Ckeck to the musician
There is something mystifying hidden behind the movements… a thought that glides cautiously through the black and white squares shaping the chess board. There is something mystical moving the royal designs of a sport-thus it is considered- that confronts man, tactician of wit and temper, to the machine; creativity to the probability and calculation provided to the chess player by the 32 pieces. It is in this playful duality where inventiveness, man’s nearly divine ability to corner and dominate the machine (tactic, strategy, logic), gets compromised; cold and distant religion flying over the limitless movements of pawns, rooks, knights and bishops. In this titanic struggle of sticks and stones, Almeria born composer Alejandro Vivas’ music- El Escorial Conspiracy (2008)- develops with restraint through the sensitivity and elegance of his own handwriting. For The Chess Player (Luis Oliveros), Alejandro composes a suggestive tableau showing the emotion underlying the protagonist’s movements: Diego Padilla, a Spanish chess champion, who gets entangled in fate’s knitting and ends up thrown in a SS prison, accused of espionage. Again, it is man against the machine. Creativity (emotion, sensitivity, tenderness) opposed to the regime’s coldness, personified in Colonel Maier, a strange playmate to the survival of the main character in hostile surroundings. Alejandro tenderly transforms, through a delicate orchestration, movements in emotions. The strategy consists in a near pious chat overlapping the skin, the same way the 32 pieces hide behind the mystifying thoughts of the chess players. Flute, piano and cello (the most human of instruments) are the tools which Alejandro uses to draw on the pentagram his peculiar strategy, a talented musician’s scheme permeating drama into a story swelled in emotion. Flute, piano and cello are rocked by the subtle winds of the string, walking along with the chess player in his epic journey; winds (elegante ma non tropo) going across the chess board, jumping from square to square to reach the final stance…checkmate!
With this framework there is no chance of a tie. Either you win the game or you lose your life, that’s it. But behind Alejandro’s heartfelt melodies lie an aura of hope (held by the chess board) keeping stretched the emotions that the music lends to the story. The melody carries out the most complicated movement of them all, the one that allows the pieces to move over the board with a regal personality, leaving behind them emotion’s stamp, Alejandro Vivas Puig’s genuine and mystifying strategy.
The Chess Player means a little step further in Alejandro’s career, a musician called to great things in a profession desperately asking for renewal; a change of pattern (a change of mindset, after all) to banish from film the ancient national blueprint, the one that stops the modern filmmaker from flourishing. The musician who rummages where the frame loses its intention…
Antonio Pardo Larrosa
Jewell box, 8 color pages booklet