Bamboo in Musical Discourse: Spirit, Technology and Human Communication

Ramón Santos
Espiritu, Teknolohiya at Ugnayang Pantao Humanities Diliman   unpublished
In the larger Southeast Asian region, three important elements nurture and sustain, as well as cultivate the life of peoples within its territorial boundaries. These are 1) water, 2) rice, and 3) bamboo (Wessing, 1988). More than their prominence and abundance in the physical and material existence of the peoples in the entire region, these elements possess a distinct value and significance in their quality and way of life. Since the beginning, the bamboo (more than stone and other material
more » ... ents), has been considered as a principal tool in the cultivation of the region's civilization. In the realm of human communication, particularly in the field of musical expression, the present writing deals with the value of bamboo as a societal medium in communing with the spirit world, nature, and the human species. The discussion focuses on two concepts about sounds produced through the materiality of the bamboo: 1) sounds that are measured in terms of their power to penetrate the spirit world, and 2) the sounds structurated through the use of technology and the physical laws in order to create meaningful structures and languages that are in harmony with his physical being and his natural environment.