New soundtrack : Mischa Blanos “The Bald Soprano”
The first time that actor and theatre director Alex Bogdan saw Mischa Blanos perform live, he made a mental note: ‘I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but I’m going to work with this artist.’
Bogdan’s production of ‘The Bald Soprano’ (1950), Eugene Ionesco’s groundbreaking ‘anti-play’, provides the fertile ground upon which a meeting of creative minds takes place. Returning to InFiné for his debut theatre soundtrack, Blanos mines the intersection of classical music, minimalism and electronic production that his work has pioneered. An accomplished pianist, composer, producer and innovative live performer, the Romanian-Russian musician combines a wealth of diverse technical experience.
An absurdist exploration of the futility of communication, Ionesco’s play posed unique compositional challenges to Blanos. ‘In order to create this soundtrack, I had to read the entire script like an actor. Composing the soundtrack was not about me or my ego’ he recalls. Working closely on several drafts alongside Bogdan, while observing the play’s production and rehearsal, Blanos utilises harmony and disharmony to mirror the emotional state of Ionesco’s characters, as the communication between them slowly dissolves into abstraction. ‘Music comes from the characters themselves’ Bogdan says of the process. ‘From their inner vortex of feelings.’
Blanos strips his compositional approach to its essentials. While at points reminiscent of his earlier work, as on the brooding and melodic ‘Mrs. and Mr. Smith’, ‘The Bald Soprano’ sees Blanos explore his full compositional range, from the sparse and ominous ‘Introduction’; the meandering, organic and experimental ‘The Martins’; or the rich, glistening, Vangelis-channelling ‘Finale.’ Weaving electronic and instrumental textures seamlessly together, Blanos’ vignettes burst with tension, character and sinuous sonic detail.
About Mischa Blanos
Mischa Blanos is a Romanian-Russian pianist, composer and producer. His pioneering approach draws unique and imaginative lines between the disparate worlds of classical and electronic music. As a composer, he uses his background in electronic music to create organic grooves and unexpected arrangements. Through his Acoustic Electronic project, where instruments are channelled through analogue and digital editing equipment, he creates enchanting interplays between classic instruments, synths and software. For his soundtrack to ‘The Bald Soprano’, which is his fourth appearance on InFiné and follows his album ‘City Jungle’, Blanos strips his sound down to its core, utilising orchestral textures, drones and his own piano to create a series of rich and dramatic atmospheres.
About Alex Bogdan
Alex Bogdan has lived parallel lives in the world of television and theatre. Best known for his appearances as an actor in several popular TV comedies over the last decade, he’s also a critically acclaimed theatre director. A fixture in Bucharest’s creative scene since graduating from the University of Theatre and Film, Bogdan’s past collaborators include Andrei Serban, Maia Morgenstern, Victor Revengiuc, Ion Caramitru, Radu Muntean, Radu Jude and more. His latest production, The Bald Soprano, which was selected by Romania’s National Festival of Theatre, has received popular and critical acclaim, both within and beyond the world of independent theatre.