By Jullie Y. Daza
The sound of Christmas is the music of carols. Imagine Christmas without O Holy Night and Jingle Bells. Then imagine a movie without sound, sound effects (crash! boom! bang bang!), and music. Can you visualize “Sound of Music” without a soundtrack?
Eddie Yap’s first Christmas concert was staged in a church, with candles glowing, people praying. This year, he leveled up a note higher with “Movies in Concert,” the result being that the mostly silver-haired audience went home with, as my mother’s favorite movie put it, “a song in my heart.”
Movies are easy to relate with, they’re the most popular form of literature and drama, an entertainment medium that has captivated the world, willingly, emotionally, lucratively. Now, how in the world did Eddie find those clips and posters of 20 screen masterpieces that were filmed with memorable music (even when they’re not musicals)?
“Movies in Concert with Orchestra” at SM Aura was designed to highlight the work of the Manila Chamber Orchestra (MCO) Foundation, which ironically does not “own” an orchestra, so the night’s music was provided by the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO). Part of MCO’s work is to develop musicians like coloratura Stefanie Quintin, violinist Christian Tan, and tenor Nohmer Nival, whose talents were fully appreciated with fulsome applause as more surprises unfolded: a pair of tango dancers and several numbers by the unstoppable Ateneo Alumni Glee Club.
To ex-Chief Justice Art Panganiban and humorist Tony Samson who were seated nearby, I said, “The musicians, the orchestra, they’re ‘feel na feel’!” Tony’s response, “We too!” Ex-BIR commissioner Jose Mario Bunag couldn’t help asking if I had hummed along with “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing.” Actually, I told him, James Bond’s closer to my generation.
There was no mishearing the repertoire’s generational though universal appeal – from “Gone with the Wind” to “Game of Thrones,” “Magnificent 7” to “All I Ask of You.” The proof? No one left without a lingering warmth around the edges. Motion pictures are nothing if they’re not emotion pictures. And movie magic? Not possible without the spell cast by music. More, Maestro!