Telling The Real Stories

Solo cello performance starts creative arts series

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Photo by Erica Riley.
Photo by Erica Riley.

Pablo Mahave-Veglia gave a solo cello performance on his last day of residency with students to open the 2015 creative arts series Wednesday.

The Fuller Residency Program made it possible for Mahave-Veglia to do the residency with SCSU students from the music department that took place from Sept. 6 to 9.

According to professor of percussion studies at SCSU, Dr. Terry Vermillion, former professor Stephan Fuller was the conductor for the concert choir for 19 years before he retired in 2010. He died from cancer last February. To preserve his legacy, the Fuller Residency Program was created.

The performing arts center recital hall was a comfortable atmosphere for the concert. To start the performance, Mohave-Veglia explained why this performance was unlike any other.

“I like to work with parts that are indifferent to each other, the wonder of technology that keeps it all together. I focus on music that isn’t practical, like doing a video with a string quartet,” Mohave-Veglia said. He also said that historically it was unheard of to do a solo cello performance, since it’s typically challenging to hit multiple chords at once.

In order to work around this Mohave-Veglia used technology to record himself playing different bars and played it along with his live performance to produce a well-rounded symphony effect.

Mohave-Veglia played the cello while the short film Duaidad para Uno by Pedro Ayala played behind him. Watching the performance brought a real sense of how the cello added a different dynamic to the bouncing colors that were projected on the screen.

For his next piece, Mohave-Veglia played a gallery of paintings by Robert Muczynski (1929- 2010), that were projected behind him on stage. Each painting had a different mood and the cello emphasized that.

Mahave-Vegila detailed how this type of performance has been done before, but that reason is what inspired him to push the limits in his next piece, which was Steam for violin and cello, a virtual duet with Linda Bahn, a previously filmed violinist.

Mahave-Vegila went on to say that Bahn was very shocked at the idea, because something like this hasn’t been done before. It was filmed only three bars at a time, so she couldn’t see how this was going to be a fluid performance.

Mahave-Vegila had edited the footage together and showed it behind him on stage while he was performing with her.

Richard Greenstreet, a violin student of Marian Judish, said, “The performance was quite interesting and more than I expected. The use of the cello, along with the pre-recorded sound added texture and complexity, especially the film.”

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