February 13, 2022

WHILE the Italian Fazioli piano and five young virtuosos are the shining stars of the CCP Special Concert Series that opened online on the CCP FB page last February 9, there is another personality behind the scenes, just as extraordinary.

The director of the CCP SCS is none other than Juno Oebanda.  Direk Juno as he is called, is an artist, a musician, and an events director.  He’s been described as a force to reckon with in the industry that he has helped shaped.

Direk Juno has launched and megged events with the best and brightest of the country’s artists including legends like Miss Lea Salonga, Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, Pepe Smith, Sandwich and the Itchyworms, to name a few. He has been sought out to work alongside international artists such as Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Phil Collins, The XX and DJs from Tiesto to Avicii.  He has been a consultant for the Philippine Arena, SM Aura’s Samsung Theater, the British School Manila Theater of Performing Arts and MGM Macau. He led projects for the Department of Tourism, ASEAN, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, APEC, and Intramuros Administration. Direk Juno and his team composed of Marco de Leon and Nikki de Leon take charge in the recording, mixing and mastering.

Here is a short Q & A with Direk Juno on the CCP SCS:

Being an artist, musician, and events director, what are your impressions on the Special Concert Series and how to make it palatable to the public’s taste, especially for others who are not familiar with the event?

Although the pandemic has literally shut down most, if not all live events, it has given way to innovations like these, presenting the music that is featured in the Special Concert Series, and showing to an online audience for wider reach. And in spite of the limitations, we have found ways in presenting this talent that we have and the kind of music that they play.

Having been a pioneering force in the development of festival format concerts, which has raised the standards of large format events in the country, how do you envision the Special Concert Series to appear in general?

The audience that I do for festivals and concerts are different.  I guess to bring in more new listeners to this genre or discipline, I would love to hear and see our young artists play more in online media platforms and also touring the country and playing it out live bringing the music closer to the audience, because this talent is best experienced LIVE in the flesh – maybe one day in festivals that I also do.

Aside from being an artist, you are also an endorser and ambassador of global brands like Sony, Sennheiser, Focal and L Acoustics.  How does being involved with these brands help in generating an interest in the Special Concert Series, especially in using the Fazioli piano?

My involvement with brands like Sony, Sennheiser, Focal, Neumann, Mackie, Lauten and other brands was very instrumental in capturing and recording the true essence of the Fazioli, which is not an easy task. The instrument itself, the nature of the beast, is that it is a full range instrument, meaning it plays the lowest of the lowest notes and the highest of the highest notes in one package. My knowledge and affiliation with these brands afforded me to bring in the best of the best gear that is at par with the piano itself. These technologies, these microphones, if used properly capture the true essence of the piano and the dynamism of each of the players.

WATCH THE CCP SPECIAL CONCERT SERIES streaming at 8PM every night until Feb. 13 on the Facebook pages of the CCP and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.  Videos will stay up on the said pages for a week, and the full series will be streamed on Feb. 20 at 3PM – so viewers can still catch up! (Raul E. Asis)