Castles Made of Sand

Castles Made of Sand
Music, Lyrics and Vocals by Karin Maria Andersson
Guitar and video by Olivier Milchberg
Macau (SAR) China, January 2010

This video has clips from the Cirque Du Soleil artists of ZAIA starting in Montreal, Canada from January 2008 during training (and lots of snow!) to late 2009 backstage, and during rehearsals for the show at the Venetian in Macau (SAR) China.

For us in the show the video is extremely emotional. Some of the people in this video are no longer with us in Macau. The time of ZAIA is one that all of us will remember and many of us will cherish. The experiences we had in China for many of us were not what we expected – they were experiences and adventures we could have never imagined; many good and some painful for each of us.

I normally don’t get seen in videos or promo photos – so thank you to Olivier for getting me in there several times. Fun to see the musicians and how all of our looks changed from the beginning in Montreal to the journey in China. As our composer told us: “You all look more shiny.” I would agree. Cirque and China have allowed us to shine.

I think this video will give a sense of closure to many of us for a slice of time we spent together – a “castle made of sand”.

I am personally moved by the video in a way beyond words. Thank you to Maria and Olivier for this truly precious gift of song….

And a note from Olivier on this video:

Hi all my dear friends,

Here is a new video on the creation of Zaia. It’s a tribute to Zaia artists, and especially to Maria and the musicians.

I asked Maria to compose a song for it, and she did it just before leaving Macau.
These images can seem nostalgic in our situation, but the purpose of this video is only to highlight the strong and moving times we spent together; sharing sorrow and joy, as Maria says.

It’s my way to say thank you to all of you, and to express my admiration of the amazing talent of every artist. And let’s remember, even if this adventure stops right now, our talents will continue to shine and spread over the planet.

Olivier

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Violaine Corradi on the Music of Zaia

violaine-corradi-zaia

This is an interview by Keith Johnson (Seattle, Wa – USA) of “Cirque Fascination” with the music composer of Cirque Du Soleil’s ZAIA show, Violaine Corradi. I hope Keith will not mind me posting the full article here on my blog for three reasons:

  1. I will include a link to his original ezine article here: Corradi Zaia Interview
  2. I am quoted in the article with comments mined from my blog. (Which I think is very cool).
  3. Many people come to my blog here for info on Zaia, and they may also be interested in following Keith’s ezine “Cirque Fascination”. (Follow the article link).

As assistant bandleader for Zaia and in writing the string arrangements for the Hong Kong Symphony on the Zaia album – I’ve had the pleasure of working very closely with composer Corradi. Because of Violaine and Cirque’s influence, terms that are now part of my regular music vocabulary include “organic”, “cosmic”, “evoke”, “provoke”.

Thank you Keith for the wonderfully detailed article. Even being in the middle of all of it, I learned quite a bit from the article! And now for the Cirque music buffs – read and enjoy….

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Cirque Du Soleil ZAIA Band 2009

zaia-band

The Cirque Du Soleil ZAIA band, June 2009 in Macau, China. A rare moment where all the musicians are together for a photo opp.

In this photo: Eduard Harutyunyan (percussion), Jay Elfenbein (viol, dare I say cello, strings, bass guitar), Darrin Johnson (drummer), Olivier Milchberg (guitar, Turkish banjo, plucked strings), Maria Andersson (singer), Steven Bach (keyboards – bandleader), Rose Winebrenner (vocalist), Racheal Cogan (recorder, EWI)and Conrad Askland (keyboards, assistant bandleader).

Bollywood stars descend in Macau for IIFA 2009

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPl-R0nT3EQ

Indian movie stars at the “green carpet” outside the ZAIA Cirque Du Soleil Theater in Macau, China at the Sands Venetian June 11, 2009. The Bachchan family, as well as other dazzling stars, are greeted on the green carpet for the 10th Annual IIFA awards in Macau.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMpKaO5gQ5A

In this “part one” video you will also see some photo shots of Cirque Du Soleil “ZAIA” artists.

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“Bollywood Awards” at Venetian Macau June 11-13 2009

Videocon IIFA Awards

The Videocon IIFA 2009 awards will be televised from the Venetian Macau June 11-13, 2009. This award for the Indian film industry is popularly called the “Bollywood Awards”. Artists from Cirque Du Soleil’s ZAIA show will perform during the ceremony. I am told these awards are televised to 300-500 million people worldwide.

