This needed to build from the small discussions at the beginning to the grand gestures that occur as the Pan American Games come to fruition, for the cities that host them to the competitors that compete in them and public who attend them, not just as an event but as the start of a more prolonged period of renewal and growth. Piano and guitars are intimate and universal, brass and drums add power, electronics add an innovative and contemporary edge.
The more intimate stories of the series were done first, and some of the themes and ideas were seeded into the broader Corporate Film. Rhythm is key for both these more intimate films, the rhythms of their day, their sport, their ongoing determination. Their building of results.
Maria Fernanda Reyes (aka Mafer) spent much of her childhood on a beach where she taught herself to swim and surf. Her talent got noticed by a local surfer, who became her coach, and with his guidance, she has become Peru’s top female international longboarder.
She was selected to represent Peru in the Pan American Games 2019 as the gold medal favourite. What happened next is a testament to her talent, resiliance and focus.
For this film we used hand drums, guitars, strings - it was importnat the percussion was tactile, guitars are always associated with surfing and if you play them as a wash there's an expansiveness that relates to a bond to an endless ocean. The dynamic with the trainer creates great momentum and brass stabs towards the end allude to confidence and personal power.
For Juan Leon at the top of this page, a Para-athlete who lost his legs in an accident and tried to get his life back on track by swimming, it's more lyrical.
His determination and the inspiration he got from his coach enabled him to reach the level where he could compete in the Parapan American Games. This is a story about fighting back from adversity, but then also giving back to the community.
Sonically I chose solo cellos, strings, flutes and voices. There's a tension and elasticity to strings and a community focus with the voices. Gongs and frequency processing allows us to more viscerally inhabit more constricted environments (in this case underwater) and flutes bring freedom - and an innocence related to the children that Juan Leon teaches.
As in other projects, sound design integrates with music: moments are swallowed by waves, pushed by attitudes, informed by heartbeats.