Songs Of An Electric Soul: Storytelling For The Infinity
On the eve of typhoon Ruby, I braved the rainy roads in the heart of Manila for the one-man performance of Christopher Aronson’s Songs of an Electric Soul. Sev’s Café in Malate, with its cozy and bohemian atmosphere, was the perfect setting for a show that promised a multisensory experience.
As soon as I entered, I immediately noticed the whole venue devoid of tables and in the middle of the floor area was a high tech setup of various gadgets including a laptop, a turntable, DJ controllers, smartphones and cables intertwined connecting the hardware in a sort of orderly chaos. Considering the weather that night, the place was packed and everyone was ushered to sit on the floor occupying the space around the center as the lights were dimmed, creating a scene akin to that of a bonfire with a shaman about to impart a secret.
Performance and multimedia artist Christopher, who wrote, composed, produced and directed, intends to conduct a ritual from days of old when our ancestors were more attuned to the energies of the earth and all beings formed a matrix of connectedness. He explained to the audience that theatre in ancient times was a form of sacred ritual and he wanted to bring a semblance of it in contemporary Manila using his craft as a platform.
With music Chris made and produced from his laptop and triggered by various controllers, mics and apps in his smartphones, he was a live electronic musician unleashing an amalgamation of new age, electronica, industrial, tribal and classical which not only served as the soundtrack, but a big part of the evening’s delight. He was able to convey the spirituality and philosophy of animism, which is the belief that everything has a soul, through music, visuals, acting, performance art, dance, poetry and prose in several languages. The audience was in rapt because the whole show, which felt more like a commune, seamlessly flowed from one part to the next with no breaks in between. Although Chris was literally at the center, he roamed the whole area engaging and inviting all participants to sing songs he taught us, which were part of the performance.
Chris showcased more of his love for the esoteric when he revealed his wand collection and upon informing the attendees that each were inhabited by Spirit Guides, one of which was Robin Williams, amused the audience to no end. You could see him channeling Dead Poet’s Society in some parts of the evening. He requested the audience to meditate with him and inject positivity on the pieces of wood for the country to be safe amidst the oncoming storm. The collective act in itself was ritual magic that the people may or may not know they participated in. Intention is a powerful thing and a form of creation, which Chris was able to fuse in his show allowing for everyone present to be an active part of the event.
Chris spoke of elements, frequencies, mystery, nature, planets, universes and parallel dimensions. It was a show unlike any I’ve experienced as I’m sure the others felt the same. It was a show about our connection to the divine and everyone is part of the tribe; the Electric Soul Tribe.
Songs of an Electric Soul