"Charmaine Clamor Sings for David Byrne" from Baby Gil with Philippines Star

Viva RecordsÆ Jazzipino star Charmaine Clamor has joined the performer line-up of the David Byrne and Fatboy Slim production of Here Lies Love. This is a concept album about our former First Lady Imelda Marcos and her long-time aide Estrella Cumpas that is set for release in February 2010. The title Here Lies Love comes from what Mrs. Marcos is said to want written as her epitaph.

Now based in the US where she has been generating hot buzz in jazz circles, Charmaine made quite a splash in the Philippines early this year with her jazzy interpretation of local classics like Dahil Sa æyo and Lahat Ng Araw in the Jazzipino album. Now it looks like she has really hit the big time with this interesting project. It is after all, a singular honor to be tapped by the Grammy, Academy Award, Golden Globe winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Byrne to perform Walk Like A Woman, the only jazz cut in the disco and club sound dominated album.

Here Lies Love is a disco opera that has the fictional Mrs. Marcos meditating on her life, starting from her childhood in Tacloban to beauty queen, First Lady and the departure from Malaca±ang. The story will be told through songs, in something like an opera, but with a dance beat. The album will be released as a CD, DVD and book package. We still do not know what the songs will sound like but Byrne, who incidentally is the founder of the legendary New Wave band Talking Heads, provides us with a hint through the bookÆs introduction that he now has posted on his website.

He wrote: ôThe story I am interested in is asking what drives a powerful person ù what makes them tick? How do they make and then remake themselves? I thought to myself, wouldnÆt it be great if ù as this piece would be principally composed of clubby dance music ù one could experience it in a club setting? Could one bring a story and a kind of theater to the disco? Was that possible? If so, wouldnÆt that be amazing!ö

The other performers in the album are the following: Here Lies Love by Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine; Every Drop Of Rain by Candie Payne and St. Vincent; YouÆll Be Taken Care Of by Tori Amos; The Rose Of Tacloban by Martha Wainwright; How Are You? by Nellie McKay; A Perfect Hand by Steve Earle; Eleven Days by Cyndi Lauper; When She Passed by Allison Moorer; DonÆt You Agree? by Roisin Murphy; Pretty Face by Camille; Dancing Together by Sharon Jones; Men Will Do Anything by Alice Russell; The Whole Man by Kate Pierson; Never So Big by Sia; Please DonÆt by Santigold; American Troglodyte by Byrne; Solano Avenue by Nicole Atkins; Order 1081 by Natalie Merchant; Seven Years by Byrne and Shara Worden; Why DonÆt You Love Me a duet by Lauper and Amos; and Ladies In Blue by Theresa Andersson.

Take note of that last title. Mrs. MarcosÆ Blue Ladies will be immortalized in music composed by Byrne and Fat Boy Slim and Natalie Merchant is singing the song about Martial Law.

by Baby Gil, for Philippines Star, DECEMBER 17, 2009