On OPMs and Vienna Teng

Posted: September 21, 2009 in Bisag Unsa / Random Rants
Tags: , , , , ,

While doing my digital music folder clean-up yesterday I discovered the following:

1. OPMs are filed under a folder aptly named “O P M” and take up barely a tenth of my entire music files.

No, I don’t have OPM aversion. Filipinos are talented singers and songwriters. Like any other nationality we produce both earth-shaking compositions and crappy ditties, but our vocal prowess is unquestionable. Yes, there are artists who get airplay not because of their musical talents but due to some other unrelated uh, “abilities”. Why does Gretchen Barretto come to mind?

Back to my sparse OPM collection. The Accomplice decries my absence of Sarah Geronimo tracks. How can I have Yoyoy Villame’s Tarzan and Barok and none from the talented young lady (I was made to watch Inday Sarah on ASAP one Sunday to prove her point)? I don’t watch local channels on television (except occasionally for the news) so I am admittedly ignorant to new acts. The Accomlice checks my OPM files and discovers that I do have Freddie Aguilar, Rey Valera, Hotdog s, even Sharon Cuneta. Tigulang, she sneers!

I will visit a record store soon.

2. There is so much undiscovered or little-known talents.

The airwaves are already so saturated that sometimes popularity or packaging or intriga take precedence over talent.

During a visit in a local record store, Musicvision, around four years ago, not looking for anything or anyone in particular, I scanned the discount shelf and found Vienna Teng’s Waking Hour. She had been featured in a magazine article then but I knew next to nothing about her or her music. I looked at her face on the cover, noted she was Asian or of Asian descent, scanned the track listing to see if there were songs in a foreign language other than English, and feeling adventurous I bought the CD. I popped it in a player on my way home. And. I. Was. Blown. Away!

I have since bought her second album, Warm Strangers, when I found it in the same store about a year later. She has since released two more albums, Dreaming Through the Noise in 2006 and Inland Territory just last April, and has become more popular and given more much-deserved exposure.

She has a channel in YouTube , with clips of her live performances. Others have contributed their own recordings of her performances. Search for Gravity, The Tower, Eric’s Song, Daughter, and Lullabye for a Stormy Night. She also has a music video of Gravity (below, no pun intended). Finally! Her website also offers lyrics and free downloads of some songs. Pure talent. Pure poetry.

Many artists perform for years before receiving due recognition for their talents. Overnight sensations are the exceptions rather than the rule. Yet the music never stops; the music becomes an essential part of their life, like breathing.

There is so much undiscovered or little-known talents. Still so much to listen to. Still so much to share.

Another reason to visit a record store soon.

3. While most like to upgrade to the latest software, my Windows Media Player is still version 10.0. The latest is version 12. I’m still on XP so that shouldn’t be a surprise.

4. Today is a holiday (HAPPY EID’L FITR TO ALL!) and may well be a good time to visit a record store.

Drive carefully, everyone.


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