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Stoking My Own Artistic Fire
The next version of my multimedia show happens on April 22, and it now has a name.
I performed the first iteration of this show last January, but long before it finally happened, I had been quietly daydreaming about how I could pull it off. That show incorporated live performances of my songs with talented musicians, artwork, and short film vignettes projected onto a giant screen. In a sense, these elements were the primordial ooze of what I envision this multimedia show to eventually become—a full-bodied, multi-dimensional expression of my life as a queer immigrant and person of color living in the United States.
This time around, I am mounting it in the performance space at my home in the woods called Sassafras. This setup will allow me to incorporate more integral pieces of this evolving puzzle. Sparkly costuming, a large television screen (instead of projection), a dance number, and a few other whimsical details will be some of the new elements.
Prior to that last show, my band and I were only able to rehearse all of the songs a couple of times. It was a miracle that we pulled off what we did. For this next show, with more rehearsals under our belts, the songs have come into their own with a stylistic flare and percussive power that guitarist Andrew Weitze, drummer Joe Allen, and mandolin player (aka my partner extraordinaire) MaxZine infuse into the music. If nothing else, we will rock the house down, up, and all over the place.
My friend and fellow musician Spiky will play a few songs to open the show. He has a lovely tenor voice and plays the ukulele! (I love any ukulele!) I am thrilled to have him perform. Sweetness fills the room the moment he starts to sing.
This show will reflect my journey through life leading up to the current moment. I have come a long way from being the shy, scrawny little Filipino kid on a tropical island in the middle of the world’s biggest ocean.
More than anything, the practice of building these shows allows me to hone my own expressive language and artistic fire. How can the film vignettes harmonize with the phrasing, musical arrangements, and storytelling in my songs? In what ways can the emotions in my voice ignite every component on the stage? What does each element in both the sonic and visual planes say about who I am and how I see the world?
The answers to these questions might be challenging to find, but I am ready for this unraveling.
Due to the remote location of my home, my nearby community of friends and neighbors will be the primary guests for this upcoming show, but anyone who wishes to join us is welcome. Feel free to respond to this email to request an address and directions. Future plans for the show to be performed in Nashville and anywhere else will be forthcoming.
About the Artwork:
I originally created this poster with a completely different concept in mind, but displayed above is the last of three incarnations. It is an abstract representation of who I am in a style that I developed and abandoned years ago but recently revisited in this design. A previous version of me who haunts me once in a while whispered in my ear and persuaded me to try this style out once again. Perhaps this is a voice I should listen to more often.
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