On Ontology, Ideas, and Collaboration

Lighting and multi-media designer, Tláloc López-Watermann reflects on the process of collaboration.

It often happens, when I am working on a show, the themes of that show, even without being completely conscious to me, become themes in my own thinking while on the project. In that spirit, I write this post, borrowing from our overstimulated rooster with ontological musings.

The chicken and the egg.
The concept and the reality.
The intention and the reaction.
The composer and the director and the designer and the vocalist and the instrumentalist.
The idea and the creation.
The process and the product.
Creating art and supporting art makers.
Which came first?
I find myself regularly wondering if any given ideas…
are possible…
work for the show…
Who had that idea, where was it, and when was it, the point of nascence for any given idea?
How many ideas are there and what do they mean.
Does the detritus of our ideas add up to the layers of our suffocation?

As a lighting and projection designer, there is a danger of intertwining my ideas too late in process. I find the most rewarding and fascinating aspect of the my job are the collaborators that I get to work with such a wonderful creative team Julia Noulin-Mérat (Scenery), Annie Simon (Clothes), and Sarah Myers (our fearless leader). A production becomes the sum of all of the input of various people working on the piece. In opera we always collaborate with the composer even if they lived and died many years before. In the case of Guerilla Opera though, we are blessed to have a present and living composer that provides us their work to respond to, and knead and form and poke and prod and peck into a, hopefully, evocative, interesting, and poignant moment of live performance. The collaboration with ALL involved, starts to crystallize the opera from the pages of the libretto and score into the movement, emotion, story and experience of a live piece of performance, theater, opera, happening, event or experience. The ideas of each member of the team bounce back and forth as if in a particle accelerator and will then, in turn dislodge ideas in the mind of the director which, when expressed, dislodge other ideas in the composer, and so on. In this way the process lives, breaths, undulates. The process of design meetings, staging rehearsal, tech rehearsal dress rehearsal begins dislodging ideas in the everyones mind. And the circular project continues.

The egg is nothing without the chicken, and chicken, is nothing without the egg.

Gallo is Tláloc López-Watermann third production with Guerilla Opera. He is a lighting and multi-media designer, and is the founder of a lighting and video design company called Light Conversations LLC.

Gallo live streams tonight FREE, 8pm EST at https://new.livestream.com/guerillaopera/gallo!

Live performances play Thursday-Saturday, May 22-24 and Thursday and Friday, 29-30, 2014 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 31 at 2 p.m. with talk-backs on Friday, May 23 and Saturday, May 24. All performances are in The Zack Box at The Boston Conservatory, 8 The Fenway, Boston, MA. Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 seniors and free for students with valid IDs; tickets can be purchased from The Boston Conservatory Box Office beginning Monday, May 12, 2014. Please visit www.bostonconservatory.edu/tickets or call (617) 912-9222 for more Box Office information. Gallo is sung in English and 70 minutes in duration.

**The audience will be asked to remove their shoes before they enter the theater and invited to lie down during a portion of the performance. Please let The Box Office know if you require special assistance.**

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