On Sunday 21 August the musical composer Chris Becker and bassist Thomas Helton presented an evening of improvised music to silent films in Houston, Texas. The combination of laptop computer, kaoss pad and upright bass was said to be sublime. Musical performances were made to my film ‘25Years‘ alongside films by Noe Kidder, Jonathan Jindra, Robert Thoth, and Pablo Gimenez Zapiola.
Using the popular software program Ableton Live and a large collection of samples musical or otherwise, Becker improvises a soundtrack to each silent film, selecting and layering samples like the pieces of an aural jigsaw puzzle. Although the music for each film begins with a prepared, partially composed “template” of sounds and samples, once the film hits the screen the improvised dialogue between the music and the image begins. No two performances to a film are ever the same.
The main reason we started CuatrOOjos was because of the awesome work we saw online of the Rex Symbol in Barranquilla, Colombia. The Teatro Rex was one of the most important artistic spaces of it’s time. It brought film and theatre to the Colombian coast for over 30 years. After that it completely changed and became one of the biggest porn screening houses of the coast – and that latest for 20 years.
We thought it would be appropriate to make a piece inside the Teatro Rex to thank it for joining Wales and Colombia on our artistic journey. All creatives on the coast know and love the Rex, so we were honored when we were granted access to film a stop motion animation inside it. Oh I haven’t mentioned that The Rex is currently a derelict building which is being used as a parking lot – needless to say it no longer screens films, which is what people loved most about it.
In our dreams we have bought the Rex and will use it as a place to create new collaborative works, screen films, a rehearsal space, a theatre and best of all we would like to use the upstairs rooms as studios and a place to host international residencies. Unfortunately, the Rex is not for sale (the original Director sold it some years ago) and the current owner uses it as a parking lot and there are rumors that it will be made into a shopping mall.
I am thankful I have been able to visit while it still stands with it’s beautiful original columns and as I stepped inside the large empty space I could imagine where the projection screen used to be and the smile on everyone’s face.
Last Sunday we held A Pata Pela’, an event at a local Park: Parque Suri Salcedo, where we invited the public to help us create a piece of art. Colombians love to dance, so we created a large dance floor out of colourful materials, invited people to take their shoes off, dip their feet in paint and dance!
The result is a multi-coloured experiment that leaves traces of Salsa dance moves.
We had a great responses with over 100 people and we’ll display the large pieces on our last event on Thursday 28 July.
Impromptu recording - Played by my brother, Arturo in Miami on a Sunday afternoon in the living room. In a few months we will have a longer recording session, recording complete pieces. But for now, above is a little taster.
One morning just before Arturo was dashing to work, I had a quick interview with him about his music.
Carolina: Hi Arturo, so how long have you been playing the piano?
Arturo: I’ve been playing for 10 years on and off.
C: Cool. So what’s your favourite music to play?
A: My favourite artist is definitely Chopin and my favourite period is the Romantic period. Mozart and Beethoven are are also two great composers, but Chopin beats them.
C: What’s your favourite instrument?
A: My favourite instrument is the piano.
C: I thought you told me yesterday your favourite instrument was the violin?
A: Hahaha. Well I like the piano and the violin.
C: Do you ever play music with other people?
A: Every once in a while a have some friends that come over and we squeeze in some duets on the piano and before we had little jam sessions with someone on the drums, someone on guitar, me on piano, and someone singing.
Fiona’s Night – I’ve just made this audio tidbit for a (tiny) video I’m working on. It’s my first attempt at creating any audio material. I recorded lots of individual sounds and put this together in Soundtrack Pro.
Today I opened a soundcloud account and am pretty excited. I’ll definitely be doing some field recordings and uploading them here.