SPECIAL PROJECTS :: Contemporary A Cappella :: The Deke Sharon A Cappella Workshop
Goose bumps all day!
A Facebook Note by Jake Gates Ricablanca
WARNING: If you don't care about a cappella music and/or Mr. DEKE SHARON, you might not enjoy this note. hehe =)This is a story that happened a while ago, June 2, 2012. I want to name it goosebumps all day! Why? Because that's exactly how it felt like!
So I went to Parañaque City, Airport Casino Filipino (for the first time) to witness the workshop of Mr. Deke Sharon. I arrived late but was fortunately allowed by the organizers to come in.
When I opened the door and glanced at Deke, I had goosebumps all over my body. Maybe it went that way because of the fact that this man is the man that I look up to because he is, I believe, one of the few geniuses in the world. He is the vocal producer of my favorite show on TV - The Sing-Off! It's Deke Sharon. That show is like the starting point of everything that happened to me when it comes to a cappella music!
And so, after feeling those goosebumps, I went in, sat down on a chair while Mr. Sharon is doing some vocal instrumentation (which are amazing BTW!). Just seconds after I sat down, I realized that the person in front of me is Moy Ortiz of the Company... beside him is Sir Jay Marquez and Ms. Cecile Bautista... and the other ladies (Annie Quintos and Sweet Plantado) were in front of them. It's the CompanY and I'm sitting right behind them! At that moment, I was like, "Is this heaven already?" Kidding aside! That was one of the most wonderful moments of my life.
And so they were asked to perform... and guess what? Ms. Sweet asked me to record their performance using her own iPad! Without thinking twice, I did it! They sang "Kamusta Mga Kaibigan?" and, as ussual, beyond GODLIKE! hahaha... It's my first time to witness the CompanY live and the goosebumps that I had at that very moment is just priceless! You can't buy goosies! hahaha =) Mr. Sharon twicked their performance a little bit here and there and they did the song again and they did another song and viola! NGANGA si DEKE SHARON! You just can't mess with Philippine's Premiere Vocal Band! =)
Just when they're about to go back to their seats, I took the chance to introduce myself to Sir Jay Marquez and I'm so glad he recognized me... "Oh, ikaw si Jake? Nice to meet you!"... then he said, "Oi Moy, ito pala si Jake Ricablanca"... "So you traveled all the way from Batangas?" .... sabi ko, "Lucena po sir"... "aahhhhhh"... Sir Moy said, "Oh, I remember you... I remember your name... hello nice to meet you (or something like that)".... kamayan, etcetera....
Just in case you are pissed off already because my story telling is boring, I'm sorry but I just can't take a single detail of moments like this for granted! =)
So, what happened next? Mr. Sharon went back lecturing more about a cappella singing... blah blah blah (I can't say all of his reminders here)... and then it's time for the Baihana! THEY WERE AMAZING! I got goosies all over my body with the arpeggiated chords they did! Ms. Cayabyab is a Godlike arranger... I bet Mr. Sharon is so amazed with her arrangements! MADUGO! as Ms. Sweet describes it! (oh ha? feeling close talaga ako ng mga moment na to! hahaha... she said this to me! "Grabe ung Cartoon Network Medley nila... madugo... grabe tong si Krina... Cayabyab ka pa!" - or something like that! hahaha)
Then Ms. Sweet handed me her iPad again to take photos as they receive their Certificates! TFC na talaga ako dito (T****** Feeling Close) =)
Then... a 15-minute break... which The CompanY took advantage on to go because of some appointments... But before they went out, I asked if I could have a picture with them and we took A picture... And this SOOOOOOOOOOPER Kind and cool Moy Ortiz introduced me to the rest of the gang (Ms. Annie, Ms. Cecile and Ms. Sweet who still don't know my name at this point)... "This is Jake... a friend (huwat? another taste of heaven!)... etc." kamayan! Oh My! I feel like I really can die just by remembering these moments! I love them! =)
And so they go...
on that 15-minute break, I took the chance to talk to Mr. Sharon and asked for a picture... (the picture is blurred)... And I introduced myself... He recognized me, "Oh Jake! You made it!... etc." (THANK YOU FACEBOOK - 'coz we had an FB conversation months ago about him going here in the Philippines and the future of contemporary a cappella here.) He is such a great man! I asked him about his idea about have a Sing-Off here in the Philippines and he said (while on his laptop), "I am currently emailing Sony (the owner of the show the Sing-Off) now." - maybe because he was overwhelmed about the amount of musical talent he witnessed at that time...
