by PB Hermoso
Behind every great artist is a set of quirks. May it be two exact same doll sets of The Beatles or a collection of remarkable pieces of art from various countries, Pam Celeridad has painted an enthralling perspective beyond canvas. As every painting itself is a compilation of ideas, this experimental painter has grown to be more than a visual connoisseur. Humble beginnings usually transcend from being a cliché to a classic. Pam introduces us to her own origin story: how she found her palette of colors in the form of vinyl records.
Do you have a specific arrangement in putting your records yet?
If it gets bigger, I might have to have one. Now, it’s manageable. It’s still pretty easier to find than every different e-record. I started relatively collecting 2 years ago.
So your first time to be exposed to vinyl records started when your dad had a whole lot of it?
There were just a number. The first record I ever saw as a kid was The Sound of Music. We had this room back in Bulacan—although we were raised here in Manila—with records. As kids, in our house, it doubled….no….tripled to complete the room when we were younger. Then we started adding more books to the place. It turned out to be a…
Study area or library…
Panj: Now, it’s a library.
Yeah, it’s multi-purpose. When we were in grade school, we spent most of the time there growing up. So, a lot of our books from high school and college were all there.
Panj: It’s a fountain of books. A library.
Very interesting books. Around 7 or 5 [years old], I came across The Sound of Music. I’m familiar with The Sound of Music but I’ve never seen a record ever. I was young, and I was like, “What is this giant black thing?” Three years after college, I ran into friends who actually collected. I thought it was just an expensive hobby but I had friends explain why they like collecting records. They told me completely different things. It is a pretty expensive hobby. You’ll never know if this one will go for how much in a few years especially the ones that you know are award-winning.
Since you just started two years ago, what motivated you to start this hobby?
For one, it helps that I’m an artist. And I really appreciate the time and effort it takes to come up with an album, and the output is something I really appreciate as well.
You have to consider the experience of the consumer when they buy the record, when they open it, and when they play it. You have these inserts and the giant art that is supposed to complement the entire thing. So, there are a lot that goes in a record compared to CDs and cassette tapes. The best and most savory would really be vinyl.
Digital dialogs are great. I still love a good digital dialog because you can listen to it anywhere you are on the go and it’s high quality. You can pretty much use it in a car, in a different country, running, wherever you want to go. As for the product itself, vinyl would be the testament to post the perfect marriage visual and audio.
So, how do you usually keep up with it? There are collectors that have a lot of specific methods, I guess. How do you maintain your collection?
Well, I do not have a cleaner. I have yet to buy my own. [I’d have] a bigger collection probably after I invest on preserving them but right now, I just buy to listen. So, I’m both a casual listener and a collector. I wouldn’t say I’m a serious collector—not yet, since it takes so much money to buy all the records you want, unless someone just says, “Hey, do you want this one? I don’t have a record player”—which did happen once. A friend gave me half a box of old records imported from Huang. The guy didn’t have a record player and he was like, “I don’t want to incinerate this so maybe you should have it.”
The first time I went to another country to look for records was when I was in Shanghai. It’s really different every country. In Shanghai, there’s one record store full of hip-hop which had a good selection. I’m not a fan of hip-hop but because of the craze and the people there, I was influenced. The owner asked me what country I was from and I said Philippines. He said he’s been to Cubao X. How old is Cubao X even?! So I asked my dad and I found it was existing even way back in the 60’s.
So, you collect records with all of your friends. Do you guys ever do exchanges or something?
I get to try exchanges but some people just come over and play a few records here. It only happened twice here because we recently renovated the space. Most of my friends who collect as well are more like people who recommend me things to buy, certain places to get accessories for the turntable, and they give me tips on what a good setup is since I’m a greenhorn at this.
It’s a completely different language. At first I thought, “Okay. You buy a turn table, plug it into some speakers and that’s it.” But some turntables need a pre-amp. I had no idea what it was before but now I do, so I have a built-in pre-amp and some are very particular to what speakers go well. So, my friends help me with what’s good with what.
Whose record collection do you want to invade?
Maybe Julian Casablancas because he’s rich (laughs). You can tell from the music he makes that he probably has a lot of favorite artists that are superb. His music has so much sounds, so I wonder where he gets this or what he listens to. He probably listens to weird, obscure shit.
Also Quentin Tarantino. He picks the best music for his films. It’s spot-on.
How did you start making art for Satchmi?
I’m friends with Jackie who’s a bandmate of Miles. She referred me to Miles because Satchmi was looking for artists. The funny thing is, they were the ones who gave me this certain record, Drive’s OST. They noticed that I was eyeing it for a time. I got super sad when I found out that it was nowhere to be found in the store. At the end of the day, they said, “We actually hid the record for you.”
Do you still have your favorite album of all time that isn’t in your vinyl record collection yet?
Probably my AM ones. I love AM so much. My copy of The Beatles’ Rubber Soul, I had to look for that one. It took me only a month kasi a lot of people love the album as well. That one is my favorite.
When you work on your art, what music do you resort to?
Iba-iba eh (They vary). I would sometimes have a phase wherein I have an Italian opera over there. It sounds weird but there’s a badass feeling when you’re actually painting and hearing old kind of music. It feels like you’re in a movie.
Panj: Like back at home, she keeps her James Bond records in her room.
Since you like compilations and all, if you were to make your own record compilation, what would it be and what would be the theme?
It could sound future-y. It can sound like you’re in a diner. But I’m not sure if I want to put all of those experiences in my compilation.
How do you or would you motivate other fellow casual listeners?
You know this poem that goes, “Before you learn how to walk, sometimes you have to run.” The best way to actually start a record collection without breaking the bank would be going to these obscure places where you’re able to find very rare ones and at a bargain price.
Collecting is also like going to a bar. You’re a guy, you go into bar that just opened up or it’s been there since forever and you’ve never been there. You wouldn’t expect a girl that you like would be there. So, if you don’t have a money at hand, you can’t buy her a drink.
I recommend for budding, very young starting collectors like me, if you’re going to a certain place to buy records, make sure you have money at hand. You can’t just browse and window shop because the next day it’s going to be gone and if it’s at a good price, if it’s like less than 500 make sure you buy it because you’re not going to see it the next day. Someone would probably be looking for the exact same record and it’s already gone. If it’s a Bob Dylan record and they’re selling it for 250, buy that.
Photographed by MV Isip
Video by MV Isip
Satchmi is located at the 4th Floor of the Mega Fashion Hall in SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.