haLf man haLf eLf, covering "Everything Counts"
In this video, taken in August 2011, my band haLf man haLf eLf was practicing our original arrangement of "Everything Counts" by the English New Wave / Synthpop band Depeche Mode. During this period, the musicians comprising the band were me on keyboards, bellkit, cajon, and vocals; Christine Mazur on violin; Dante Gomez on guitar; and Pol Chua on acoustic bass.
At one point, haLf man haLf eLf consisted of a collective of 10 members, each of whom was handling a distinct instrument--taiko drum, keyboards, acoustic bass, 12-string guitar, ukulele, violin/cello, mandolin/banjo, piano/bellkit, drumkit, and lots of percussion. I even invited musicians playing sitar, rubab, tabla, accordion, bagpipe, trumpet, flugelhorn, french horn at certain shows and during recording sessions. I just love mixing the sounds of a great variety of instruments. Actually, my dream concert is for my band to play our original songs accompanied by a symphonic orchestra, a Hindustani Classical ensemble, a Philippine rondalla group, and some Chinese and Japanese musicians playing their cultural instruments. I compose and write my band's music with that possibility in mind, so every song ends up becoming a short Progressive epic, tailor-made for such massive orchestral treatment.
The original version of the song we were covering in the video is included in Depeche Mode's third studio album, Construction Time Again (1983).
Still active today and regularly releasing new materials, Depeche Mode is one of the pioneers of Synthpop music, a subgenre or offshoot of New Wave. To date, it has released 12 studio albums, the latest of which is Sounds of the Universe (2009).
Origin & Style of haLf man haLf eLf
I started being in a band in the Philippines as early as 1987, when I with some friends/schoolmates formed Half Life Half Death, which lasted until 2003 when I left the country. In Canada, I formed a new band I named haLf man haLf eLf in 2006, and it has long been known as a collective of musicians, in which members join and leave for whatever reason (usually job priorities, conflict of schedules, or mostly musical differences), with me as the only original member.
Based on my knowledge about music genres, I confidently classify our music as Classical New Wave for the obvious reason that our style is a deliberate combination of the melodious sensibilities of New Wave and Postpunk and the instrumental and orchestral arrangement of Classical. If I am to cite my three most-preferred genres of music, that would be (in this order) New Wave (or Postpunk), Progressive Rock (and Metal), and Classical.
The haLf man haLf eLf I have featured in this entry was a practice session in preparation for a gig of ours that took place on September 8, 2011, at a book launching held at McNally Robinson Booksellers at Grant, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.