Rakista News

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Oct 19, 2021
Farewell To The Country's Innovative and Unorthodox Guitarist, Noli Aurillo

Becoming a clever music innovator and an unconventional type of musician does not rack up overnight - you have to be born with it. And the truth is, not everyone can possess enchanting musical abilities. 

But there’s definitely one man who cast every chord immaculately with his eccentric unorthodox style of playing guitar. Noli Aurillo, a brainiac guitarist, can carry off a diverse music genre while emitting a majestic improvisational technique in each staggering live performance.


The record of his dedication to music can be traced by the genesis of his brother’s teaching; he then opted to explore the music world at the age of 17, leaving the UP College of Fine Arts. Shortly after, Aurillo expanded his musical career, playing on folk clubs like Pension Filipina, The Bodega, Kola House, and the original My Father’s Moustache. He also performed with bands such as Cocojam and Bosyo, even with the iconic Asin, where he did several session works for various albums.


The wonders that an amplified acoustic guitar of his could radiate are beyond the reach. The guitar genius that he was, Noli could flawlessly execute any performance that nobody could duplicate or imitate. Through his mage hands, plucking the hearts of listeners is a felicitous task. Setting a Classical Rock medley like ‘Light My Fire’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody', ‘Layla’, ‘Smoke on the water’; and even his own arrangement of ‘Over the Rainbow’, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ of Beatles, ‘She’s leaving Home’, and ‘Peter Gunn There’ of Henry Manari, were all a whole lot of levitating experience.


He would enthrall the audience with medley of well-known Pinoy Rock and Folk Classics such as, ‘Himig Natin’, ‘Tao’, ‘Handog’, Awiting Pilipino’, ‘Sa Diyos Lamang’, ‘Beer’, ‘Masdan Ang Kapaligiran’, ‘Itanong mo sa mga Bata’, ‘Mr.Kenkoy’, ‘Laki sa Layaw’, ‘Beep Beep’, Kumusta mga Kaibigan’, ‘Salamat’, ‘Kanlungan’, ‘Huling El Bimbo’, and ‘Tayo’y mga Pinoy’, recalled by Pocholo Conception.

For several decades, Aurillo was acknowledged for letting his talents motivate and inspire his fellow musicians. Playing for free on many events and occasions was his cup of tea. Even amid the pandemic, he never halted performing; in fact,  the Tacloban-born musician actually had just begun his regular online gigs, when the news of his passing came to light. Last Saturday, October 16, the great guitarist was defeated by Covid-19. He was 62 years old.


“He did magic tricks...and actual magic on guitar. Acoustic guitar as a mini-orchestra. His technique, those impossible, had stretches on guitar that sounded like piano voicings. I was in awe at how musical he always was,” Francis Reyes of The Dawn responded to Noli’s demise.


Without having proper formal training and never learned how to read or write notes, who would have thought that the great man could go this far, leaving his untouched legacy. The ‘proud UP College Of Music reject’ will always be remembered as the ‘legendary improvisational guitarist’


“What I play is what I am,” A warm goodbye to Noli Aurillo.