“Love” a tragic etude

“In visions of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed-
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted…”
Edgar Allan Poe, A Dream

The Method

Usually when I write for theater I begin making the script’s main theme. I read it a couple of times, write down the emotions I get and research all the relevant aspects. A few ideas arrive to my head.

In Love, the main theme evokes a light, carefree mood of innocence. For months it went this way => F-B#-C#-B-G in a 5×8 over F# Major.

Once I got the main theme done I write the main characters’ music and recreate the scenes I found strongest. These steps have helped me cover a big part of the play in relatively short time, even though the rehearsals tend to be a surprise to the composition.

The Concept

Military ChiefFor one of the characters I used the main melody, now with an aggressive and more determined point of view. Mutating the main theme helps giving consistency to the play and linking emotions among scenes. Military Chief 1.mp3

I also wanted to link the music of each character to its representation of power so I could easily decouple them. Military Chief 2.mp3

In Love the image of the play would be far more realistic than I thought on each reading (Three Soldiers.mp3The Reunion.mp3), so I left the written sketches as they were- rough and in some way more tangible. At rehearsals I began working with textures; I began experimenting with sticks inside the piano which increased the tension and emotional contrast of the text.

Love, musically and spontaneously, turned into an etude in the second season after not finding a counterbass and having to adapt the score to solo piano.

The Demo

Main Theme


LoveThe Shows

June 9-11,  2005.
Centro Cultural Corp Group.
CCS, Venezuela

April 28-30, 2006.
Columbia University (Schapiro Theatre)
605 West 115th Street (between Broadway and Riverside)
New York, USA

November 27- December 16, 2006.
Kraine Theater. (LaMaMa E.T.C., in its Annex Theatre at 74A East 4th Street.)
New York, USA.


A Review


Love Poster 1Cast and Crew

Love was conceived and directed by Juan Souki
Aryeh Lappin, K.K. Maggie, Kate LoConti, Melinda Helfrich, Isaac Woofter & William Fenderson / Jeremy Bobb & Gil Bar-Sela

Score by Xavier Losada
Piano: Xavier Losada / Thomas Channel
Stop-motion: Alejandro Armas
Graphic Design: Alex Wright
Video Design: Luber Mujica.
Lighting Design: Bryan Keller
Costume Design: Amelia Dombrowski


Love is probably the play that has given me the most emotion, depletion, introspection, development and at certain moments even frustration – A great experience.


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One Response to ““Love” a tragic etude”

  1. Crime & Punishment « Composing Stories Says:

    […] had one week) and creating textures that impelled the psychological atmosphere of the work – In Love (a tragic etude) I began composing by playing with the piano strings with fingers and sticks to generate certain […]

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