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Karl Ramirez is an activist musician, singer and songwriter.
He is a member of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP), the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (FILSCAP), and volunteers for the multi-awarded multimedia organization Kodao Productions.
His song Convergence won the grand prize in Net-25’s 2010 songwriting competition. He was also selected as a participant in the 1st Elements National Songwriting Camp held by Ryan Cayabyab’s 7101 Music Nation.
- "Ramirez was introduced to music at a very young age. His mother, Divina, gave him piano lessons every after Sunday school, while his father, Mon, a licensed and topnotch engineer and creator of Arkibong Bayan, taught him how to play the guitar. He self-studied the violin when he was in high school. 'The skills I learned through the years of learning those three instruments helped a lot when I started arranging music,' Ramirez said.
- It was in 1998, while studying in the University of the Philippines in Diliman, when Ramirez first tried his hand at musical arrangement, mostly musical scores for independently produced film and documentaries. 'At that time, even if production was already computer-based, the recorded output was crude and uneven, with a lot of hisses and hums,' said Ramirez. During his stay in UP Diliman, Ramirez became an active member of Ibalon and Agham-Youth. Ramirez’s early works can be found in his online portfolio.
- In 2001, Ramirez further improved his craft when he joined BicolXPress , a progressive and independent audiovisual organization in Bicol. “Being immersed with the oppressed and exploited, it became a necessity to do research on cheap, more efficient and convenient means of producing and recording music scores,” Ramirez said. In 2006, Ramirez produced the musical score for BicolXPress’s human rights movie Hustisya! , an instrumental renditon of Tambisan sa Sining’s 'Awit ng Pag-asa.'
- It was only in 2009, that Ramirez started writing and performing his own songs. One of his first musical creations, 'Alagaan ang Kalikasan (Caring for the Environment),' became the official theme for the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center’s segment in Radyo Veritas aired every Friday at 7:30 a.m. Ramirez later produced musical arrangements and accompaniments for the progressive stage musical Makata’y Mandirigma, Mandirigma’y Makata , which he said is a fusion pop and rock orchestra."
- -- from Makibaka: Music Inspired by the Struggle for Change Ayi Muallam / Bulatlat.com
In November 2010, he released an online compilation Makibaka! Rakenrol Tungong Pagbabago (Struggle! Rock ‘n Roll Towards Change) a collection of rock & pop songs for and about the people’s struggle for meaningful change. Songs Desap, Panata sa Bayan, Mananatili Ka (Written by Empiel Palma), Elian, Sobra-Sobra (Written by Yen & Karatula), Song of the League (Written by Danny Fabella), and Dahil (Written by Ericson Acosta), all produced independently, were released shortly after. A self-published CD edition containing 17 tracks was released in August 2011.
Members of the band Plagpul and Sinangag, namely Pol Torrente, Jay Jamoralin, Leo Daniel Isais, Jimmy Jamoralin, Peter Panelo, Ephraim Leynes, and fellow people’s artists Roselle Pineda, Loujaye Sonido and maestro Tony Palis have greatly contributed in live performances of songs Makibaka, Desap, Elian, and Sobra-Sobra.
- Makibaka! Rakenrol Tungong Pagbabago (Struggle! Rock ‘n Roll Towards Change)
- 17-track Makibaka CD Edition
List of Works and CollaborationsEdit
Songwriter, Arranger and Performer:
- Free (2011)
- Tumugon sa Hamon (2011)
- Elian (2011)
- Manindigan and Makibaka Reprise, original soundtracks of Center for Environmental Concerns’ “Higante’t Tutubi”, a short animated feature about the environment (2011)
- Panata sa Bayan (2011) – Published at Click Music Philippines, a joint venture of the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and the Filipino Composers Development Cooperative (FILCOMDEC).
- Desap (2010)
- Makibaka (2010)
- Makabayan, Palaban – Campaign song for Satur Ocampo’s senatorial bid (2010)
- Convergence, an entry to Net25 Rock the Beat’s songwriting competition held in 2010. The song won the grand prize and is now the official theme of Net25’s premier Information Technology show Convergence.
- Tagapagtanggol ng Bayan, a song project commissioned by the National Union of People’s Lawyers, 2010
- Viewfinder – Kodao Productions’ video ID original soundtrack (2010)
- Nagbabalita – Bulatlat.com’s live webcast ID original soundtrack (2010)
- Makata’y Mandirigma – Original theme for the trailer of the Makata’y Mandirigma DVD (2010)
- Writer, Arranger and Performer – Alagaan ang Kalikasan, a song project commissioned by the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center for their segment in a weekly radio program in Radyo Veritas, 2009
Arranger and Performer:
- Dahil –Written by Ericson Acosta (2011)
- Song of the League –Written by Danny Fabella (2011)
- Sobra Sobra – Written by Yen, Karatula (2011)
- Mananatili Ka, a song written by Empiel Palma for the documentary feature “Ka Bel”, March 2011
- Balang Araw – Written by Xandra Bisenio (2010)
- Oyayi – Music written by Xandra Bisenio based on a poem by Leoncio Bagani (2010)
- Sali Na, Bayan, a song project commissioned by Kodao Productions as the official theme of the radio program Sali Na, Bayan! airing at DZUP 1602 Khz from Monday to Friday. Written by Flon Faurillo. (2010)
- Kapit-Bisig sa Pagbabago – Written by Xandra Bisenio and performed jointly with Walkie Mirana (2010)
Sound Engineer and Producer:
- Free the 43 – Written by Carl Lopez and performed by Aki Merced and Renato Reyes (2010)
- Desaparecido – A violin rendition performed by Jonathan for the musical Mrs. B (2010)
Composer and Arranger – Original Sound Track of “Ka Bel” a documentary feature by Mayday Productions about the life of Filipino labor leader Crispin Beltran, March 2011
Musical Arrangement – 8 song segments in the musical “Makata’y Mandrigima, Mandirigma’y Makata” a Filpino musical staged at the UP Diliman Theater, November 30, 2009. Written by National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera and Palanca awardee Edward Perez. Directed by Rommel Linatoc. Musical direction by Rica Palis.
Songwriter and Arranger – Original Sound Track of “Hustisya” a video documentary about human rights produced by the Bikol X Press, 2006