By Fritz Elmendorf
Experimental Project, is certainly an experiment, but it is also an experience and a mixto of musical styles, theater and improvisation that created a fresh dimension to local entertainment at Estancia, the local hotel that opens only for special events, at its season closer Aug. 28.
The duo of Juan Peregrino and Donald Loria garbed themselves in white monk’s robes and black face to project a spiritual theme to their premiere production, although one may have questioned whether their influence was the light or the darkness. Their sound mixed techno, house, minimalism, reggaeton, salsa and Planet Strange, with a satisfying rhythm.
Peregrino’s flying fingerwork on guitar and bass was combined with a repeating loop machine, computer, drum machine and Loria’s work on keyboards and spoken word proclamations to create multiple layers throughout an eight song set inspired by life in Nosara. Peregrino said the collaboration was total, including the original poetry proclaiming experiences of life in Nosara which Loria recited at times over pulsating beats.
The multi-media event included the projection of images from microscopic photos of living cells, which created a potentially hallucinogenic effect for anyone disposed to such a perspective. A progression from diseased cells to healthy cells may have failed to achieve its symbolic effect on the audience, but was perhaps a laudable artistic dimension.
Whether it was spiritual or otherworldly, it was certainly different, and a nice break from the rainy season doldrums for about 250 Nosareanos. Credit to Gully Corazza and Susana Rivera for supporting this project, which certainly enlivened the evening that otherwise included the usual eardrum-pounding DJ program. Estancia is a beautiful property that cries out for more frequent usage.
Peregrino and Loria plan to continue collaborating and keeping it fresh, with new compositions and new themes. Peregrino emphasized the Spanish pronunciation of Experimental, which has the same meaning in both languages, and said the name was chosen to reflect the international and aspirational nature of the music.
Experimental Project is the first music project for Loria, who has been a local architect for nine years, and is the latest in a series of musical ventures and collaborations by Argentinian Peregrino. They are working on their next production with the theme nature, which promises more wildness in the jungle.