German silent film musician and composer Pierre Oser is coming to Manila for the third time this year to grace the 9th International Silent Film Festival from August 27 to 30 at the Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong City.
Working with Oser for this gig is Filipino virtuoso Jaimar Palispis, associate director of the group KontraGaPi (Kontemporaryong Gamelan Pilipino), an official ethnic music and dance ensemble of the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
Oser and Palispis have been exchanging notes for months in preparation for the festival. Together, they are writing the musical accompaniment to Germany’s entry, Walther Ruttmann’s one-hour documentary about the German capital entitled Berlin, die Sinfonie der Großstadt (Berlin, Symphony of a Great City). Pierre, Jaimar and his band, Big Jazz Balloon, will accompany the screening live on August 29, 5 p.m. at Shangri-La Plaza’s Cinema 2.
The duo are coming up with a piece that will incorporate an assortment of indigenous Filipino instruments, and will showcase a brand of jazz spiced with a unique Filipino flavor. Big Jazz Balloon’s “ethnic section” will include sets of kulintang, agong and gandingan from Mindanao and a number of bamboo instruments from the Cordilleras.
Oser will be in Manila by the invitation of the Goethe-Institut, the German Cultural Center in the Philippines, which promotes cultural exchange between Germany and the Philippines. He is a veteran of countless silent film productions and is the man behind most musical rearrangements of German silent film classics.
The International Silent Film Festival Manila will feature nine films from nine countries on its ninth year. Participating countries alongside Germany are the Philippines, Spain, Japan, Italy, France, Thailand, Austria and the United States. (See related story)
Admission to all screenings is free and open to the public. Seats will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.