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On the Indieket 2012 Video

Posted by Carlo Jose San Juan, MD on Friday, August 10, 2012

The Callous Comics Indieket 2012 Video

    For this year's 100 Araw ng Komiks campaign, we've been tasked to come up with "fantasy soundtracks" for our respective comic series.  As many of you who read this blog know, I've made some "unofficial" music videos for Callous Comics before.  I haven't talked about the reasoning behind the songs selected for those videos before so I'll do so for one of them now.
    Prior to Indieket 2012, we independent comic exhibitors were told that we were being given the chance to promote ourselves through a one-minute video to be projected on the event's main screen.  I originally opted to use an old video, albeit edited to be a minute long, which featured Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Le nozze di Figaro Overture".  My intent was to portray Dr. Rianne Nicah's frantic, confusing, and maddening life while having that undertone of Cal Duck's point of view that life is beautiful and that everything is just part of the harmony in the world's grand symphony.  I felt Mozart's piece would have been a wonderful soundtrack to Callous Comics (and I still do) but it was tough to edit it down to anywhere close to a minute while maintaining the parts I felt spoke the message of the comic.
    I then thought of my favorite opera, Gioacchino Rossini's Il Barbiere di Sivigla (which, like many people, I first encountered through Bugs Bunny) and realized that the last aria of the first act, Mi par d'esser con la testa, somewhat fit the bill.  It's an amazing composition in itself and requires particularly slick-tongued artists in its quintet.  It's also my favorite part of the opera.

    This piece takes place in a frozen moment in time when all the major characters and the policemen in the background speak of their respective personal variations of confusion, sometimes at the same time, in thunderous fashion.  It's all done brilliantly and in a lighthearted tone which plays well with the portrayal I was going for in the video.  Read the lyrics below and my meager attempt at translation:

Mi par d'esser con la testa in´╗┐ un'orrida fucina, dove cresce e mai non resta delle incudini sonore l'importuno strepitar. Alternando questo e quello pesantissimo martello fa con barbara armonia muri e volte rimbombar. E il cervello, poverello, gia' stordito, sbalordito, non ragiona, si confonde, si riduce ad impazzar.

I seem to have placed my head into a horrid forge, where the anvil pounding grows louder with unending rage.
The alternating heavy hammer blows make the walls and ceiling resound with barbarous harmony.  And my brain,
poor thing, already stunned, astounded, can no longer reason, becomes confused, and reduced to madness.

    It is worth noting that while the lyrics seem quite dark in context, the opera itself is a pretty lighthearted comedy (a rarity in the world of opera, I hear).
    When the video was played in the Indieket the initial chirping violins couldn't be heard over the crowd noise and the fast-paced flashing insanity probably went over everyone's heads. Those already familiar with the series enjoyed it but I doubt it gained me any new readers.  Nevertheless, while the video wasn't a good promotional tool in the middle of a comic con, I felt it spoke well of the comic.

    Lastly, enjoy this decent performance of Act I's finale!  Mi par d'esser con la testa comes in about halfway through:

    An explanation on what occurs in the above video and more talk about the song as well.

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About the Author

Carlo Jose Caz is a practicing licensed physician, professional voice actor/talent, writer, and cartoonist. He has been working on the Callous comic strip since 1996, winning several of The LaSallian's Silver Quill awards for his work. He has written several published short stories. He currently lives in the Philippines with his wife and two children.


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