New Track + Video: Lamay

Here’s a new upbeat and jazzy electronic track entitled “Lamay,” which means funeral wake in Filipino.

I took the melody from a traditional folk song and put together a joyful, jazzy, energetic arrangement that focuses less on the grief of losing a loved one, and more on the hope of being reunited with the loved one in eternity.

About the Song

The melody is taken hook, line and sinker from a traditional Philippine folk song from central Luzon — “Lamay sa Patay” — whose lyrics talks about minding your manners while playing games at a funeral wake so as not to anger the grieving, while the second verse commends the soul of the deceased to God. Take a look at the music piece for this song:

About the Video

The video footage shows members of an Igorot tribe from the northern mountains of the Philippines engaging in everyday activities: music, farming, religious ceremonies, preparing food. The footage is taken from “Native Life in the Philippines, reel 1” by the Bontoc Igorot Project, and can be found on Archive.org.

Folk Songs as Inspiration

This is part of my ongoing series of folk songs reinterpreted for the electronic generation — an idea that relies on Philippine national artist Lucio San Pedro’s theory of Creative Nationalism: that we should celebrate our national identity by creating music that draws more from our traditional folk songs than from other sources.

A typical scene at a funeral wake in the Philippines

A typical scene at a funeral wake in the Philippines

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