WORLD ARTS WEST IS PROUD TO PRESENT
DANONGAN SIBAY KALANDUYAN
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE FIELD OF
ETHNIC DANCE AND MUSIC
Danongan Sibay Kalanduyan is a master of all aspects of the Maguindanao tribal style of kulintang music and has been a central artistic figure in virtually all major Filipino-American communities for nearly two decades. In 1995 he received the nation’s must prestigious award for traditional artists, the National Heritage Fellowship, granted by the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to serving as an artist-in-residence for many universitie, Kalanduyan has performed at prestigious venues such as the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
Among his many accomplishments, in the early 1990s he was the musical director of the critically-acclaimed “Song for Manong,” an epic historical piece that traced the outline of Filipino immigrant history in the United States, and in 2001 he collaborated with Professor Haffez Modirzadeh from the San Francisco State University Music Department and Professor Royal Hartigan from the Music Department of Boston University to produce a joint Filipino Kulintang-Persian Music production, “Fadjr.” Most of his prior work tends to be with small ensembles such as his own Palabuniyan Kulintang Ensemble.
The Filipino population now is one of the largest Asian American communities in California, and in San Francisco and other cities, regional folk dances, the rondalla string ensemble music, and music of the kulintang (eight tuned, knobbed gongs suspended in a wooden frame) have become mainstays of the cultural life and public symbols of Filipino American identity. Because of 400 years of western colonialism, any Filipinos in the Philippines and in the United States have been disconnected from a root culture that has much to offer them as a validating and confirming influence.
Kalanduyan began playing his native music when he was four years old in a fishing village in the Cotabato area of Mindanao. While gongs are found throughout the Philippine tribal cultures, the kulintang, thought to have been brought from China to the Philippines in the Third Century AD, is looked to as the “deepest” of the islands’ performing arts traditions. Related to the Indonesian gamelan, the kulintang—or gongs in a row—is today rooted exclusively in the cultures of the southern island region of Mindanao. Basically a melody instrument, the kulintang is played by a single performer as a solo instrument or as part of an ensemble.