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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Blood of the Stone: Poetry in Motion

The album “Love Crime Calligraphy” is the passion of poet and musician Eric Goden Lomocso, the twang in the heart of Alexter Sopsop, and the beat in the head of Gerber Rosado who, with the primary influence of Eric, both committed to the laying of bass and drumplay arrangements that breath audio life to Eric’s free verses.

Collectively called Blood of the Stone, the trio produced an organic art form that is not only a contribution to the coming of age of the local rock/alternative music genre, but also an avenue to promote a culture of poetry here.

“Blood of the Stone is the hot, molten material that's brewing beneath this planet. Earth is, literally, a stone floating in the vast universe. I chose this band name because it sounds elemental,” band vocalist and guitarist Eric explains.

Blood of the Stone recorded the 11 tracks of “Love Crime Calligraphy” in just eight hours in the name of passionate artistic spontaneity and ambition, he added.

The tracks Ninth Life, Bavarian Flake, One Way, Outdated Player, Intergalactic Love Song, Momentarily, Love Crime Calligraphy, Yellow Rose, Black Heart, In the Fat Corners of Desire and carrier track Bad Love are products of the mix of inspirations that include prominent jazz, blues and world music artists as well as prominent rock acts of diverse styles from the 50s to the 90s. And also of the influences of visual artists Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dali, and Frida Kahlo; filmmaker Luis Buñuel, and poets Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Stephané Mallarmé, Octavio Paz and 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature laureate Pablo Neruda who so appreciated poetry able to find him in what he described to be segments of “interplanetary palpitations”.

Eric pointed out that "Love Crime's dark romanticism is kind of closer to Baudelaire's, a tragic 19th century French poet considered as the father of modern symbolism."

He narrated that he first conceived Blood of the Stone in the spring of 2003 in Los Angeles, California. There, Eric recorded a three-song demo with bassist Tobar in a four-month partnership.

In November of the same year, Eric decided to fly back home to Talisay City, Cebu and work on his idea here.

Later on, bassist Alexter Sopsop, guitarist Jason Bangueran and session drummer Chito Axalan joined the group. The following year saw both the guitarist and drummer leaving, but a replacement drummer named Eduard Tompong was quickly found and the group resurfaced as a trio. This according to a piece of information lifted from www.fiestamundo.com/bloodofthestone where two of their songs are posted.

Eric noted that Eduard played the drums in Love Crime album. But also lost his commitment to the group late last year, so that his space has to be filled in by Gerber Rosado who joined last January.

Further, the profile went that in between gigs, the band was busy gathering and rehearsing materials for its first album. They were then able to land a recording session at Backyard Project Studio with the help of a certain Christopher Racal. Despite not being in good shape physically due to a fever and throat infection, Eric was able to complete the recording of their debut album “Love Crime Calligraphy”, in just eight hours. Three weeks later, it was mixed and mastered in 11 hours.

The album was released to critical acclaim from local rock fans. By the third quarter of 2004, the trio became a duo with the departure of the bassists. Despite this setback, the band status among Cebu’s hard to please punk audiences is said to have never diminished a bit. They are still very well respected for their decision not to play any cover versions and perform only original songs.

Love Crime Calligraphy would be the first in a series of eight planned albums featuring some 80 songs Eric has written. Already the second album is in the pre-production phase and with new member Gerber in, the band is busy writing a new page in Cebu’s rock history.

Eric mentioned that Blood of the Stone musicians, whether active or inactive, are highly influenced by classic rock bands in the 60s and 70s. As he combined their influences with his taste taken from Latin, jazz and world music artists, such give his songs a "unique sound".

Also during the interview, Eric shared of his appeal for support to the realization of these albums.

In a letter, Eric said that, “Cebu’s youth is currently experiencing a growing musical wave. The city is slowly producing a new breed of talented songwriters. However, it is sad to say that the Cebu music scene has been a badly neglected cultural field. It is always the imperial Manila’s dictate that prevails in our local music scene. Local promoters would rather pay Manila musicians and show bands a large sum to perform here, and have Cebuano recording songwriters play for peanuts and beer.
“So how discouraging does it get when it comes to developing our culture here?,” Eric asked.
“Have we given up, yet? Absolutely not. Our hard work is slowly paying off. Thanks to 91.3 Smash FM’s earnest support to local bands, whose compositions are now being played on air. However, the job of making Cebu an independent music capital is far from over. We need more direct material and spiritual support from you, fellow Cebuanos.
“Blood of the Stone is one of Cebu’s latest and promising bands. It aims to revolutionize Cebu’s music scene with its unique sound and poetry. It independently released an album in the English language without the help of the big promoters.
“Blood of the Stone is currently arranging 10 Bisaya songs that can compete with international standards. The album title is Duyan sa Kalimot (Cradle of Oblivion).
“Unfortunately, the band doesn’t have the resources to realize the artistic concept. The cost of producing this album is P30,000. (Manila bands would pay like P100,000 by the lowest estimate).
“We need your support. Any amount will do. It will be remembered dearly in Cebu music history,” Eric’s letter closed.
Aside from support given by 93.1 Smash FM – Cebu’s Rock Fortress; Y101, KillerBee Cebu, Cagayan, and Butuan; Monster Radio, and NU107, Blood of the Stone calls on to rally behind the promotion of Bisrock and local indie artists.
Support can also be channeled by clicking onto www.fiestamundo.com/bloodofthestone and www.soundclick.com/bloodofthestone. Love Crime Calligraphy costs P100 available at Lomocso compound in Upper Mohon, Talisay city. For band info, text 0906-9271583.