How would you like to spend five straight days with your favorite musical idols?
If you happen to be a singer-songwriter between the ages of 18 to 35, you just might get your wish and be a part of the 3rd Elements Music Camp to be held in Dumaguete City from November 18 to 22.
Spearheaded by 7101 Music Nation, the annual music camp has been bringing together aspiring and professional musicians from different genres with different styles and technique to bond and learn from one another and share their experiences and ideas to a group with similar passion.
Now on its third year, the camp is a unique artistic experience for both “campers” and “mentors” alike. Celebrated composer Ryan Cayabyab, the camp’s artistic and content director, said that the anticipated event has been devoted to a different group of campers with each staging.
“The first year was all about songwriters. The second year, half were singers and half were songwriters,” he revealed. “This time, we would like to have singer-songwriters whether they’re singers who can also write songs or songwriters who also happen to sing. Hopefully we will have 60 of them.”
With five days of lectures, group presentations, case studies, and breakout sessions presided and supervised by mentors who act as speakers, lecturers and team facilitators, the Elements Music Camp has been described by Raimund Marasigan of Sandwich as a “life-changing experience.”
“Kasi pati kaming mga mentor nagiging students,” Marasigan enthused. “Uma-attend din kami ng ibang modules. It’s a literally 24-hour thing for everyone involved. The fun thing is we get to do many things with the campers like collaborate on songs. May group activity, may one-on-one, may impromptu jams and this year, meron pang team building na parang amazing race, all kinds.”
Gabby Alipe of Urbandub, who like Marasigan is a returning mentor for this year’s camp, agreed. “It’s a very relaxed setting. Mentors like us also learn from the campers since a lot of them are really good songwriters,” he said.
For his part, Cayabyab or Mr C, as he is fondly referred to in the industry, describes his experience as “inspirational”. More than interacting with the campers, what Mr. C relishes the most is the bonding the mentors get to experience with one another.
“Alam mo, prior to this camp, never kong nakasama itong sina Gabby and Raimund kasi iba ang genres sila,” he confessed. “Si Gary V, I seldom get to talk to him pero dito sa camp, nakakausap ko siya along with Gary Granada and Noel Cabangon in a more casual setting and we get to talk about not only music but also yung mga buhay buhay namin. Iba-ibang kuwento. The camp really makes a big difference.”
And Mr C believes that it also does make a difference as far as the campers themselves are concerned.
“They feel so special because suddenly, kasama na nila sa isang setting ang mga artists na naririnig lang nila o napapanood sa TV at concerts,” he pointed. “Now they can ask them anything and anytime during the event. Yung iba nga, umiiyak after only one module pa lang.”
And with mentors like himself, Marasigan, Alipe, Jay Durias, Aiza Seguerra, Jim Paredes Noel Cabangon, Gary Granada, Joey Ayala, Gary Valenciano, Rey Valera, Audie Gemora, Clarissa Ocampo, Aia De Leon, Mike Villegas, Debbie Gaite, Christina Luna, Gloc-9, Jungee Marcelo and, if their schedule permits, possibly Yeng Constantino and Ogie Alcasid, Dumaguete City will virtually transform into an OPM nirvana for the 60 lucky individuals who will be accepted into the camp.
“These are people who know their craft and are willing to share at least a basic knowledge of it to our eager campers,” Cayabyab said.
As for the modules, this year’s “curriculum” pretty much covers all the bases. The five-day workshop includes sessions on An Overview of Contemporary Philippine Music History, The Voice: The Science Behind Vocal Production, Basic Music Creation & Melody Writing, The Story in Your Head: Lyric Writing, Arranging Session, What is a Team? and What is a Collaboration?
There are also modules on Band Talk, Group Presentations with Panel Critique, Music Publishing, Using the Social Network to Market Your Music, The Music Producer: Making a Demo, Getting Started in the Music Business, Stage Performance, and the Responsibilities of a Singer-Songwriter.
JM Quiblat, a songwriter who has been attending the Elements Music Camp since its first year, describes his own experience as a “mind-opener”.
“The concentration of talents alone is beyond words. There’s a really marked difference in developing both the singers and songwriters. Among other things, I now understand how to make a song interesting. I can’t wait to see what happens this year,” he gushed.
Mr C said that all interested applicants must submit a two-minute audio and video file of their original composition whether in English or any local dialect. The final 60 will be selected by a working team of distinguished singer-songwriters led by Cayabyab himself.
“We just need a snapshot of their song, performed live in front of a videocam and as raw as possible,” he noted. “Some of the campers may turn out to be better singers than songwriters while others may be better songwriters than singers. The important thing is, we can train them at the camp to hone whatever talents they have as part of our advocacy.”
The application period for the 3rd Elements Music Camp is from July 1 to August 31, 2012. The live auditions and announcement of the campers will follow shortly after. For more information, visit http://www.elementsmusiccamp.com.ph.