My name is Manuel Jesús Sánchez García and I'm a composer. In 2003 I started playing organ at the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist in Chiclana (Cádiz, Spain). From the organ I could discover some quite hidden corners of the church.
By that time I was starting my first compositional try-outs. There the idea of a special piece made for that space started to get a shape. For that same space, with that same organ.
From 2009 I started to fill notebooks with sketches and annotations. I've always find very hard to start the process of fixing a musical piece in a more or less definitive way. I just needed to find the right occasion to push me.
This year 2014 holds the second centennial from the consecration of the Major Church of St. John the Baptist in Chiclana (Cádiz, Spain)
The 23rd of June 1814 the temple, provisionally finished, was dedicated to the Holy Patron of the town, the first Mass to be celebrated by Magistral Cabrera. Two hundred years later, the town celebrates this symbolic renaissance, and we, a little team of artist, want to colaborate in our special way.
An oratorium for soloists actor and actress, instrumental ensemble and two choirs, that takes advantage in a very special way of the whole space of St. John's Church. An existing, fully prepared space, with unique and exceptional acoustic conditions, that offers a visual and sonic experience totally new to the prople in Chiclana.
The piece focuses on Saint John the Baptist. A key character not only for christians and the christian folk culture, but as well a key character for the muslims and many other traditions. "Baptista" takes some texts from the Bible and the Quran as a starting point for a personal reflection on the figure of the last prophet of christianity.
Ideas such as identity formation, accomplishing an inculcated mission and giving away a position of influence make John the Baptist a highly interesting character. His presence in the traditional calendar as associated to summer solstice (the ceding sun) contributes with an extra perspective on this polyhedrical figure.
WHO ARE WE
The production team of "Baptista, vel solis cedens" are the composer Manuel J. Sánchez García, graphical artist Kry García, the filmmaker and editor José Prada, Mario Benítez, Zoraida Casas, Victor Tofan and Jane Keith.
The performers will be the actor Mario Benítez as Juan/Ioannes/Yehochanan, the actress Zoraida Casas as Sibylla, the ensemble Versión Vocal and a collaborative choir specially founded for this project, all of them accompained by the Zahir Ensemble and conducted by Juan García Rodríguez.
The premiere and only planned performance will take place the 24th of June at 21:30.
WHAT DOES BAPTISTA MEAN TO US
For me, personally, the project means the materialization of an idea I have been increasingly working in for five years. It's something very special and I'm very excited about it.
The project concentrates the hopes and efforts of an increasing group of people. At the same time, it permits the development of an unique and innovative project in one of the most special architectural spaces of the province of Cádiz.
We consider this kind of art, often considered as "ellitist", should be accessible to everyone. That's why, for this time, we have offered free entrance to the concert.
Help us to make our idea come true.
WHAT WILL WE USE YOUR PLEDGES FOR?
The pledges will be dedicated to pay the performers, pay for the live recording of the concert, pay the platform and produce and send the rewards.
AN EXCLUSIVE BINAURAL RECORDING
Can't attend the performance? Then sit virtually in the middle of the audience. As essential is the spatial component in hearing "Baptista, vel solis cedens", we want to release, together with the stereo recording, a binaural recording so that with only a pair of headphones you'll feel yourself in the middle of the experience, and listen to all the sounds around you.
If you feel interested about any of the highest pledges, don't hesitate: trust the power of collaboration!. Gather together a group of friends and family. The piece commissioned will be collective, and more people will attend to the private concert.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE SURPASS OUR OBJECTIVE?
The production costs are high, since we didn't want to give up the the quality of our performers. Some of them, however, have considered important reductions in their honoraries to support our project.
In case of exceeding our objective, we will finish to pay the participants. The rest of the money will be donated to local programs of social support.
The possible upcoming productions of "Baptista, vel solis cedens" will have their own funding campaigns, so we won't keep a single extra euro.
The piece is already in rehearsals, at the same time that some revisions are being made to the score.
The 24th of June we'll have, with your help, the Grand Premiere in Chiclana. That same day, the supporters with access to the dress rehearsal will be welcomed there, and the visits to the church most hidden corners will be made, guided by the composer.
That same day the post-concert party will be held. The dates for dinner will be arranged with the individual patrons, as well as the dates for private concerts.
The digipacks will be released as soon as the recordings are ready, together with them. During the summer the annotated limited edition of the score will be delivered. In a couple of months the DVD could be ready and we'll start to deliver it.
As you may notice, the campaign lasts longer than the time to the premiere. That means we will have to work hard to get the objective reached in the shortest time possible. Thus we will secure the realisation of the concert as well as the enjoyment of all the rewards.
Thank you very much for believing in our team.
Joing the experience "Baptista, vel solis cedens"!!