MICHELE MASIN, born 1997, started guitar and music studies at a young age. He has won international competitions for both instrument performance and composition. He attended Masterclasses in guitar and performed professionally in the Venice Cathedral and Bologna Cathedral. He studied at the Public Conservatory of Music in Venice and took a masterclass in composition with Hans Zimmer. Currently, he writes music manuals and accepts commissions for competitions.

MICHELE MASIN

Composer-Fellow 

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The Rise of Banaue

PROGRAM NOTES

The best way to describe my work is as a story: I think of it as a story written in music, a story that describes unique emotions amid the magnificent Banaue landscape. For this reason, all the main parts of this story are written as the musical score and not as text.

The story starts with the protagonist walking along the narrow terrace paths. The harmonies of woodwinds and the second violins are structured by arpeggios reminiscent of the curves of the paths. The brasses are very deep and obscure like the lush vegetation while the piccolo imitates the birds. A crescendo of emotions is forthcoming.

In the second movement, the main theme evokes the protagonist’s view of the terraces: the melody is slow but glorious. Woodwinds move like nature into obscurity while the powerful brasses describe the end of the day.
 
The third movement is “The Night Ritual”; in the dark of the night, the protagonist hears an Ifugao ritual. Metallic percussion imitates the original dance rhythms as the flute plays a tribute to Banaue. The last part of this movement depicts the fear and awe of the protagonist who is mesmerized by the power of the ceremonies, as played by the horns and the pulsating ostinato on the bass line.

The fourth movement describes the protagonist’s dream where ancient melodies played on traditional instruments serve as an homage to the Ifugao people and their culture. The protagonist is reminded that he is continuing a trip which started even before coming to Banaue.

In the fifth movement, previous sounds mixing with Banaue percussion bring the protagonist’s mind to back to reality. Metallic percussions and woodwinds remind the protagonist that Banaue is not a dream.

The final movement is a farewell to Banaue; the main musical theme reappears and the protagtonist leaves joyfully, inviting all to visit Banaue.