Skip to main content
KPBS arts banner graphic


SPONSORSHIP | Become a sponsor today!

'Harawi' By Olivier Messiaen: Live


  • WHEN Friday, May 28, 2021 at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 2 p.m.
  • WHERE Virtual / The Front Arte Cultura
    Map | Website
  • AGES Not available
  • COST $10 - $20

Contemporary and experimental performance group Project [BLANK] will pair the work of San Diego-based video artist Anna Chiaretta Lavatelli with Olivier Messiaen's composition for solo female voice and piano. "Harawi" itself pairs ideas of non-western language, particularly Quechua from the Andes mountains, with the story of Wagner's "Tristain und Isolde." More pairings: the always enchanting voice of Leslie Ann Leytham with Brandon Nguyen's piano — the cofounders of Project [BLANK]. Lavatelli's video work and the sets being built in the Front gallery space promise for an evocative and unsettling visual experience, too. The program notes describe it as "an acid trip in a far-too-in-love teenager's bedroom." Performed live, but streamed online for audiences.

Details: Friday, May 28 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 30 at 2 p.m. Online. $10.
--Julia Dixon Evans, KPBS

From the organizers:
"Harawi" by Olivier Messiaen

Anna Chiaretta Lavatelli, Video Artist
Leslie Ann Leytham, Mezzo-Soprano
Brendan Nguyen, Pianist

Performed live at The Front Arte Cultura Gallery in San Ysidro.

About 'Harawi':
Combining his own symbolist poetry and elements of Quechua, an indigenous language spoken by Quechuan peoples living primarily in the Andes mountains of Peru, Messiaen weaves together his lifelong fascination with non-western language and Wagner's representation of love-death in Tristan und Isolde. The narrative is driven by representative imagery—eyes, stars, mountains, green doves—layered with color and poetic device on a path to illuminate a bloody cosmic death in order to unite the souls of two young lovers. While the structure is representative and intensely dramatic, video will not echo but counterpoint the emphatically rendered drama of darkness and light, the representative and the abstract—it will layer in elements of the mundane. Applying the dramatic narrative to our existing tensions between the urban and the natural, through the surreal suburban. Merely touching on elements of the represented, employed to construct the cosmic within the hyper-local surreal, an acid trip in a far-too-in-love teenager’s bedroom.

Xavier Vasquez, Live Broadcast/Video Engineer

Joe Cantrell, Live Audio Engineer

Performances are streamed virtually, live: Friday, May 28 at 7:00 p.m. (PST) and Sunday, May 30 at 2:00 p.m. (PST)

Dates and times of events are subject to change without notice. Always check the event organizer's website for the most updated schedule before attending. Check local COVID-19 restrictions and updates.

SPONSORSHIP | Become a sponsor today!