BTW, before the break, half of the Akafellas grabbed the mirophones to do some vocal improvisations since they can't do a whole song because half of them could not make it.
And so the workshop continued with some more vocal instrumentation demos by Mr. Sharon which are SICK! Then he went on teaching basic vocal percussion... Then some members of the AKAFELLAS took over to teach/demonstrate some other beatboxing tricks/effects which are OUT OF THIS WORLD!
After that, the UE Chorale performed Bad Romance which overwhelemd Mr. Sharon BTW! He said he did not expect it! It's so good that even the DEKE SHARON can't say a lot of things to fix about it! KUDOS to the UE Chorale... Afterwards, they performed FEVER... which is another SICK performance! I'm telling you guys, Mr. Sharon is in "AWE" with the amount of talent that he witnessed from these college students! PINOY PRIDE! YEAH!
Then, KORO ILUSTRADO performed Doo Bi Doo by APO Hiking Society and they did UH MAY ZENG! They are so fun to watch and the full chorale sound that they produced is a goosebumps maker! I'm telling you, my videos which I would upload later won't do any justice to what I have witnessed on that FORUM HALL of the Casino Filipino! Mr. Sharon said a few reminders (which is the main purpose of a Masterclass BTW) and KI did their thing again with WAKA WAKA! Great great group! I'm glad I witnessed such talents!
After KORO ILUSTRADO, everybody grabbed a copy of Mr. Sharon's arrangement of Killing Me Softly (which he said has been used by Afro Blue as the base arrangement for their Killing Me Softly performance on the show) and you won't believe it! UE Chorale and KORO ILUSTRADO are wonderful choirs! We were able to sing the song in a very decent sound just by Mr. Sharon giving the tempo and the pitch! You won't believe it! In, like, 15 or 20 minutes, the song was finished! Solfeges are solfeges! I can't believe that moment! That is one of the most wonderful moments of that workshop! Killing Me Softly in 20 minutes? like? are you nuts? Crazy! and it's not a very easy arrangement! There are accidentals! hahaha! Terrible talent! Mr. Sharon is a beast on this thing! And what I like most is his attitude towards his arrangements and the people who would like to sing them! It's all about making music! He doesn't care whether he's given credit or not! Great man! Really really great man!
DEKE SHARON is not just a genius! He is an amazing man! His jokes are hilarious (although some missed because they were North American Jokes! hahaha)... He even say, "okay, that's a joke" whenever we don't get his North American Jokes (as described by a KI member)... hehehe... He is just so fine! Very kind and too humble for a FATHER of an art form. The Father of Contemporary A cappella is such a great man! He is very successful in my opinion not just because he is a genius and he is a great musician but his character is also priceless! You can't buy humility and kindness! Great man! Thank you sir!
Thanks to PCDA for this opportunity! For making this happen! Especially to Sir Oscar who is so welcoming! This is a priceless day!
Thanks to the CompanY for letting me witness such wonderful talents! Seriously? I felt like in Nirvana when I watched you perform right before my naked eyes.
Baihana is an inspiration and I am willing to work as their Vocal percussionist for free just in case they liked Deke's suggestion. =) I will work for free! hahaha =) I just wanna do music and work with these wonderful people and learn from them! Just by doing music is enough already! Payment is bonus! Applause is just a bonus!
UE Chorale and KORO Ilustrado were amazing. It is my first time to watch them live and I must say, handy cams could not capture the greatness that they share to you when you watch them live! Youtube can't give justice to that!