The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Monday, October 01, 2012

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.

Depeche Mode
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.


  • At Monday, October 01, 2012 3:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    a really stupid give it a rest, retire because music is not for you anymore...take my word for it my friend, your voice is terrible omg...the instrumentalists got the chords and music wrong too

  • At Monday, October 01, 2012 5:13:00 PM, Blogger eLf ideas said…

    Of course, I would not delete this comment of yours. Such cowardice.

    Do you think I would feel hurt or bothered by your comment? Of course, not.

    Why? Because I have a very clear vision of what I have been engaging in creatively and artistically.

    I know my strengths very well, in the same manner that I know my weaknesses.

    I know very well that I could sing but that my voice is not brilliant or even impressive as the virtuosos of the music world. Am I bothered about this? No.

    As long as there are about 50 persons who sincerely appreciate what I'm doing, that's good enough for me.

    Even if only my own family would be the ones who would remain appreciative of and impressed by my undertakings, that's fine with me.

    Now going back to you...Mr. or Ms. Anonymous, I don't even know if you're a serial killer or a sexual predator on the cyberworld. The heck, I don't even know if you're just a digital robot.

    As I believe, anonymous comments and criticisms are never valid. So, why would I care?

    Your words don't matter. They don't count.

    But one thing I'm sure though about you...

    Based on your short comment above, I'm sure that you are someone who hates me, someone who envies me, someone who is insecure, someone who is cowardly, and most of all...

    Someone who is bad at writing.

    You fail in capitalization, use of punctuation, and sentence structuring.

    And lastly, because you hide behind the cloak of anonymity to be able to express your animosity, I simply imagine that you must be handsome or beautiful, intelligent, and popular in your community.

    Hehehe, I'm just kidding!

    The truth is, I know very well that you look ugly, potbellied, and repulsive--baka may pinagmanahan.

    Disrespectfully yours,
    M. P.

    Don't forget to spread jam on your records.


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