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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Get Ossified!

Pleased by the perceived sense of concretion at the sound of the term “ossified” exploited by a Social Science professor in a discussion, Bernard Fario (vocals), Dante Taactaac (guitar), Ronnel Bual (bass), Jose Condor, Jr. (drums), and Rheggie Ybañez (keyboards) grouped to the inspiration provided by Bisrock music and christened their band “Ossified!” – to stand firm and unified to the call on making music, whatever challenges this decision might pose.

Unlike other band members who started making music in some neighborhood, these teeners’ musicality bloomed when their paths crossed at the University of Cebu main campus. As engineering students they started the “bond to band” upon realizing that they all have the inclination to create music, a common denominator that draws them together.

Fario, who stands as big brother, main man, songwriter, and spokesperson of the group rolled in a heap of a bundle, shared that they first learned the medical term “ossification” from their college instructor who taught “Rizal’s Life and Works”.

“We kind of like the sound of it and the sternness implied by its meaning,” says Fario.

In medical terms, ossification is the process of bone formation, in which connective tissues, such as cartilage are turned to bone or bone-like tissue. The ossified tissue is invaginated with blood vessels. These blood vessels bring minerals like calcium and deposit it in the ossifying tissue. It is thought that this process led to bone as a structural element in vertebrates.

As for the band, the word means to become rigid in habits and in opinions when facing the challenges in pursuing their passion, their kind of music. And coupled with the growing resentment demonstrated by their parents to the concept of band-ing, the youngsters’ bulldog tenacity to pursue their musicality has also been dared.

According to Ms. Zarah Smith of Handuraw Events Café, a haven of artists, where I first watched a live Ossified! performance, the band is “makalingaw” as Fario catches attention with his antics more than his “Hagtik Titik” orientation, pertaining to literary works, at the Lakandiwa, the school organ of the University of Cebu. Together with Dante, Ronnel, Jose and Rheggie, a buffoon-like Fario performs with so much life in an intermittent display of antics, faces, hoots, grooves, shaking and jiggling, and trembling as though shocked with volts of current.

As a songwriter with his poetic heart, he penned sweet lines typical of “Balitaw” that later on achieved stereophonic appeal with the help of the other four, and thus the birth of carrier “Deep Pressed” of an album in the making entitled “Ma’da ra’g Smile”. They may not be as musically advanced as other bands considering that their song materials are still in the raw, but the boys at such young ages are already bent on trailblazing for the blossoming of cultural revival.
Appreciation of the legacy of the Balitaw, which is a mark of the musicality of the Visayans as kundiman is to the Tagalogs and dal’lot is to the Ilocanos, is one of the challenges they have to incorporate into their creations while thriving to carve a name in the Bisaya rock music scene that has now found a niche in mainstream music.

Fario takes care of the verses, the rest of the Ossified! pack provides tunes.
“Sometimes we chipped in a few lines, but we really leave it up to Fario because he is more of a son of the plume,” Rheggie pointed out.

Fario said he wrote most of the lines of four songs, they have completed, in two hours at max, arranging the marriage of thoughts and emotions.

The would-be carrier track in their supposed EP to be available in the next months dubbed “Mad’a ra’g Smile”, is entitled “Deep Pressed” which is about being in a state of snafu (situational normal all f**cked up!). Ossified! blares, “I hate being like this/sobra pa ka sa mga kurakot nga pulis/ I hate being like this/ baho pa ka sa mga basura ug sa mga ipis/ I’ve been in love and I’ve been hurt/di na ma-in love sa babaye nga flirt.”

Personally, I like the auditory feel of “Ma’da ra’g Smile” because this is a song about hope for hopefulness. Despite raging teen angst delivered by quite a number of bands, Ossified! tackled smoothly a teener’s common dream in such a way that veered from the tenor of being mad or angry or upset or irate, “ang mga taghoy sa kalanggaman, nagapanlimbasog nga imong madunggan/ Ako unta may tumang hinagiban/Aron ang tanan mapuslan/Si Eva ka….sa paraiso ko/Prinsesa ka ….sa gingharian ko/Si Juliet ka…..ako si Romeo/Kanus-a kaha kini mataghapan/ Sa damgo posible ang tanan/Sa tago puno ako sa kalipay/Mad’a, mad’a ra’g smile…”

Ronnel said that they are one in choosing “Problem Solving” as their anthem as a band reflective of the principle they are living and the call they would want the youth to heed, “ato nang isinggit nga dili ta palupig/sa mga problemang dagko pa sa mga bukid/ayaw na paglagot og dili na magbagutbot/ayaw pagsapot-sapot kay ang kalibutan nagtuyok…”

Meanwhile, “Bahawpenings” is another testimony to Fario’s rich literary orientation, “didto sa baybayon, hinumduman ko atong kagahapon/may hugot nga panumpa/hangtod sa langit kita mag-uban/kalipay nga walay sukod, bahala’g magkilat magdugdog/bisan pa mapuno ko sa utang, basta dili lang ka mawagtang…”

Sensibility, intelligence, performance level that’s beyond the influence of drugs – these are the qualities that make Ossified! the next band to watch as it takes its trail to create a concrete mark in local independent music.

Dante shared it would be a joy to find somebody singing their songs in the next weeks.

“That we would call achievement,” Dante said.

Jose added that the biggest challenge that they are facing right now is that on creating an impression, and defining as well as refining their musical direction.
“It would be very nice to see a compact disc generation compile our songs that speak of the ossification of this passion invaginated with the fiber of our aspirations,” Jose mused.

Listen to cuts of their raw materials over dyLA, 909 on your dial, on June 16, Friday as Ossified! becomes guest band for the “OKRyan” program in a live interview with this writer. For requests, listen to 93.1 Smash FM “YourVoice, YourChoice Tingog Kabataan” program, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30-11:30 am.

Add and check friendster: ossified_bisrock@yahoo.com.