Raymund Marasigan: When Music Meets Technology - Poundit

Raymund Marasigan: When Music Meets Technology

April 21, 2018

Raymund Marasigan: When Music Meets Technology

Raymund Marasigan is no stranger in the local music scene. He’s a prominent musician, being a member of Sandwich, Pedicab, Assembly Generals, and that band we all know as the Eraserheads. If that’s not enough, he’s also a producer, a host, and a proud father of one.

A week ago, Raymund and his band Sandwich celebrated 20 years of music by gathering their families, friends, and followers in a one night only concert. Under the Glow of the Satellite showed not only skill and artistry, but also Raymund’s intense love for his craft. He jumped, he yelled, he laughed. He gave everyone a good time. At an age of forty-something (he looks like 30, really), Raymund continues to fuel the flame that made him well-known here and abroad.

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Perhaps one of the greatest qualities that Raymund holds is his openness to innovation. His dance-slash-punk-slash-electronica band, Pedicab, is one of the first bands in the Philippines to introduce such a unique sound. Electronics play a huge part in their music. Without synthesizers and laptops, Pedicab may have not produced the fuzz-like sound of “Dizzy Boy” or the echoing meows of “Ang Pusa Mo."

Squid 9, another band of Raymund, is proof of his inclination to technology. When Squid 9 released their album "Origamidi" in 2014, they released it in a USB flash drive much to the delight of their listeners. Why press it in a CD when you can insert it in a computer, right? Everybody loved it as it was a brilliant idea, after all.

However, when we asked him how much he knows about technology and mobile apps in particular, he answered, Hindi ko alam lahat—‘yung mga magagamit ko lang, ‘yung mga importante sa buhay ko.” He then name drops navigation and ride-sharing apps. Waze, Grab, and the now-defunct Uber help him when he’s on his way to a gig or when traveling with loved ones. “May forms ang technology na sobra akong ignorante—kunwari, mga usong apps, ganu’n—na alam kong nag-e-exist pero hanggang du’n na lang,” he chuckles, admitting ignorance when it comes to less utilitarian, more fun stuff like Snapchat.

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Mobile apps may not completely interest Raymund but gadgets that allow him to create music never fails to catch his attention. In 1997’s Sticker Happy, Raymund used drum machines and vocoders to give a more interesting and modern sound to the Eraserheads. Listen to “Everything They Say” and “Downtown” and you’ll hear music triggered by a touch of a button; innovative for a record that was released in the era of landlines and beepers. 

 

 

When asked about recording, Raymund shared “Nakita ko na du’n papunta ‘yung recording, eh, to digital. Analog was very difficult, [including] the destructive editing and all of that.” True to claim, almost every song we hear at present was recorded or mastered through digital means. Analog will always be beautiful, but sadly, it’s now in the past.

Though innovative, the multi-instrumentalist prefers practicality above all things. “‘Pag ‘di ko kailangan ‘yung gadget, ‘di ko inaaral. Sayang ‘yung memory space!” he laughs while making self-effacing jabs at his age. “I’m not always after the latest, baddest gear. If it’s useful and it helps me to work creatively, I’ll get it,” he adds.    

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Social media wasn’t appealing to Raymund before. His online existence, in fact, was largely because of his desire to market his music and shows. “Nasa gitna lang ‘yung learning curve ko. Resistant at first, ‘tsaka hindi ako early adaptor. ‘Pag gumagana na, gagamitin ko na,”he says of his attitude when it comes to apps and social media. “Thankfully, I have a teenage daughter who has the patience to teach me.”

His absence on Facebook, incidentally, ended when his high school classmates were organizing a reunion. Everybody, he learned, was pretty much updated about everybody else, except for him. “More than inggit, nahiya ako. Hindi ko alam na lima na ‘yung anak ng isa, na kinasal na pala ‘to, na mayor na ‘yung isa pa,”he chuckles in embarrassment. Facebook didn’t seem important to him that time mostly because he sees most of his present-day friends—most of them working in music—practically every weekend. “Pero useful pala siya [sa friends] na ‘di mo nakikita madalas!”             

In person, Raymund is a man of few words. He’s private but not introverted. He’s friendly but not talkative. He can be rocking to “Kagulo” one time, and then cracking tito-isms on Twitter the next. “Hanggang ngayon, I’m very careful [with what I say]. A lot of people read it, and I don’t want them to hear what I’m thinking, ‘di ba? I could be right or wrong, but [my thoughts] are private,” he maintains, pauses to consider, and adds, “But if it’s music, I’d gladly do it.”And he does.

Music will always be part of Raymund's life. Count 10, 20, or 30 years and you'll still see him performing onstage, if not, online. 

“I refuse to think about matters of relevance. I would rather work every day. Maganda man o panget ang lumabas, may audience man o wala, I work. And luckily, half of the time, may nangyayari,”he ends with a smile.

Photo on featured image c/o Karen De La Fuente. All other photos c/o Raymund Marasigan's Instagram page. 


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