MANILA — A signature tune of Lea Salonga since its release in 1993, “The Journey” is a familiar tune to many Filipinos and even to fans of the Broadway star overseas.
Now, the tune about hope and resilience — fitting for these challenging times — sounds brand-new again, with a fresh arrangement by composer Joed Balsamo.
Its most notable change from the original, written by Julie Gold, is the time signature of 6/8.
Balsamo shared his arrangement of “The Journey,” with Salonga performing, through a Facebook video on Tuesday.
The rendition was first shown in October, during a virtual concert of singer Gerald Santos, where Salonga was among the guests. Balsamo was the musical director, arranger, and pianist for that event.
“I rearranged all songs so when the time came to do Lea’s number, at first I was hesitant on what to do before the idea of turning it to 6/8 came to mind,” Balsamo recalled in his Facebook post.
“Later, I was concerned if there was still enough time for her to sing it this way since she's used to singing that song countless times.
“Good thing,” Balsamo said, “she was game and excited even if I added surprises in the bridge and ending.”
Over her countless concerts dating back to the ‘90s, Salonga would frequently include “The Journey” in her repertoire, making it her signature song alongside her Broadway and West End pieces.
For reference, here’s Salonga performing “The Journey” during her “Magandang Buhay” guesting in 2018:
The new arrangement from Balsamo, as of writing, has fetched nearly 2,000 reactions, as it started making the rounds on Facebook.
Salonga’s brother and frequent collaborator, musical director Gerard Salonga, was among those who lauded the imaginative take on “The Journey.”
“Galing galing naman!” Gerard commented, with a heart emoji.
“I’m just glad to put a smile on everyone’s faces (and ears) with this work,” Balsamo said. “Salamat sa inyong mainit na pagtanggap at pagbati.”