Piano instructors demonstrate mastery with film assistance

With a sense of relaxed grace and confidence, pianists and Saddleback faculty members Rebecca Rollins and Robert Sage took their seats in front of separate pianos to begin their first duet.

The pianos were set facing each other, seeming poised to converse with one another.

The duet began with “The Toybox” as the lights in FA101 dimmed while a film began to play on the wall behind the artists.

As notes flew, flashes from childrens book photos helped to tell the song’s story alongside the two musicians who displayed their talent with ease.

“It was really interesting watching her hands move,” said Kane Christensen, 18, undecided. “It makes you wonder how long it takes to get that good.”

“The Toybox” was originally a solo piano score by Claude Debussy and was inspired by his own childrens’ toys. The song depicts a simple love story played out with dolls as the main characters, like a childhood game, and involving a love triangle between a soldier and a beautiful girl who breaks his heart by having an affair. Though the story flaunted a dark underside, the music was light and fresh, keeping the mood from getting too serious.

The next portion of the show consisted of a mythological story, also accompanied by a film in the background.

“Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun”, also by Debussy, featured music that ranged from light, fleeting notes to deep, foreboding ones.

This film showed dancers dressed as fauns and nymphs, displaying the dreams of the main faun while adding video enhancements to the light notes.

The video was a re-creation of a ballet performance recently performed by the Paris Opera Ballet.

“It had a lot of good imagery,” said Craig Cammell, 20, jazz. “The images gave it a direction.”

The final piece, “An American in Paris,” did not incorporate a film and was originally composed by George Gershwin in 1928. The mood was upbeat and catchy while depicting a story of an American traveler who ventures to Paris and experiences a different culture.

“I thought it was excellent,” said Steve Roberts, 38, astronomy. “It made me smile because listening to it was fun.”

The show offered different musical perspectives to portray very different stories while showing off the talent of college faculty.