Abby Clutario puts a new spin on Up Dharma Down’s Tadhana

Bot Glorioso - The Philippine Star
Abby Clutario puts a new spin on Up Dharma Down�s Tadhana
Multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Abby Clutario drops her debut single, a cover of Up Dharma Down’s Tadhana, using a Chapman Stick. The song is released under AltG Records, the sub-label of GMA Music.

Singer-songwriter Abby Clutario is making music enthusiasts sigh in admiration over the release of her revival of Tadhana, an Up Dharma Down’s (UDD) hit song, using the 10-string Chapman Stick as musical accompaniment. It serves as her debut single under the GMA Music sub-label AltG Records.

Released last Jan. 20, Abby’s cover version is currently on the No. 5 spot of iTunes PH Top 100 songs. It is also included on Spotify’s Fresh Finds Philippines Playlist.

The AltG recording artist shared in a recent virtual media gathering how she came up with the decision of putting a new spin to the OPM classic and making it her first single.

According to her, it was artist, repertoire manager and in-house producer Kedy Sanchez who broached the idea to do her own take on Tadhana.

“I’ve known Sir Kedy for a long time since we would meet during gigs before because oftentimes kasi nagkakasabay ng gigs ‘yung aming mga banda. So, when he learned that I’m exploring music with Chapman (Stick), he invited me for a spotlight episode for GMA. He said, ‘Let’s try Tadhana’ and I liked the idea because it’s the most requested song in events. I would play it on the piano,” began Abby, a University of the Philippines College of Music graduate who majored in Choral Conducting.

She continued, “Kaya sabi ko sige maganda na try ko i-areglo at noong nagawa ko, it was supposed to be just a one-time thing until he let his team at GMA Music listen to it and they liked it. And then, they had it made into a single with a music video. Tadhana is actually my first cover single.”

Abby didn’t deny the challenges of coming up with her version of the song. “Tadhana is already a beautiful song and of course, performing for a long time already — both cover and original songs — you can easily tell the acceptance of people in original songs. So when you play a cover song, there’s a bit pressure because it’s always a comparison between original and cover.”

“The first challenge for me was how to do my own take without taking out the essence of the song. At the same time, makuha ko rin ‘yung valor ng sarili kong version,” she said.

Abby, who is also a member of the progressive rock band Fuseboxx, shared that Armi Millare (composer of Tadhana and lead vocalist of UDD) expressed delight over the outcome of her music arrangement for Tadhana.

“I mentioned it to Armi a few days before the release of the song. I told her I used the Chapman Stick. I think natuwa naman s’ya sa nagawa kong music arrangement because she said it (Tadhana) will always mean something to her. It’s also one of my favorite UDD songs.”


Abby is an independent artist, who has been performing in various events for over 20 years. She’s been playing the Chapman Stick for about 12 years already “and I’m still mastering it. There is still so much more that I want to learn because it’s a very flexible music instrument. It’s not just being played in progressive music and new age but also, I’ve been hearing it in pop, classical (songs) for its very natural-sounding (quality). Since it’s electric, you can put effects and you can experiment with its sound.”

She, too, expressed her thanks to AltG for the opportunity to be part of the record label and for having released her first single.

“It’s an accomplishment as well as an opportunity I can’t pass up. Being an independent artist for 20 years, I experienced everything – from composing a song to recording a video to promoting it on social media. Now that I am under AltG, I feel the difference because the (artist’s) reach is wider. There will be more (people) who will get to hear your song. It feels good to hear your song being played on the radio,” offered Abby, who also plays the piano and guitar.

Apart from her debut single, music fans can expect Abby to release in the coming days a series of original songs and another cover song.

“I have a number of hugot (sentimental) songs ready with the use of the Chapman Stick so I’m excited to release all these singles this year,” she concluded.

(Abby’s version of Tadhana is available on all digital streaming platforms worldwide.)

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