A rush of images underwater

Star conductor, Alondra de la Parra, presents her multimedia concert “The Silence of Sound” in Admi- ralspalast.
Ulrike Borowczyk

Berlin. Standing at the bottom of the sea in the midst of soft blue-green watercolors, shimmering bubbles rise and redfish. In 99 percent of cases, this is a beautiful dream. Except for Gabriela Muñoz. The clown is the protagonist of this dazzling underwater world and gets to marvel at many more wonders on her journey through breathtaking worlds of sound. She experiences a whole story full of magical and enigmatic moments. Inspired by classical music, they spring from the imagination of the Mexican con- ductor and director Alondra de la Parra. They were transformed into dreamlike projections by the video artists Mariona Omedes and Carlos Mora.

The result is the spectacular performance “The Silence of Sound” which celebrated its premiere in Germany at the Admiralspalast. The entire Spanish-speaking community of Berlin seems to have come together for this event. The audience was livelier than usual beforehand. The fabulous duo, Alondra de la Parra on the conductor’s podium and Gabriela Muñoz on stage captivate the audience together with the magnificent Babelsberg Film Orchestra.

You really can’t escape the rush of images. The setlist, rich in contrast and unusually arranged, folds in a downright suggestive effect. Béla Bartók follows Claude Debussy and Sergei Prokofiev, Jean Sibelius. Featherlight touches alternate with grand dramatic gestures. Alondra de la Parra, one of the most renowned conductors of all, definitely achieves her goal of bringing the world of the symphony orchestra closer to the audience. Within minutes, music and images are all you can think about, you are completely absorbed in this universe.

There is a lot of digital technology behind the spectacle to bring this stage magic to life. The preparations for this took almost seven years. The reward for this in Mexico alone was over 15,000 spectators. The concept of “The Silence of Sound” is reminiscent of “Fantasia”, the third full-length film by Disney Studios in 1940. The idea behind it was to create a classical concert and to guide the audience’s imagination with artful cartoons. A masterpiece, just like Alondra de la Parra’s multi-sensory feast for the senses, which is of course visually much more modern and even more focused on the music.

Along the instruments, especially Rolando Fernández’s cello, the visual universes unfold, through which Gabriela Muñoz walks with an open, curious gaze. Between darkness and light, she experiences a whole range of emotions. In her search for fulfillment, she experiences existential moments. Loneliness is followed by happiness, shadow gives way to light. As a sparkling sphere, it even seems almost alive. And when the clown stands in a magical blue whirlpool of shining starfish, even the greatest skeptical believes in the beauty and goodness of this world.