Goya collaborates with ŻfinMalta for Paolo Mangiola's On Reefs and Eroded Lands We Danced

Goya: A long distance collaboration with ŻfinMalta

ON THE 21st, 22nd AND 23rd OCTOBER 2022, ŻFINMALTA PREMIERES ‘ON REEFS AND ERODED LAND WE DANCED’ BY PAOLO MANGIOLA, AT VALLETTA CAMPUS THEATRE

 

 Abhishek Sekhri (Goya), composer of ŻfinMalta’s On Reefs and Eroded Lands we Danced, spoke to us about his artistic process, and the experience of composing for dance, all the way from New Dheli.

Tell us about yourself  and who you are as an artist

I am Abhishek, a music composer, mix engineer and founder of New Delhi based Kintsugi Studios. Goya is my independent music project, a space where I get to express, emote and tell a story using sound as a medium. Although music is an auditory form of expression, for me it is very visual. I can almost always visualize a sound, a story, a photograph or a scene in my mind when I am composing and vice-versa – when I see a visual or a photograph or hear a brief about a concept it inspires me to think of soundscapes that can work with it. The project with ŻfinMalta was exemplary of this.

“What is fascinating is that this project exemplifies the coming together of artists from two different parts of the world, and the thread connecting them being the ‘art’ and nothing else. That is the power of art, I believe.”

How did your collaboration with Paolo Mangiola come about for this production?

Paolo Mangiola, the artistic director of ŻfinMalta contacted me back in the first week of January 2022 on instagram saying that he’d heard one of my tracks ‘Toska’ on Spotify, and that he liked it very much and would like to commission me for his upcoming choreographic creation. I was elated by his message and we scheduled a zoom call over the following week, where he shared a lot of musical and sound references with me, and I shared more of my music with him.

Goya's collaboration with ŻfinMalta for On Reefs and Eroded Lands We Danced

During the start of the project, Paolo shared with me the concept of the creation ‘On Reefs and Eroded Lands, We Danced’ and also a mood board with photographs expressing the concept, the feel, and the elements in the show. For me, the mood board expressed concepts of the end of the world as we know it, survival, destruction and hope, and the creation of a world where values and ethics are re-imagined for a sustainable future.

The choreographic work and the musical score signify the following stages of life as a cycle :

Growth

Interaction

Reproduction

Death

Decomposition

This was my main inspiration for the start of the project. I wanted to create a world of soundscape that will not be in the forefront of the choreographic creation, but form a vessel for the dancers. The idea was to leave enough “space” in the music for the dancers to move freely.

How was your experience of creating music for dance?
Paolo helped me a lot in this process by staying open at every stage and providing me the safe creative space to be able to compose freely and encouraging me to experiment. More importantly, he pushed me to break the rules of music making to create a work that is truly unique – a rarity when it comes to commissioning score work. I think he is a fantastic director!
What is fascinating is that this project exemplifies the coming together of artists from two different parts of the world, and the thread connecting them being the ‘art’ and nothing else. That is the power of art, I believe.
The final show will be a marriage of the dance, the music, the story behind the performance, the lights and the visuals. Anyone who is in Malta should witness the creation from 21st to 23rd October!

This project with ZfinMalta has been one of the most growth inspiring and fulfilling projects in my career. And I hope to collaborate with the Dance Company again in future!

Watch James Vernon’s trailer for ‘On Reefs and Eroded Lands We Danced’