Sonatonga, Roberto Valera and for our cinema

“If the Cuban army marched at the pace of the conga, it would be invincible,” with these words, maestro Roberto Valera began his table work with director Pablo Massip a few months ago, as part of the process leading up to the shooting of the film. video clip. sonatongpresented during the day on National Culture Day last year.

Understanding the meaningful union of sonata and conga was only the first step, because although it is difficult to “translate” concert music into images, this process is perhaps even more difficult if you add to this that the director of Almar Producciones also wanted to pay tribute to him, except moreover, world cinema and, especially, Cuban cinema.

“Valera is an important figure in Cuban culture, the vanguard of modern music and film history in our country. This audiovisual material should – and so I thought – pay off many debts, and for this reason it turned out to be the most difficult of the three video clips commissioned by the National Center for Concert Music.

“Then in it we find hints of Pages from the diary of José MartiTo i am cubanTo Battleship PotemkinTo exquisite (Walt Disney), as well as a historical episode for our country, when eight horsemen recall that victory of the Mambises after they were ambushed by Spanish troops while bathing their horses in the river.

“We have been working on Valera’s vision for the music he wants to accompany the march of our army, and we have succeeded in getting the Cuban modern dancers to participate and embrace his feelings. We were accompanied by the musicians of the National Symphony Orchestra, and we thank them for performing the work, dressed in such a way that in the post-production process we were able to achieve an “invisible” orchestra conducted by the Maestro, ”comments Massip.

It was a challenge,” explains Valera, who has a commendable experience as a music consultant at ICAIC, as well as his work as a composer of soundtracks for documentaries and films of our cinema. “My work is 12 minutes long, and I had to choose a fragment, because it is most recommended for a video clip: so that the musical theme is shorter.

“The sonata is a form that gives us the opportunity to be contrasts, a “struggle” between musical ideas, and here it contrasts precisely with the conga, the habanero style and a little bit with Santiago. It’s a difficult piece to interpret, but one that I felt very comfortable translating into audiovisual language.”

Filming took place over five days, three of which took place in the Covarrubias room of the National Theater of Cuba, and the rest on a farm on the outskirts of the capital and on the steps of the University of Havana. sonatong He counted on the staging and guiding assistance of this reporter in the direction of photography with Toussaint Ávila; with Daniel Diez Jr. in editing and with RemachEstudio in post-production.

Source: Juventud Rebelde


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