Posts tagged ‘jojo gatmaitan’
December 7, 2013
“You’ve gotta listen to this intro!” Clementine typed his message to me excitedly. I could tell he was on his fourth cup of coffee and it was not yet 10 a.m. in Manila. “Kakoy is crazy!”
Together, yet more than seven thousand miles apart, we clicked ‘play’ almost simultaneously and our ears filled with an incredible futuristic unravelling razor blade sound – like a speeding bullet passing by: guitarist Kakoy Legaspi detuning a string while running his pick along it, captured for eternity.
Then an aggressive roaming bass line pounded after the guitar noise, the imaginations of Vengee Gatmaitan, one of Clem’s earliest collaborators from his youth growing up in Bulacan.
An unusual drumming pattern kicked in, courtesy of Jojo Gatmaitan, another highschool bandmate-turned professional, bringing the three wild things together in a mad waltz rhythm. As the dust settled, a solid acoustic guitar arose, backing Clementine’s trademark gentle tones “I can’t find the right notes for you/ to curl my back with/ Crawl into amorphous space and back.”
And I was drawn into a memory from a year ago…Clem and I exploring the strange rock formations and caves on a hiking trail at Joshua Tree National Park in California. My fearless friend squeezing himself into every little cave he could find, scrambling up and down beckoning slopes that begged to be climbed.
The pounding rhythms returned, building under the intensifying voice now demanding to be heard: “ ‘Cause there are no wrong turnings / Being betrothed to the unknown.”
Last year as we wandered in the Mojave desert, Clem was facing a big unknown future. The Camerawalls, his band at the time, had run its course. A professional recording artist for nearly a decade, Clementine needed to reinvent himself. Orange and Lemons had been wildly successful but other people held the puppet strings. The Camerawalls allowed the artist known as Clementine to have more artistic control. But it was as if he was still holding back, hiding behind the guise of a band, not yet willing to step into the spotlight as a solo artist and be recognized for his award-winning work as himself.
“I see a vision of stellar proportions / A revolution of stars and constellations.” A Paul McCartney-esque keyboard riff (a la Wings) chorded crisply from the fingertips of Wowee Posadas. “Wandering around with a rucksack / Climbing steep mountains to pray / How I smile as I follow a trail.”
I smiled at this. I had wanted to climb something so badly at Joshua Tree but we didn’t have a lot of time. In a guidebook I found a 6,000 foot bump of a mountain approached by the Lost Horse Mine trail. It was the first mountain Clem had ever climbed, and it was definitely not the last. It wasn’t much, but the view was incredible: barren, empty, Mojave. At the summit, Clem wrote on a small rock his new mantra: “Expand your horizons.” I took a photo of him, arms outspread, embracing the world. Later, he made arrangements with a friend to climb Angel’s Landing in Utah’s Zion National Park. He’d got himself a proper backpack this time and was excited to break it in on this incredible, exposed ridge. I was so pleased: caught by this new bug, he was now unstoppable.
“When the ascent lights up a soul / There is no remaining in place.” A still, quiet voice, rose steadily from the empty desert left by muted instruments, but for a lone cello, Ascending and overtaking the voice to burst into the guitar solo, whipping up the drum and bass again.
“Give up these things that weigh me down, I fly.”
Fly is exactly what Clementine has been doing since his return from the United States last January. He has emerged from his cocoon where he took the opportunity to do some serious soul-searching and realized that now is the time to step into that spotlight by himself. He has worked hard for many years, honing his craft as a songwriter and musician, and none could be more deserving of that recognition. He knows instinctively that, like the existence of a Dragonfly, life is short and therefore one must live in the moment and live life to its fullest. Now is the moment of his maturation as a songwriter. There is no Remaining in Place is only the beginning of Clementine’s next phase of life.
The Dragonfly Collector has arrived. Let the next adventure begin.
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“There Is No Remaining In Place” by Dragonfly Collector is now available for digital downloads on iTunes and Lilystars music store. You can also get it for FREE by signing up to Dragonfly Collector’s official mailing list at http://dragonflycollector.fanbridge.com
December 1, 2013
Ten years ago, a shy young man from Bulacan penned songs that won his band a major record deal and launched his recording career. Today, the young man has evolved into an internationally respected award-winning songwriter known as Clementine.
Celebrating his ten-year anniversary as a recording artist, Clementine is finally stepping out from behind the curtains as the driving force behind the wildly successful Philippine band Orange and Lemons, and The Camerawalls, and into the spotlight with his Dragonfly Collector solo project.
“There Is No Remaining In Place” is the first single off the Dragonfly Collector full-length album (forthcoming in March, 2014). As of the single’s release date, December 1, members of the Dragonfly Collector newsletter list will receive a free copy of the song via secure download link. Sign up for the newsletter now to keep up with Clementine’s latest news here: http://dragonflycollector.fanbridge.com/
Anyone wanting to both get their hands on the new single and do a good deed for the victims of Yolanda can buy it and Dragonfly Collector will donate 100% of the proceeds to the Red Cross. To donate follow this link: http://music.lilystars-records.com/track/there-is-no-remaining-in-place-single
There Is No Remaining In Place
The first single from Clementine’s Dragonfly Collector project marks a turning point in his songwriting career. With a host of collaborators at his side including high school bandmates, professional colleagues and an international connection, Clementine’s emergent sound as Dragonfly Collector will have listeners spellbound in rapt attention.
Both old and new come together, old influences merging with new ideas. Guitarist Kakoy Legaspi lends an ingenious inventiveness, creating bullet train-like sound effects on his guitar in the intro. Fans of The Smiths will instantly recognize the New Wave cornerstone group’s influences in the opening aggressive bass and pounding off-beat drums, not to mention a smooth vocal line and introspective lyrics. The Paul McCartney side of the Beatles emerges later in sweeping keyboard chords and a mellow major key section arising out of the driving, searching minor part.
A swaying waltz rhythm adds to the intensity of the driving motion, making listeners feel like they’re on a journey with the singer, telling of journeying toward a new, unknown future. And so Clementine is venturing into a new leg of his songwriting life with this exciting new work.
Visit the official site: http://dragonflycollector.com
Words and Music by Clementine
Produced by Clementine and Jonathan Ong
Recording, Mixing and Mastering by Chrisanthony Vinzons at Sonic State Audio Studio, Manila
Clementine – vocals, acoustic guitars
Kakoy Legaspi – electric guitars
Wowee Posadas – piano, keyboards
Christine Mazur – cello
Vengee Gatmaitan – bass
Jojo Gatmaitan – drums
Artwork and Illustrations by Ige Trinidad
Photo by Paulo Legaspi