Cal Poly's RXVP XIX: 'Vox Balaena' Transmedia Concert
The Cal Poly Music Department student production ensemble RSVP will stage “RSVP XIX: Vox Balaena” at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, June 3 and 5, in the Performing Arts Center Pavilion.
This marks the 19th season of this transmedia series celebrating electroacoustic diversity and compositional risk. Transmedia refers to storytelling in the digital age, weaving together separate plot threads by way of traditional and new media outlets.
Inspired by the great life, great plight, great size, and great songs of humpback whales, this year’s production takes the audience on a visual, sonic, introspective tour of these mammals and humankind’s relationship to them.
“This year’s production is in four movements: the first taking a historical view of whales, the second speculating a view from the whales’ perspective, the third addressing the horrors of whaling, and the fourth suggesting a future relationship of humankind with other citizens of the planet,” said Antonio Barata, RSVP artistic director. “The characters, the music, and even the titles of individual musical pieces in the show point to something more profound than just ‘save the whales’ or ‘whales are fascinating.’”
The show exhibits a wide variety of musical styles and also involves dance and video projections. Much of the background material for the show came from some of the world’s foremost whale researchers. Iain Kerr of Ocean Alliance sent Barata up-close photographs and famous recordings by Roger Payne, founder of Ocean Alliance.
Nan Hauser of Whale Research provided stunning video, personal recordings and photos of whales around the Cook Islands. “I hope their charity in supporting our efforts in this production will be met with heightened interest in whales, our oceans’ health, and perhaps even audience support of these researchers’ efforts,” Barata said.
The music, lyrics, stage design, acting and singing combine the creative talent of students in Barata’s Sound Design courses and Introduction to Music Theory class, as well as students from across the university.