May 10, 2012

Conversation with Zack Settel, Composer

Snapshot from the production
Zack Settel, Cristian Germán Gort • Photo: Mathieu Dupuis

Montréal, Thursday, May 10, 2012 — The concept of a «road opera» is unusual for this musical style. However, it’s the direction I naturally wanted to take after having read Yan Muckle’s libretto. What interested me in this musical style, was the idea of movement in counterpoint. Because, in this story, we have the exterior world in movement (the landscape passing by) and the interior world (a pilgrimage) which implies transformation. There is also physical movement, and the movement of the spirit. The opposition between these two types of movement is rich and complimentary. In Alexandra, the physical world is rhythmic, charged… as opposed to the exterior world which is out of time.

The development of this opera was nourishing, revitalizing and inspiring. Having been previously in a very technical project before starting to compose this opera, it was like coming back home, in musical writing sense. Because the voice is almost antithetical to the computer. It is without a doubt the first musical instrument. It is a basic instrument, fundamental. Writing for the voice is rich in potential, because it is influenced by the interpretation of the singers.

Today, I feel like it’s Christmas Eve. I’m very excited to see the final result. But I know that a nice surprise is waiting for me.

Chants Libres

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