Archive for the ‘Theater’ Category

Shofar / Road to Otherness – live

February 21, 2012

October 6, 2011
Centro cultural BOD-Corp Banca
Caracas, Venezuela

Percussion & Piano: Gerry Weil
Percussion & Drums: David Marcano
Percusión & Bass: Ricardo Martínez
Mandolin & Guitar: Dacio Medrano
Guitar & Piano: Xavier Losada

Recording engineer: Marcel Fernández
Video: Raúl Colmenares
Audio engineer: Eder Soto
Stage Manager: Tyrone Vera
Stage Lighting: Tirso Machado
Scenery: Soluciones Arquimad

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…as a whole-life-rite I walked into my room, took my needle; smiled once again at Sabato’s volume and left for the kitchen.
What hurt me the most was not being able to look at my baby anymore.

The Hypothesis

We think in the future. We think in the past – remember. I believe the changes of frequency and intensity of this notion makes us different from moment to moment.

Today, as I walk, I glance at the future more than the past. For this reason I made an hypothesis of life – my vision of life (See diagram below)

Visión XL

As we grow up our vision of the future increases, we tend to look back less, until a certain point when the past regains importance. Suddenly – maybe gradually – our thoughts decline. With death they reach infinity.

I took my hypothesis to Gerry Weil (Pianist and mentor) and asked him to make his own:

Visión GW

Interesting.

Our eyes, our rites, your room and rest, On Heroes and Tombs, Gerry and I are changing with everything that can be remembered, looked upon and unexpected.

Initial Vision

“While the road to otherness doesn’t stop being heard, I wake up with a normal day, trying not to think of some things and after thinking them I continue to follow my road.

Impatient to reach the line, sometimes I try to speed-up my steps. I’ll never know If my effort is in vain. I’ll always be another.

I love to look at the way back, even though I know there isn´t one. I can imagine the long travelled distances and the beginning seems so far… when it is so close.”

Background

Based on the book El camino de la alteridad (The road of otherness) by Antonio López Ortega is part of Escritorio (Track #6) and was part of a compilation of rock music in Venezuela by Gozadera Records.

What’s your hypothesis?

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“Love” a tragic etude

May 7, 2008

“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

Love.mp3

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.

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A Review

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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

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

The Little Prince

June 24, 2007

Based on Saint-Exupery’s novel and under the direction of Verónica Osorio, this show was presented by Skena in June and October 2006 in the theater of the Champagnat School, CCS

The Music, The Drawings & The Book

The Little Prince


The Small Person    The Little Prince

“I jumped to my feet, completely thunderstruck. I blinked my eyes hard. I looked carefully all around me. And I saw a most extraordinary small person, who stood there examining me with great seriousness.”

Listen clipThe Little Prince.mp3


The Baobabs

“I do not much like to take the tone of a moralist. But the danger of the baobabs is so little understood, and such considerable risks would be run by anyone who might get lost on an asteroid, that for once I am breaking through my reserve. ‘Children,’ I say plainly, ‘watch out for the baobabs!'”

Listen clipBaobabs.mp3

Baobabs

Serpent The Serpent

“When the little prince arrived on the Earth, he was very much surprised not to see any people. He was beginning to be afraid he had come to the wrong planet, when a coil of gold, the color of the moonlight, flashed across the sand.”

Listen clipSerpent.mp3


The Rose

“Then one morning, exactly at sunrise, she suddenly showed herself.”

Listen clipThe Rose.mp3

The Rose

…The Fox

The Fox

“It has done me good,” said the fox, “because of the color of the wheat fields.”

Listen clipThe Fox.mp3

Quotes & Drawings are extracted from the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Show

Verónica Osorio: Adaptation & Direction

Original Score by Xavier Losada

Carmen Viloria: Piano

Set Design: Carlos Agell

Costume Design: María Esperanza Videtta

Black Theater Design: Gustavo Ferrero

Production: Prakriti Maduro, Alexandra Solórzano y Armando Álvarez

Crime & Punishment

April 24, 2007

Based on Dostoevsky’s novel and under the direction of Juan Souki, this show was presented by Columbia Stages between March 7th and 10th 2007 in the theater of the Riverside Church, NYC

The Music

Composed between October 2006 and March 2007 initially for piano and Cello, then adapted for piano only.

In Crime and Punishment (C&P), like in the rest of my theater compositions, music is played live. This makes the actors and the public part of the score. It becomes richer show after show, maturing in each spectacle.

Every text and play raise a new challenge. This time I believe it was about writing in excess in order to diminish the need to compose at rehearsals (I only 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 atmospheres. In Crime & Punishment I return to these elements now adding plastic woods and a loopstation.

I wrote the base of the main theme while in NYC during the presentation of Love at the Shapiro Theatre. Months later, when C&P became official, I started rereading the classic and began thinking about which instruments I should use. Cello and piano seemed ideal. I went back to what I wrote months before and completed it with the cello, now playing the main melody of the work. It sounded like this:

Listen clipC&P Main Theme.mp3

As I fell lost into the book I wrote ideas, emphasized emotions and translated them into the piano. At the beginning, as in the main theme, the ideas were always strong but soon they went calm, arriving to the second more important theme of the work, Sonya and Rodya’s theme. For sometime I had wanted to write a song of pitiful love, a love somehow always lost. Phrases like “It is necessary that every man have at least somewhere to go” were key in the theme (I consider it a key phrase in the whole novel). This is the way it went when I put it into the piano:

Listen clipSonia+Raskolnikov.mp3

Shortly before departing to NYC it became clear that we were not going to use the cello. The only theme that worried me was the main one. I would need at least one more hand to be able to do it on the piano.

Days later I would leave some ideas behind and reinforce others.

At the rehearsals I began using the loopstation instead of Listen clipdistortion and Listen clipdelay. The result was excellent. Now I can’t find a better way to represent that intense memory of childhood conveyed by taverns, horses, drunkards, and Rodya and his father. Every day I would record loops live onstage, building them little by little. Here is the first of them:

Listen clipIntense Memory.mp3

As with every incidental music, there are moments when the notes try to reach the surface and speak by themselves and there are others when they submerge behind the rest of the elements to maintain and increase the strength of the moment, like a great mass, without shades:

Listen clipAtm 1.mp3

Finally I adapted the main theme to three hands. Rodya would accompany me on it.

After one week of rehearsals, five shows and months of composition, the score finally seems to rest.

Listen clipCrime & Punishment (II).mp3

C&P Corcho

The Cast & Crew

 

Billy Fenderson as Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov

Miguel Govea as Porfiry Petrovich

Melinda Helfrich as Sonya

Original novel by Dostoevsky

 

Concept and creation by Juan Souki

Original Score by Xavier Losada

Set Design by Jian Jung

Costume Design by Arnulfo Maldonado

Lighting Design by Lucrecia Briceño

Sound design by Marcelo Añez

Video Design by Daniel Roversi

Video Animation & Motion Graphics by Luber Mujica

Graphic Design by Carlos Angulo López

General Manager: Amy Wolf

Production Stage Manager: Heather Schings

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