Music and Choreography — Basic Synetic

I’ll make sure to have an interview with the Man Himself, Mr. Konstantine Lortkipanidze (lort-kee-pah-need-zay) in a future post, but I thought it would simply be worthwhile to put up a post answering the inevitable question “how do you create the music?” and it’s accompanying cousin “which comes first, choreography or music?”

The organic, unified way the music, the movement, and the acting work together was one of the first things I noticed when I saw my first Synetic show. Since Konstantine (Koki for short) arrived in the US as our resident composer, things have gotten even more integrated. I’ll try to answer the questions as my experience fits, and we’ll have a later interview that might go into a bit more detail.

Rafael Javadov in "Carmen" (photo credit Raymond Gneiwek)

Rafael Javadov in "Carmen" (photo credit Raymond Gneiwek)

“How do you create the music?”

About 90% of our soundtracks are created by Koki, who arranges them electronically.  The other 10% tends to be found music that Koki integrates into his own work. When live music is involved, as in the case of Carmen and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Konstantin works with the musicians in a similar manner to the work we do with our actors – a basis of sound is improvised upon, ideas are discovered, recorded and repeated, with a final product being the result of a lot of creative play. This process (like the actor-rehearsal process) is more comparable to the process of a rock band improvising with tunes rather than an orchestra rehearsing a written piece – each individual has a significant amount of input, with a couple of strong personalities acting as guiding forces.

“Which comes first, choreography or music?”

The correct answer is “YES.”

This means that they happen together. There’s a lot of work to be done in the process, as choreography is laid over one piece of music, a demo, which is then observed by Koki who will create a new piece for the scene, which is then reworked to explore the options in the music…and that’s only the beginning of ONE way of Synetic approaching a scene. The back and forth between the movement and the music is strenuous and continuous to the point at which it is impossible to say which defines the other. Only one thing is certain – everyone demands excellence out of everyone else, nothing less than excellence.

Personally, that’s the thing that has always struck me the most about the process of working in Synetic. It is a given that the individual artist strives for excellence. It is not stated, it is not a spoken or written rule, there is simply an atmosphere of collaborative quality that is the status quo. Things go wrong, problems arise, and conflict is definitely present, but all towards the end of making something magical happen. It is quite the experience.

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~ by synetictheater on August 3, 2009.

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