
How do you describe your work ethic, style of playing and your strength as a musician?
I follow the traditional work ethic of musicians: Don’t be late, respect the people you work with, and come prepared. In performing, I follow two basic rules:
Sing with all your heart and all your soul
Don’t F#@* up!
My style of playing? I am an entertainer—I try to be entertaining on stage by experimenting on gestures and sounds. I don’t really stick with a particular genre. I usually play songs that a lot of people would relate to. As to being a musician, I am quite versatile. I not only play the guitar and sing; I also play the piano and write my own songs. Hopefully people would be able to hear my original compositions soon.
How do you envision yourself as an artist?
I see myself marketed as an artist with a lot of talents. I know that it has been done before by Paolo Santos and Jimmy Bondoc, but you have to admit—Filipinos are quite fond of their music and talent. Remember the days of harana in our history? Singing while playing guitar would always work especially with the ladies.
How can you describe the musical scene in Manila then and now?
The musical scene in Manila evolves depending on the generation. The scene in the early 2000s for instance was an amazing time with a lot of music lovers coming out of their homes to watch their favourite performers. By the late 2000s however, the interest died out. Hopefully, we would experience a renaissance of sorts in this generation.
Do you think musicians are still relevant in the next 10 years with the advent of technology and accessible music online?
I think musicians will always be relevant. As long as people would feel and relate to the songs that they would write and perform, music lovers would patronise them. We have survived music piracy for decades—I know that we will look for ways to be relevant in one way or the other. It’s so sad to say but we have to adapt with the changing of the times.
Any advice for aspiring artists and musicians
by Saoirse Reise
Going on a getaway is always so relaxing. What’s even better is being able to go on these getaways for free. Though our gigs are mostly in Metro Manila and Southern Luzon, we are quite open to having out of town gigs. Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to participate in event places such as Boracay, Capiz, Marinduque, to name a few. Most of the time, the clients make all the necessary arrangements. These include transportation, accommodations, and food. The client (sometimes the event coordinator) asks for the artists’ details to make the necessary transactions.
However, in some cases the clients give us the liberty to make our own arrangements as it is a win-win situation for the client and the artists. It would be less of a hassle on the client’s end and an advantage for the artists since they get to decide on all the other details (given a budget, of course).
Because we would be handling the arrangements ourselves, the client and the TSL agree on the following:
Usually, our artists prefer to be at the destination a day before the event. This gives them enough time to settle down and take a rest from the tiring travel as well as go out and check out the place. The same protocol applies as in all our gigs:
The artists will be at the venue 2 hours before the program starts
The artists will play for three sets at 45 minutes each with breaks in between
The artists will perform the final repertoire agreed upon by the client and the TSL manager (this was mentioned in our previous blog: The Song Selection Process)
Always remember that with TSL, events can never be too far to have good music. Cheerio!
Going through the Song Selection Process
by: Saoirse Reise
Our wedding will always be a day to look forward to for those singletons out there and a day to reminisce for those who already found their life partners. We’ve all been to that wedding where the music was all over the place and the songs used were not in any way relevant to the newly weds or to the journey they embarked on. In Tenstringedlyre, we make sure our clients have the right music at the right moments on their very special day. We follow these six simple steps to help you create a repertoire that’s perfect for you.
1. Meet Up with the Client
Once you’ve booked with us, we are more than happy to meet up with clients for free consultations. In these meet ups, we ask the clients of details such as the wedding theme, background, and venue to make sure that all the songs to be played fit their theme and story.
2. Send the TSL Repertoire
Whatever jam you and your partner might be into, we’ve got it covered. Tenstringedlyre (TSL) offers a wide range of songs from different genres (check out the repertoire section here on our website). Our songs are sorted into different genres to make it easy for the clients to search for the songs they like. On some cases, the couple themselves don’t even know what they want so we send them repertoires from our previous clients. These somewhat give them ideas or serve as guides.
3. Ask for any Song Requests
Your theme song isn’t in our repertoire? No problem. We accept song requests for whatever genre. Make sure to send your requests as early as possible (preferably a few months in advance) so we can arrange or look for the music pieces.
4. Build the Song List
Now that we have an initial idea of the type of songs you want, this is where we begin to build the song list. We now decide what specific song are played on specific parts of your program. This is mostly done via online correspondence for the couple’s convenience, but we’re open to schedule another meet up solely for this should the client request it.
5. Finalise the Song List
This is usually done two months before the wedding date. At this phase, all the songs are assigned to their specific program slots
6. Lock In the Song List
Of course, nothing is ever for certain. There are last minute changes as to what songs you feel are perfect for you and your partner. This last step of the song selection process is reserved for such changes, but we limit it to a month before the wedding day to give us enough time to prepare and rehearse the songs.
Voila! You have the perfect repertoire. With these simple steps you’re sure to hear all the songs you and your partner dreamed of having on your special day. There’s nothing more beautiful than having those beautiful moments made even more special by music you chose yourselves.