Article by Jen Bush
Emilio Solla is a Grammy winning composer. His latest project is composing the music for Fire Island The Musical. It’s safe to say that music has been a part of his life since birth. “Since I was born, I have been composed by several pieces of music.”
Mr Solla is kindly inspired by his collaboration with the lyricist Jarlath Barsanti Jacobs. “My inspiration for this particular piece is everything Jarlath writes! Her lyrics sweat music by every pore, and her characters and the situations between them are very well defined, so to be honest is quite easy to put music to her ideas.”
Mr. Solla’s creative process is not set in stone. For this musical he worked out the music by reciting the lyrics out loud. “My creative process changes a lot regarding the circumstances. For Fire Island, I worked mostly starting from written lyrics, so in many occasions I like to walk the room saying the lyrics in a loud voice, to try and grasp the rhythm. Once I have that, I sit at the piano and try to convey a melody and chords that convey the tone of the piece and the dramatic moment at that part of the show…what is this character doing, what is he/she trying to say, what is the overall situation at that point in the script?”
Some artists feel an added responsibility when undertaking a work with serious or topically charged subject matter. For Mr. Solla, art is the driving factor behind a project. “A creator has to be as “irresponsible” as possible. The moment you start asking yourself those kinds of questions, you are letting your art be affected by considerations that are (should be) totally unconnected to the creative process.”
Mr. Solla has a lot of exciting projects on the horizon. “My new album is coming out shortly, a tribute to CHICK COREA with the Symphony Orchestra of Alicante, Spain (more than 60 musicians) where I wrote all the arrangements and performed with my trio. In November 2022 I am recording my next work, a very intimate revision of the connections between Argentine music and flamenco music with jazz. This will be with my trio and the great Antonio Lizana as a very special guest.”
Audiences are loving FIRE ISLAND THE MUSICAL! Grammy-winner Emilio Solla and Jarlath Barsanti Jacobs’s musical a hit at Create Theater’s New Work Festival on Theatre Row, running through May 14 at 410 West 42nd St. (Theater Four) Directed & choreographed by Fred C.L. Mann III with musical direction by Trevor M. Pierce. Richard Ouellette designed the set; Anthony Paul-Cavaretta created the costumes; and Michael Cole designed the lighting. The production features projections by Peter Leibold VI and Paul Deziel. Jesica Garrou is production stage manager.