This week, Sandbox Percussion is in San Pedro, California working on GALILEO – a new show produced by The Industry with music by Andy Akiho and libretto/direction by Yuval Sharon.

GALILEO is somewhere in between an opera and a play. Yuval has translated and adapted Bertolt Brecht’s play Life of Galileo, and Andy has written an entirely new score to accompany it. There’s dialogue, instrumental music, as well as arias and songs throughout. The four of us join an incredible trio of drummers from the LA Taiko Institute, plus a small chamber orchestra and a chorus. All of the performers surround a huge fire sculpture designed by Liz Glynn.

The show will be fully staged in May 2018, outdoors on Cabrillo beach. We’ve been in San Pedro all week developing the show, and this weekend, we will present two workshop performances, also outdoors, at Angel’s Gate Cultural Center.

Andy is always an inventive and creative composer, especially when it comes to percussion, and this piece is no different. He’s written for a couple instruments that we had to find or build specifically for the piece – including in my part an octave and a half of chromatically-tuned ceramic rice bowls. Unfortunately, rice bowls don’t come in chromatically tuned sets, so I spent a couple interesting afternoons in Chinatown taking stacks of bowls off of shelves and hitting each one until I found exactly the ones I was looking for. It was a little laborious, but it’s hard to be mad at Andy, because the sound they produce is so exquisite. Hopefully, we’ll find some other uses for them in the future…

There are so many moving parts to any production of this size, and the outdoor performance aspect adds a lot of additional challenges – we need to figure out how to amplify everything and light everything effectively, we need to figure out how to perform with the wind blowing our music (and our instruments!) everywhere, and so much more. It’s a thrilling and slightly hectic process.

GALILEO comes to LA in May 2018. Keep an eye on this page for the full schedule announcement and the date when tickets go on sale – The Industry usually sells out their performances in a matter of days!

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