Yes, this is a pretty big deal. I don’t know when the ceremonies are aired in the USA but I’ll add info to this post if I find out before the airing. We’ll have extra shows of Cirque Du Soleil’s ZAIA for attendees of the event – and you can bet that the artists are working VERY hard right now to prepare for this presentation, in addition to their regular show schedule.

And did you know Cirque Du Soleil’s 25th Anniversary is the middle of June 2009? Things are jumping at the Venetian Macau in June!

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ZAIA CD Soundtrack Released

ZAIA - Cirque Du Soleil

The official soundtrack for Cirque Du Soleil’s ZAIA show (Venetian Macau, China) was released on May 26, 2009. You can currently purchase on Amazon.com: ZAIA CD Amazon.com – or go to Amazon.com and search for “ZAIA”. A cut from the CD should also be on the Cirque Du Soleil 25th Anniversary CD which will also be available on Amazon.com late June 2009.

If you follow the Amazon link you can also listen to Mp3 excerpts from the album. I’ve heard rumors there will be a “Making of ZAIA” documentary released that will include many of the musicians and artists involved in creating the CD soundtrack. 

To my knowledge, this is the first Cirque Du Soleil original soundtrack CD that has been recorded by the original show musicians. Most tracks recorded in Macau (SAR) China, string parts recorded in Hong Kong.

Music composed by Violaine Corradi. As a sidenote, I was asked by Violaine to arrange string parts for the CD which were recorded by members of the Hong Kong Philharmonic. That was a very fun project to work on. Hope you enjoy the soundtrack!

Aomen TV Backstage with ZAIA in Macao

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUrHrWuuk0c

Aomen TV goes behind-the-scenes of ZAIA to give you a glimpse of what goes on backstage. The more you see this show the more you will enjoy the experience. The artists and crew do an excellent job of bringing the magic of theatre, dance, and acrobatics to life. This is a must-see experience in a fantastic purpose-built theatre. So, if you haven’t already been, go on a journey of your own. If you’ve been once, see it again!

Guy Laliberte 2008 Artist Christmas Presents

Guy Laliberte

For Christmas 2008 Guy Laliberte had a fantastic gift for the artists of the Cirque Du Soleil ZAIA show (and other CDS artists worldwide): a handbag made from the tarp of a retired Cirque big top tent. The handbags are made of the recycled material and fit into Cirque “eco-friendly” attitude, as well as featuring the wonderful bright yellow and blue of the traveling Cirque big tops. Just like the tarp you see behind Guy in the photo above.

Thank you and Merry Christmas 2008 to Guy!

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Cirque ZAIA Helps Macau Children

For Christmas 2008 the cast of Cirque Du Soleil’s ZAIA show, along with matching funds from Cirque, have raised over 45,000 MOP ($5,500 USD) to buy Christmas clothing packages for the babies and children of CRADLE OF HOPE and the FOUNTAIN OF HOPE groups in Macau (SAR) China.

ZAIA artists and staff helped wrap the gifts and even took the older children on shopping trips in Macau to pick out their own clothes. A couple days before Christmas the older children will get to see the ZAIA show live and meet Cirque artists in person. Merry Christmas Macau!

Chime Long Circus – Guangzhou China

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyqeZYYTGAY

A large group of us from Cirque Du Soleil’s ZAIA show went to see the Chime Long International Circus in Guangzhou, China. It was a fantastic show. The Chime Long circus is more of a traditional circus that includes animal acts. Music for the show is pre-recorded – no live band.

There were so many elements in this show that makes Circus so mesmerizing. There were truly death defying acts including long and high jumps without nets and the Wheel of Death – a Circus favorite. I thought the animal acts were great, although it was a little disturbing to some. There were also great moments of beauty with lush slow aerial acts.

My absolute favorite part was the end of the show when four rows of birds fly from stage left and right across the front of the stage and over the audiences heads. First I think it was pelicans followed by doves. So beautiful. If I hadn’t seen it myself I would have thought it was a projected special effect. Bravo to Chime Long International Circus!

First Autograph Request in China

This was fun for me. I went to a local restaurant on Taipa Island in Macau, China and after the waitress takes my order she comes back and says “Can I have your autograph?”. In her hands is the Cirque Du Soleil ZAIA program and she has it opened to my picture for me to sign.

After I sign the program I realize that I also want a cup of coffee. But the waitress is walking around the restaurant showing people my autograph so I can’t get her attention for several minutes. So the lesson I’ve learned in this is that there is a price to fame: It’s more difficult to get a cup of coffee…

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