The Grounds of Alexandria: not quite a review

Just by looking at this signage, I already knew that I was going to enter something special and out of the ordinary.

The title’s said it. This is not a resto review, or an Urban Spoon entry. I almost did not share this on the Artiste, but because of this place’s “unspeakable wonder”, I thought I’d put something up about it anyway.

Came here on a pretty extraordinary Friday, not to mention it was the first (and maybe the only?) Friday the 13th of the year. I had a very fun and reflective time with a very good friend and Ate, Ate Aileen. We thought we’d call it a “pre-valentines Fri-date”!

You might notice that I did not (or was not able to) take enough photos of the place, simply because I was literally awestruck I was almost gawking the entire time. It’s like everywhere I looked, there’s something flabbergasting to appreciate. Also, I don’t think I can write enough about it so I decided to simply share with you a few photos I took when I was there.

I am so not over this place. I’m definitely coming back.

Rie Manaloto

Just Another Rehearsal Day

Loads of fun and brainwork at rehearsal. Man, how time flies! We are only a couple of weeks away from performance day. We were too diligent to be in uni rehearsing during the intra-session break. How good it actually made us feel! Ha-ha!

Photo session! Simply 'cause we need it for the blog! Ha-ha!

Photo session! Simply ’cause we need it for the blog! Ha-ha!

Looking over the overall impact and quality of the performance, the team had to consider the helpful suggestions and insights put forth by the people in our class during the workshop. It was kind of thrilling to try out some new things and to tweak some parts a bit so it would create a better effect. We know that there is still a lot to engineer in terms of structure, dynamics and overall impact. We have scheduled our last filming day (plus general rehearsal) next Friday to continue to polish and memorise our parts.

We can never let a day pass without photobooth-ing. We believe in the saying that "Crazy is creative."

We can never let a day pass without photobooth-ing. We believe in the saying that “Crazy is creative.”

One of the highlights of this day was actually lunchtime! Funny how we had our “lunch break” first, before actually rehearsing. We also discovered that our Amabelle is a great cook! Her thoughtfulness is as sumptuous as the very special homemade lasagne she prepared for us. It’s definitely saying hello to truckloads of kilocals to burn! Nevertheless, it was just so finger-licking good and we had quite an amazing time!

How could lasagne taste this good! And there is one word to describe it: heavenly. Quoted from Gerielle.

How could lasagne taste this good! And there is one word to describe it: heavenly. Quoted from Gerielle.

 

 

R.

Worskhop Day

Finally, the day of our workshop presentation has come into full view. The day was scheduled for presenting a substantial portion of our work in progress. Definitely, a nerve-racking one. The team, I must say, was well prepared, and pretty much presented 80 percent of the overall project. The first part comprised the first two minutes of the film, still not scored (because we’re opening doors for suggestions, insightful ideas, etc from the class). The second bit was the skit and live music in which all the action took place!

Setting up the stage a few hours before the workshop. We were literally chasing after the tech guy to grab the equipment we needed. Our stage setup only mounts a table, four chairs and many different objects on the table to be able to produce sounds.

The performance gained a combination of really complimentable, helpful and hypercritical feedback(s). All in all, these comments surely have stirred up our brains and helped us improve our present material. There were really interesting stuff some people have pointed up, like the use of a can of Pringles as an instrument. Quite cool, huh? Oh, well. We’re hoping to finish everything not less than a couple of weeks before performance day.

 

R.

I Think It’s a Dry Run

We are now really getting so close to the workshop day! It is our second rehearsal day (or probably the last of the most comfortable ones) and we finally got to deliberate clearly and profusely the things that we will be carrying out in the next few days through the workshop day. We have all come in to create, conceptualise, strategise, brainstorm and plan what to present on Thursday. Everyone’s role for the performance is defined as well, because it is one of the ‘confronting’ questions that is normally asked by the lecturer. And I am just so happy to be in a group that is dynamic, proactive and creative to a great extent. Hallelu, sistah!

We just sat down and pressed on with the material for almost four hours straight! It was heaps fun, however thoroughly exhausting! Going above and beyond!

We just sat down and pressed on with the material for almost four hours straight! It was heaps fun, however thoroughly exhausting! Going above and beyond!

The live performance is partly improvised, partly structured. We love improvisation! I personally think that it is an extremely creative process that all musicians (and all other artists of any kind) need to learn and master. It is where your mind’s biological sense of imagination and spontaneity are unfettered and you get lost in the material. Improvisation for me is an enormous part of what makes a musical performance supremely special. I think it is the lifeblood of music.

The team has not come up with a title for the group’s performance, although ideas and insights are being raised. Hopefully it’ll sound as cool as how the production will look and sound like. What we got to do now is to just memorise our parts and take it all to heart so it will come out natural and real.

Image

And may I just say that this is the icing on the cake for me after the this long, productive day! I have always been grateful for Japanese connections who are extremely generous and gracious! I am beyond pacified.

R.

Day 2 on the set

Second day of filming! Happy to say that so far almost 80% of the filmic material is finished and ready to undergo editing. Today, the group also went hard out in planning the next few stages of the overall project–creating, conceptualising, strategising, brainstorming, planning, planning and more planning! So far so good!

Image

Some amount of seriousness is required in this kind of situation. And we all can deliver very well.

 

Image

However, it is neat to say that these ladies are just nuts! The fun keeps us “alive, awake, alert (and) enthusiastic”! It didn’t feel like we’re working ’cause we’re definitely having lots of fun. Getting ready for another two hours of shooting and many retakes!

 

Workshop is in less than two weeks so the group is pressured to come up with something really favourable at this stage. And while currently there are too many tasks to accomplish in such short time, everyone is just keen to collaborate and stretch forth his/her most creative prowess to have a shot at success.

Image

A peek of what was captured today. Mary’s probably sick of wearing her “costume”. This is the second Friday she’s worn them.

 

Image

A peek of the scene in the MIDI Lab. Really, who hasn’t used the MIDIs in his entire music life in the campus?

 

Another day for filming may be scheduled in the following week. But for the most part of it, right now the group is delving much more into the components of the live performance. Surely again, we definitely  need some kind of divine inspiration to make this stuff work!

R.