Composer for Avant-Garde Chamber Work
Bayani successfully initiated mainstream audiences into works that reflect his Philippine Asian heritage. His “Okir,” (1979), an avant-garde chamber work for flute, harp and contrabass, which utilizes Maranao and Magindanao motifs in a complex interweaving texture of various musical elements, enjoyed prestigious performances at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego on January 21, 1981 and at Schoenberg Hall, Los Angeles, on May 22, 1981.
His “Eliksiya,” for voices and movements, was premiered at the California Institute of Arts on February 5, 1982. His zarzuela, “Villa Mariquita,” drew standing room ovations in its two-day run at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles on September 7 and 8, 1985. In the East Coast, he had successful premieres of his “Silay-Parnaso,” a rhapsody for violin and orchestra, performed by the Children’s Orchestra Society under the baton of Michael Dadap at Merkin Hall, New York, on December 5, 1989, and his “Mga Sugatang Perlas,” a music-dance theater staged on April 2 and 3, 1992 in Broadway’s Town Hall in Manhattan.
Below are collections of select arrangements and performances.
Bayani speaking at a concert in Georgia
Bayani speaking at a concert in Cleveland, Ohio
The following arrangements and compositions by Bayani Mendoza de Leon are concert adaptations of Philippine folk songs and original pieces.
Pandangguhan - Trio for Flute, Cello, & Piano
Pandagguhan (Dancing the Fandango) - Trio for Flute, Cello, & Piano
The Fandango is a courtship dance native to Spain and Mexico and supposedly means "go and dance." It is considered to be "the prototype of all Spanish dances." Filipinos developed their own variant of this rousing dance. Bayani's guitar setting is notable for its fresh contemporary treatment that retains the traditional sections of the dance but also injects exciting layers of melodic ramification, rhythmic invention, and harmonic color.
Bayani Mendoza de Leon, composer; Kate Caswell, flute; Sarighani de Leon-Reist, cello; Linda Harmon, piano