With four categories, and a selection standard so high, the first NCCA’s Composers’ Prize 2016 yielded only one winner. Winning under the solo instrument category, composer Alann Timothy Pacpacowon for his work entitled Pagtangis ng Kahapon.
He was chosen by an esteemed jury composed of Dr. Alfredo Buenaventura, former Dean of the Centro Escolar University (CEU) Conservatory of Music; Prof. Josefino Toledo, a multi-awarded composer and conductor; and Dr. Ramon Santos, National Artist for Music. Competition Director Jed Balsamo of the Theory & Composition Sector of the National Committee on Music assembled this jury whose task it was to evaluate and scrutinize the submitted compositions for each of the categories. The other categories were song cycle, chamber music, and rondalla ensemble.
The jury found Pagtangis ng Kahaponvaluable in its use of a great deal of improvisation as well as its exploration of a number of extended playing techniques for the guitar such as sulponticello (near the bridge), Bartok pizzicato (deliberate placing of the string), and mute, to amplify the intensity and emotion for listeners.There are only a few original Filipino works written for solo guitar which makes this piece a worthy addition to the literature of Philippine guitar music.
Pacpaco envisioned this piece as a call toteach history better, so that our national identity will not continue to suffer the complacency and disinterest of Filipino youth. Through Pagtangis ng Kahapon, Pacpacohopes to reconcile his current self as part of today’s youth, and his miseducation about the past, by paying homage to our national history as a way the to recognize ourselves as Filipinos in its truest sense.