The World Tour
In April 1997 Kontra-Gapi embarked on its first world concert tour. When
they return to the Philippines in October they would have performed in 72
cities in Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the
United States and Canada.
In June, the group concluded the European segment of the tour. They
received outstanding reviews from diverse audiences from the more than 40
performances and 50 workshops they staged. From July to October, they will
be touring Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon and California
in the United States and Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia in Canada.
They were here in Calgary from Aug. 12th to Aug. 18th. Aside from the Aug. 16 concert
at the Diamond Jubilee Auditorium, they did a "Meet the Performers' Night on the 13th,
free public performances at the Devonian Gardens at noon on the 14th and at the Lord's
Table Cafe on the 15th. They had then travelled next to Edmonton, Alberta last Tuesday
afternoon Aug. 18th and will stay there until the 26th. The main concert is at the Myer
Horowitz Theatre at the University of Alberta Student Union Building .The main contacts /
organizers there are Mr. Rene Abada at 481-7297and Josie Vidal at 440-6024.
Some commentaries and reviews:
"KONTRA-GAPI (contra-oppression) is a rare and excellent event in modern
music in Asia. In its splendid performance, it reveals the exciting new
music drawn from Philippine roots with Oriental, European and American
elements in a sovereign harmonious style. This is a signal of the emerging
world culture in music."
Prof. Robert Martens
Member: Board of Regents, University of Hamburg
"Wonderful! The dancing and music played on traditional instruments was
thoroughly captivating. One rarely sees such wealth of a nation in one
Ljubljana, former Yugoslavia".......... a Bird of Paradise....."
25 June 1997
"A positive, enriching concert! In an endless flow of movement, dancing
and music, enhanced by sparkling comments of Edru Abraham, a long string of
pieces inspired by the rites and culture of Filipino tribes overflow with
expression. Certainly, one of the liveliest and most impressive programs we
have ever had the good fortune of witnessing."
Meret Kammer Klaus Kammer
Concert Pianist Ecologist and Jazz Trumpetist
Bern, Switzerland Bern, Switzerland
"The young artists appeared quietly, one by one and seemingly without
leadership or any visible signals, they effortlessly played their exotic,
percussion, wind and other instruments with voices haunting and wafting all
of which sounded very different and quite strange to the European ear. Soon
enough despite North German coldness, the audience became surprisingly
animated, participating with shouts, chanting and clapping to form a unity
with the performers. With elements of dance theatre and pantomime, the
presentation proved to be a potent counter-balance to Western pop culture
and the evening turned into a colorful, fascinating and emotionally
02 June 1997
"The sounds of exotic instruments gave an elusive feeling as they caused
an unusual vibration in the atmosphere. Prof. Abraham, a perfect
entertainer, had the brilliance to integrate the audience in their
performance motivating their involvment in a way they did not quite expect.
Everyone agreed that such a marvelous show is an event that cannot be easily
Sales Executive and Accountant
Springe OT Ludersen, Germany
"I will say only one thing. Europe must see more and more and more of you
(KONTRA-GAPI) ......again and again and again."
Jan de Wilde
Artist and Social Worker
An unforgettable experience: The Ethnology Museum of Vienna came alive with
the sounds of exotic instruments, that, at best , had only been displayed in
glass cases so far. The rhythms from drums, bamboo buzzers, gongs and
metallophones were highly infectious, so much so that toward the end of the
programme everybody was dancing including Ambassadors, academics
and other VIPs.
Edru Abraham has created not only a new form of music beyond Jazz, New Wave
or cross - over Ethno but has incorporated it in highly visual
dance-theater: a feast for all the senses. This was a thoroughly
"different" concert amongst the classical offerings that Vienna is famous
for and thus a major sensation for the Austrian audience lucky enough to be
there. It was an entirely new insight into a distant culture which up to now
we knew very little about. In that sense, Kontra-Gapi is an important
cultural bridge and we hope there will be many more "crossings" in the
years to come.
Graphic Artist and Anthropologist
Salzburg and Vienna, Austria
The Museum Of Vienna appreciates the performance of Kontra- Gapi fitting in
with the purposes of a cultural museum as it presented a mixture of music,
dance and drama. It gave an impression of the richness of Asian culture and
insight into social themes. Remarkably, the museum was filled to maximum
capacity something, which seldom happens.
Dr. Christian Schicklgruber
Head of Department for South Asia
Museum Ethnology, Vienna, Austria
The fabulous performance of the Kontemporaryong Gamelan Pilpino of the
University of the Philippines held in one of the most prestigious cultural
and historical centers of Austria , was an enriching experience for the
international community in Vienna. The exotic programme blended
magnificently with the majestic Hofburg, the former royal residence of
Editor/Publisher, First Filipino Austrian Digest
University of the Phil. Alumni Association in Austria
"Ang galing, galing, galing, galing! Ang galing ng KONTRA-GAPI! Ang
galing talaga ng Pinoy!"
Community Development Worker
The Hague, The Netherlands