Frida’s Ashes a Ignacio Jarquin & MAS co-production

Ignacio Jarquin combines an intense and visceral performance with an electronic score and improvised singing performed by a community vocal ensemble that interacts live on stage with AI technology using Wekinator (machine learning audio software). Vivid violets, vibrant greens, oranges and rich blues will burst and saturate the stage using the projection mapping software, Madmapper

Connect with Ignacio Jarquin: http://www.ignaciojarquin.com/

How did Frida Kahlo transcend her physical suffering? Was it at the heart of her creative flowering and global commercialisation? Why did Rivera eat Kahlo's ashes? Why was the giant of Mexican art (her husband Diego Rivera) left in the twilight while Frida became one of the most loved and iconic artists of today.

A devised music theatre experiment by Mexican performance artist, Ignacio Jarquin. Incorporating the arts of Japanese Shibari rope bondage, butoh and the vogue dance form (originating from queer subcultures of 80’s Harlem), clowning and bel-canto singing.

Following an Arts Council England grant award in 2017:

R&D 1 at STUN (Sustained Theatre Up North) Manchester, Dec 11th to 15th 2017

R&D 2 at The University of Bristol, Wickham Theatre, Jan 22nd to Feb 2nd 2019

Technological Vision

This second stage of development explores Ignacio’s music practice through combining electronic sound and live improvised vocal music using the AI software Wekinator. Ignacio has developed a system for singers to create a score as they sing using text, melody and rhythmic motifs. Ignacio is now looking to use real-time, interactive machine learning software, Wekinator. This software would create learnt musical motifs for the vocal ensemble (University of Bristol students) to use as material for a vocal improvisation, and also to see if the machine could inversely "learn" from the material provided by the singers. To explore the question: Can a computer improvise with human singers?

Additionally, to explore the use of movement and projection using Madmapper to interpret Kahlo and Rivera's paintings with the aim of showering the audience in the iconic colours, shapes and motifs of Mexico as if they were stepping into the artists’ creative process. This extra layer of live content aims to reinforce the improvised sounds by providing visual cues that evoke an emotional response from the singers and deepen the visceral connection to the work of Frida and Diego.

Artists contributing to the research and development phase:

Lead Performer - Ignacio Jarquin

Director - Jonathan Grieve of MAS productions

Creative Producer - Lukus Robbins

Lighting Design - Carey Chomsoonthorn and Pablo Fernandez Baz

Sound Design - Lorenzo Prati

Visual Design - Lukus Robbins

Vocal Ensemble -Emma Walton, Jade Chang, Sophie Haxworth, Rosza Miller, Archy Bates

Costume and Set - Anastasiya Sarayeva

Butoh Mentor - Sara Pons

Film Maker - Jon Aitken

Photographer - Paul White

Dramaturg - Andrew G. Marshall

Composer - Jethro Cooke

Producer and choreographer at STUN - Nwando Ebizie

With special thanks to Jan Wozniak, Rod Terry and Beth at Wickham Theatre

Dr Rebecca Fiebrink who created the open source software Wekinator 

SUPPORTED BY ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND in collaboration with the University of Bristol’s Wickham Theatre.