“Tribute to the Philippines” is a present I want to offer to the Filipino people after spending three years as a diplomat and artist in this country,” Raoul Imbach, Deputy Head of Mission at the Swiss Embassy in Manila succinctly describes the album he recently launched with his group Raoul & The Wild Tortillas.
The album contains 14 tracks, four of which are in Tagalog, five are a mix of Tagalog and English, while the rest are in English. All but one are original compositions, with half of the songs composed by Imbach, while the other half are from the band members and from guest artist DJ Grimm.
“It was the opportunity for us to present this very unique USB-card, which includes what we believe to be the first ever interactive webpage for a musical album,” Imbach said of the album launch at Marco Polo Ortigas’ Vu’s Sky Bar and Lounge. “Since it is a high end album, we are mostly planning to sell the hard version through charities. We have already presold 100 albums in Vietnam [where Imbach still has a following] and given the proceeds to four charity organizations.”
Some of the album sale beneficiaries include COFFI (an NGO for the mobility of the handicapped), Rotary Pasay, the International Women’s Bazaar, the Carmelite Sisterhood, among others.
Tribute to the Philippines will be part of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations the Philippines and Switzerland. A free public concert to launch the album will be held at the Rizal Park open-air auditorium on Jan. 7 at 6 p.m. Before that, there will also be a show on Dec. 19 at the Quezon City Memorial Circle from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Those interested in getting a physical copy of the truly unique album can purchase one at Imbach’s concerts, while it may also be downloaded at www.thesingingdiplomat.com and at the group’s Facebook page @RaoulandtheWildTortillas.
Imbach is a career diplomat who was worked for the Swiss Foreign Affair Ministry for over 30 years. That tenure is only exceeded by his career as an entertainer, which he has been passionate about for over 50 years. Tribute to the Philippines is Imbach’s 11th album of original compositions. He has released albums in English, French, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Filipino.
By TIMOTHY JAY IBAY