Alwin Reamillo

Alwin Reamillo / Play By Ear II (Oido)

Play By Ear II (Oido)

by Alwin Reamillo

12-28 January 2009

Reamillo’s piano wings take flight with songs on Australia Day

The sheer but deceptive randomness of an assemblage of apparently unrelated objects as if fossicked from discards and rubbish, and a kind of low-frequency music vibrating among them maybe used to describe the rush of indefinable propositions/suggestions that make-up installation artist and painter Alwin Reamillo’s Play by Ear II (Oido) exhibition at Galleria Duemila, 210 Loring Street in Pasay City.

Music, and the remains of the almost forgotten piano-making industry in the country, and the cultural links between Australia and the Philippines, provides the melodic undertones to Play by Ear (Oido), which is set to close with a concert on 28 January at 6pm as part of the week-long celebration of Australia Day 2009.

Reamillo belongs to family of local piano-makers that manufactured the Wittemberg brand of upright and grand pianos before the industry went into decline partly as a result of globalisation. Included in the exhibition are recently restored art-case Wittemberg Pianos developed from an earlier artist residency project at the UP Vargas Museum called the Nicanor Abelardo Grand Piano Project. Both instrument feature a look-in glass window and transferred images from the Filipino musical film classic “Mutya ng Pasig”.

For the last thirteen years, the internationally renowned installation artist has made the far-off port city of Fremantle in Western Australia his home and base of artistic production. Play by Ear contextualises his transcultural practice between Australia and the Philippines, both as a tribute to his Filipino artistic roots and the Austral-Asian route of his artistic career. He has indicated plans to continue developing future collaborative piano projects between the two countries.

Reamillo, a recipient of the prestigious 2008 ArtsWA Mid-Career Fellowship in Western Australia and the 1994 CCP Thirteen Artists Award, brings together his musician friends from various encounters, having been an alumnus of the Philippine High School for the Arts, the UP College of Fine Arts and the Western Australia School of Visual Arts, Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University.

Australian Folk/Bush Music legend Warren Fahey, and his band the Larrikins, headline the closing concert, performing numbers from his famous collection of Australian Folk/Bush songs, ballads, poems, folklore built over 40 years. Filipino world music band Makiling will perform selections from their recently launched third CD album “ Malakas at Maganda”. Wystan de la Pena and Jose Sarigumba will render a duo-version of Nicanor Abelardo’s “Mutya ng Pasig” with young vocalist Collins Guttierrez singing traditional English and Australian songs, promising a most interesting night of performances with the special participation of Filipino world music advocate Grace Nono.

An open impromptu, improvisational jamming is also expected from other invited musicians and guests. “Our guest musicians for the closing event complete, in a manner, the cultural correspondences between Australia and the Philippines,” Reamillo says.

Play by Ear is a joint initiative of Galleria Duemila and the Australian Embassy Manila.

For enquiries regarding the concert please contact the secretariat at Tel. Numbers +63 833-9815 / +63 831-9990 or email us at