Review: The Cozy One-Man Band (part of The WeeFestival)

by Lynn on May 19, 2021

in The Passionate Playgoer


La Mue/tte (France)

Created and performed by Santiago Moreno

Staging consultant, Delphine Bardot

This show is absolutely enchanting and mesmerizing.

Santiago Moreno is a multi-talented Argentinian musician, puppeteer. From the most mundane of ‘things’ Moreno creates sounds, rhythms, percussive beats and glorious music.  He starts small. He takes a simple hand-held ‘fan’ and delicately lays it so close to the strings of his mandolin on a table, that the result is a sound that is not quite noise and not quite music. The result does make your eye-brows raise in wonder.

He takes another ‘fan’ and places it so near a Styrofoam cup the blade ‘taps’ at the cup delicately. He moves other objects close to the fan to produce other sounds as well. He has fashioned a metal hand ‘puppet’ he wears around his wrist that has strings that attach to his fingers and thumb which when moved produce a beat or the sound of soft cymbals.

Then he builds in his creation of music. He puts on a contraption of drums etc. to his back; he affixes wires from the contraption to his pant cuffs and slowly shows how he produces a beat when his feet move; there are attachments to his arms; something around his neck as well. And them he plays a complex, melodic Latin American composition on his guitar, incorporating all the sounds, beats, rhythms and percussive intoxication of all the ‘stuff’ that is attached to him.

Santiago Moreno’s imagination in the creation of the wrist ‘puppet’ and the musical attachments is clever, inventive, musical, engaging and absolutely joyful to watch and listen to. He creates music from things we take for granted in ways that are eye-opening. Wonderful.  

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