“…A MIRACLE, A REASON TO RECONNECT AND RETURN.”
I started working with Luis during quarantine. He invited me to join a new project where he gathered different composers/lyricists and experimented with how each artist interpreted a prompt. It was truly magical, everything was uncertain but we kept showing up to be together, channeling our murky surroundings into art. We found ourselves in a virtual room where the profundity of sitting with questions was more important than any answer, where our artistic need was to listen to our own spiritual ruptures.
We artists are always looking for the drama, we love the drama, but all of the sudden, we found ourselves with the question – what if we embark on a journey where the crisis happens through nature, softness, patience, wisdom?
Luis exploited preconceived ideas of form and language in our attempt to reach the subconscious and spiritual truth of the piece. In this process, neither words nor form guided us; rather, their job was to live up to our spiritual truth, the music, the subconscious, the body’s way of expression. Luis invited us to reach for something bigger than all of us, to explore something that went beyond, to attempt to unveil the intensity of our multicultural communities, to embrace the mess and entanglement of the “universal” and the “modern”. This space gave us the liberty to water this artistic seed, not knowing what it was going to turn into, which didn’t matter because each movement and idea evoked a kernel of a miracle, a reason to reconnect and return.
Something that I am really grateful for Luis, is that he embraced and infused in the story the culture of each collaborator seamlessly. Personally, because I was raised in four countries and in three languages, stories of mixed origins are my subconscious viewpoint, and rarely there is room to express all of them at the same time, where they can shine and be messy in their context. Luis allowed and celebrated all of our voices which elevated the work in the most unique way.
Another incredible gift was that through this project I reconnected with Marina Pires, one of the most brilliant artists I know and admire. We started working on a new musical called EXI(S)T. In the same spiritual process Luis took us in, we are daring to tell a story that is very personal to us and explore our communities through a multitude of genres and ways of expression to truthfully represent the characters and all the cultures that are part of them.
It’s all connected, we are all connected. One of the greatest gifts I could have received is to work with artists to model myself after, to keep learning, reinventing, adapting, to find community. This experience, these incredible collaborators have been lighthouses of inspiration. Thank you, Luis and Heather – all my admiration and gratitude to both of you.