ORLANDO — Without a doubt, the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival attracts a diverse selection of talent. Some of the artists are locals in Central Florida, but there’s always an international flair in the air.
This year, Elias Faingersh is joining the lineup. A Swedish trombone player, his trademark has become a synthesis of music and theater, like his critically acclaimed solo show “Trombone Magic,” which was performed at the Royal Danish Opera, The Berlin Philharmonic and the Congress Hall of Riga.
Named “The Golden Trombone of Europe,” Faingersh has worked with international companies like the Ermitage Theater in Moscow and the London-based Belarus Free Theater.
This year, Elias is coming to Fringe with artist Keren Klimovsky, to present The Soundtrack of My Life, which Keren described as “a musical cinematographic theatrical extravaganza about the inner ‘I.’ ”
What is The Soundtrack Of My Life?
In 2012, Elias and Keren co-founded Teater KEF, based in Malmö, Sweden, and known for performances where different genres and different media merge, and for the dramatic and comedic role that music plays. One thing to come out of that production company was The Soundtrack of My Life, which has participated in more than a dozen international theater festivals and won several Grand Prix awards at festivals in Europe and Asia.
Keren called it a show where “A traveling musician’s life is told, shown and played through his own eyes. The film covers a period of one year in the artist’s life as he jumps from one place to another, from big concert halls to small jazz clubs, from Canadian highways to narrow streets of Italy, from Urban New York to Swedish countryside, from the Middle Eastern burning sun to Moscow’s lead sky.”
At the same time, she added, “gradually he discovers that he is not completely alone on this journey… Wherever you go, whatever you do – you hear a voice in your head. A voice that laughs both with you and at you. A voice that cheers you up when you’re down and then puts you down when you screw up. The voice that lectures you, teases you, scolds you and compliments you. The voice you can never get rid of. The voice that can be your best friend and your worst enemy. This performance is about the relationship of each one of us with this voice.”
Intrigued, Freeline Media reached out to Keren to learn more about the show.
What to Expect from Elias and Keren at Fringe
Freeline Media: Tell us more about what “a musical cinematographic theatrical extravaganza about the inner “I” ” means, and how it translates into your Fringe show.
Keren Klimovsky: This is a very unusual show, which transcends the boundaries of genres and doesn’t follow any rules. It’s a film inside a theater show, while the film and the show are in constant dialogue, and the stage persona is interacting with his alter ego on the screen. There is a lot of music in the show, since it’s about the life of a traveling musician. Much of the footage in footage taken on tour and then thematically or otherwise rearranged. The music is created/played live with the use of a trombone and loop machines, so it sounds like an entire orchestra.
FM: How did you come to create a show with Elias Faingersh?
Keren: Elias and I met in New York. I was living in Providence at the time, a graduate student at Brown University. I came to his concert in New York, and after a bit more than half a year I found myself living with him in Sweden. The following year we created the Malmo-based Theater KEF, and “The Soundtrack of My life” was the first production we did together. Since then we did four more productions, we participated in festivals all around the world, won a bunch of Grand-Prix and other, more specific, awards. We are lucky to be able to work in several languages, so multi-culturalism is one of our strong facets.
FM: What unique approach to music do you think Elias brings to this Fringe production?
Keren: This sort of follows from the previous paragraph: Elias is a unique and world class famous musician. He is also very funny, charismatic and entertaining. Everything he does bears the mark of honesty and openness, direct contact with the audience and the layover between art and life, the personal and the public.
FM: Tell us more about Teater Kef.
Keren: Elias is a well known Scandinavian musician and composer, known for his unique performance style, which includes elements of clownery and drama and the merging of genres. This is how we came up with the idea of creating Teater KEF and developing our own specific style. And it work even when we collaborate with other theaters/people. Music is always the key component, a dramatic elements and sometimes even a character.
FM: After Orlando Fringe, where do you go from here?
Keren: Elias continues to London, Ontario with “A Solo from the Pit” – the show we’ve taken the Orlando last year, which won the “best musical solo show” award.
The Soundtrack Of My Life is being performed at the Orlando Fringe Festival in the Brown Venue on the following dates:
* Wednesday, May 15 at 8:45 p.m.
* Friday, May 17 at 9 p.m.
* Saturday, May 18 at 10:45 p.m.
* Sunday, May 19 at 6:15 p.m.
* Wednesday, May 22 at 8:30 p.m.
* Thursday, May 23 at 9 p.m.
* Saturday, May 25 at 11:30 a.m.
Tickets are $12 and you need a $10 Fringe buttom to see the shows.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Bloody Rabbit”. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com..