Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Your Fonder Heart

Hi anais mitchell. You've written a beautiful song in Your Fonder Heart. It has been playing constantly in my head ever since i heard it for the first time only a couple of months ago. Good records are hard to come by here in my country where the norm has always leaned towards music of the mindless, soul-less but chart-topping variety. I dont even have your full album. Just this one song and i thank you for it.

My name is Joseph Purugganan from the Philippines. I work as a researcher/campaigner for an activist research organization called Focus on the Global South but am also an aspiring musician and songwriter. I play guitars and harmonica for the band The Village Idiots. We are independent artists hoping to promote and share songs that touch on social realities-issues that shape the lives of ordinary Filipinos. We aspire to be purveyors of what we call People's Music, maybe much in the same vein as perhaps many of the folk singer-songwriters there in America old and new.

In a burst of inspiration driven by melancholia and self doubt, i wrote a translation of your song in Filipino with the help of poet/singer-songwriter Jess Santiago. You may not know the exact meaning of these words but we tried very hard to remain true to at least what we felt was the essence of the song. So here it is. I hope you would appreciate this and view this as another measure of how your music has transcended boundaries.

in solidarity


Your Fonder Heart (Taospuso)

Anais Mitchell (salin ni joseph p. sa tulong ni jess Santiago. Mayo 2007)

come out, come on, come outside ( tara, tara na, tara sa labas)
don’t you hide your handsome face from me (huwag mong itago ang ganda ng yong mukha)
I want to see you half-lit in the half-light (gusto kang maaninag sa banayad na liwanag)
laughing with the whites of your dark eyes(ang ngiti ng yong matang )
shining darkly (sa dilim kumikislap)

Way over yonder I’m waiting and wondering (Doon, akoy nag-iisip, naghihintay)
wither your fonder heart lies (ang puso mo kaya’y saan humihimlay)

come out, the streets are breathing (tara, mga kalsada ay buhay)
heaving green to red to green (berde’t pulang ilaw nagsasalit-salitan)
come with your nicotine and wine (mag-yosi’t maglasing)
tambourine keeping time (sabayan ang tambourine)
come and find me in the evening (hanapin mo ako ngayong gabi)

way over yonder I’m waiting and wondering (Doon akoy nagiisip, naghihintay)

wither your fonder heart lies (puso mo kaya’y saan humihimlay)
way over yonder I’m waiting and wondering (Doon akoy nagiisip, naghihintay)
whether your fonder heart lies (Puso mo ba’y tunay kung magmahal)

come out, come inspired (tara, lumabas kang puno ng pagasa)
you will not come to harm (walang mangangahas na saktan ka)
if I cannot take you for a liar or a lover (Totoo man o hindi ang iyong pag-ibig)

I’ll take you for my brother in arms (ikaw ay aking kasama at kapatid)

way over yonder I’m waiting and wondering (Doon akoy nagiisip, naghihintay
wither your fonder heart lies (Puso mo kaya’y saan humihimlay)
way over yonder I’m waiting and wondering (Doon akoy nagiisip, naghihintay)
whether your fonder heart lies (Puso mo ba’y tunay kung magmahal)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Anti-Democratic Bank

March 5, 2007. KYOTO, JAPAN - In the heart of the beast. A Japanese protestor lends his voice to the opposition against the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at a march along busy, commercial Shijo Street in Kyoto. Japan is the biggest contributor to the ADB, which turned 40 years old this year. Activists have pointed out that there is no reason to celebrate ADB's 4Oth birthday as its policies and projects have only led to more poverty, environmental destruction, and debt for countries in Asia.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

beat photography

May 7, 2007, KYOTO--The website said it is near the north entrance of Doshisya University and the Imperial Palace and close to the Imadegawa Subway Station. I made the pilgrimage to Honyarado upon the gentle persuasion of singer-songwriter/poet Jess Santiago who visited this place last year. The small poster announcing Koyang’s performance here still hangs in the bathroom wall.

Spent the whole afternoon with Japanese Photographer Kai Fusayhoshi. Kai is an interesting individual. He showed me some of his photo books where I got a glimpse of the beauty and character of Kyoto in black and white. His works have drawn references as much to fellow photographers as to poets and intellectuals. Allusions to Charles Bukowski, Kant, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg as well as to Japanese intellectuals, novelists and artists accompany his photographs providing hints to the ideologies and idiosyncrasies of Kai and Honyarado. His photographs are soulful.

Sitting here in Honyarado looking at the black and white photographs some almost as old as I am, you can feel the history of the place. I feel lucky to be here, to be photographed by Kai and to photograph him. He says that soon this place maybe no more. Some “stupid dispute with the landlord” he says.

In the meantime, let me enjoy my all malt Japanese beer in peace.