A pen scratches in the corners of a darkened room. The yellow glow of a lamp reveals hands that time has not yet aged, but which the frequent brush of strings has, nevertheless, thickened. For now, they lie still in respectful anticipation, knowing that soon enough they will free the unseen beauty that comes in guises uncounted - a whimsical mistress, with form ever changing for each one who strokes her. Whether a melancholy melody of nostalgia or the hopeful harmony of the present, either can be found in the notes that form her features.
The songs that I write are reflections of my previous and present life...
She looks up from the pages and speaks the story for one whom, though few of word, is bountiful in discussion. Song is the speech of choice and once she is heard, none can begrudge her.
I’d rather sing for you for two hours than to talk to you for even just a half a minute.. .
But what is there to be said? It was first spoken in the spring of October, 1984, the cry of the beginning, coupled with the discord of many who were ending.
Tondo, is known to be the poorest and most notorious place in Manila, Philippines. It’s where you see 8 year old kids working in junk yards instead of playing and going to school, so that they can have something to eat for the day, because their parents didn’t care. I was friends with these kids and it’s amazing how they turned out now...
The music then takes a step and her stride stretches from past to present, from an island of starving souls to another of starving musicians. Experience has seeped into her eyes and her dance is now polished with grace.
I am currently working on new songs and planning to record and produce my first EP while at the same time doing shows locally here in Long Island, New York and all around the tri-state area. I think as a person I’m kind of starting to learn to accept and appreciate everything that comes my way, no matter what it is.
I have learned how to let go and just let it out through my music. I just want to continue writing music and share it to the people out there; whatever I get for what I am doing is not really my concern at the moment. It’s amazing how they would react and write to me to tell their own sad stories and how I have touched their lives. They would tell how they can relate to my music and how my music gave them hope and endurance to take another shot in life.
A shot in life, that is the greatest gift that can be given and Otan gives it freely just as it was given to him...
I was fortunate enough to have parents who sent me to school and tried to provide the things that I need. Everyone in the family sings for a living, or was a church choir member. I think it’s more of a communal thing because almost all of the people around me know how to sing. My father is a singer while my mother is a businesswoman. I’ve been singing since I was kid.
I learned to play the acoustic guitar when I was 17. That’s the only instrument I play. I tried to learn the piano but it didn’t really work for me. Again, that’s when it felt like I was the only one who didn’t know how to play it. Fortunately, it worked when I tried to do both singing and playing. I was lucky to be raised in such surroundings.
The pen pauses and the arms drop away. The music peers through her bars as a hand reaches for the guitar and she rejoices as she is freed to do her telling.
I can be your host or I can be your hostage, either way I appreciate it. God bless...