The 14th Interdisciplinary Book Forum on Thursday may have gathered individuals from different fields and disciplines, but they all sang one tune: music can indeed tell a lot of stories about a people’s culture, traditions, history, and even one man’s journey.

For this edition of the forum, performers and scholars in the fields of music, theater, anthropology, and literature explored Tunogtugan, a compendium of 20 essays on musical and sonic traditions by National Artist for Music Ramón Pagayon Santos.

Published earlier this year by the University of the Philippines (UP) Press, Tunogtugan provides a glimpse into the National Artist’s personal in the world of the arts and humanities with its broad expanse of topics — from globalization, ethnicity, and the diversity of musical traditions as well as more specific subjects such as composition, dance, education, and musicology.

The National Artist was joined in the forum by Assoc. Prof. Ma. Patricia Brillantes Silvestre, Prof. Maria Mangahas, Assoc. Prof. Oscar Serquiña Jr., sound artist and composer Teresa Barrozo, Philippine Studies scholar Christopher Bryan Concha, and folk singer-songwriter Joey Ayala, who each explored various aspects of the compendium from the perspective of their respective fields and disciplines. Asst. Prof. Rex Sandro Nepomuceno from the UP College of Arts and Letters’ Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts moderated the forum.

Held once every semester, the Interdisciplinary Book Forum is conducted by the Likhaan: UP Institute of Creative Writing in cooperation with the UP Press as an academic venue to realize the imperative for dialogue and intellectual engagement across the various disciplines.

The last installment of the forum last July 7 featured The Light in One’s Blood, which gathers over a hundred select poems by National Artist for Literature Gémino H. Abad.

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