Joseph Aragon is a multidisciplinary artist
based in Winnipeg, Canada.

News

Fri, Jan 22, 2016

Show & Tell 2016

Looks like these semi-annual updates haven’t been that “semi” lately. But rest assured, a lot has happened this past year. To wit:

The Mystery of Krummhorn Castle; or, the Rosalind House Orphans vs. the Army of Abominations

This was an original musical I wrote for the 2015 Winnipeg Fringe Festival, co-produced by Kiss The Giraffe Productions and White Rabbit Productions. In a departure from my previous shows, this one was specifically family-friendly. That’s right, no swearing, no sex, no death by gunfire or poison or asphyxiation, and nothing with the word “blood” in the title. It was a fun, charming piece about a group of orphans moving into a creepy old chateau, only to butt heads with a mad scientist who wants it for himself as his dream supervillain lair. It was a very special production, and I got to work with old friends and new faces alike. And we did pretty well for ourselves, too: well attended, well reviewed, and a couple of standing O’s for good measure. The Winnipeg Free Press said it was a “delightfully funny family-friendly musical” (★★★★½), while the CBC called it “a madcap, whip-smart and wildly entertaining production” and “family-friendly Fringe fare at its finest” (★★★★★). Here’s the musical accompaniment track for the opening number:

Danny, King of the Basement

This was a production by Manitoba Theatre for Young People of what is quickly becoming a Canadian classic by playwright David S. Craig. It tells the story of a young boy named Danny, who uses his imagination to help him deal with life’s troubles, of which Danny has more than his fair share. Director Ann Hodges tapped me once again for music and sound design. It was another terrific show that I was privileged to contribute to. Here’s a sample of some of the music:

Words and Deeds Leadership Award Gala: honouring the Asper Foundation

Well this certainly was a big to-do. This was a gala dinner in celebration of the community contributions of the Asper Family and the Asper Foundation. It was held at the RBC Convention Centre, and I was commissioned to write the opening number, which included a four-piece house band, two violinists, a cellist, a bodhran player, the singing group Vivace, the Winnipeg Singers, Sierra Noble, and a whole troupe of dancers. No big deal. Here’s what I came up with (the piece is called Look Around):

There, that should get you caught up. I’ll try my best to post the next bit of news before the earth completes another orbit. Till then!

Mon, Dec 1, 2014

Show & Tell

Time once again for the semi-annual blog post! It’s been a productive few months. Here’s some of what I’ve been up to…

Jabber

MTYP’s teen drama Jabber successfully played to large young audiences at the Shaw Performing Arts Centre in late October, and as of this writing is touring to schools both within Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba. It also marks my first professional theatre scoring gig, and huge thanks to director Ann Hodges for giving me the opportunity to work on such a great show. Much of the music I was asked to write was dialogue-supporting background music, so there wasn’t a lot of room to be showy (which is of course the whole point), but there were a few spots where the music got to peek out and assert itself. It was a real treat to work on Jabber with so many talented people, and I’m very pleased with the final results. Here’s a sampling of some of the tunes:

Jewish Foundation of Manitoba’s 50th Anniversary Gala

I was also tapped to compose a piece for the 50th Anniversary Gala for the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba. It was a large and very swanky affair held at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, and I was approached to create a 3-minute long original piece as part of the festivities. So I composed a nice, intimate piece, which was beautifully performed by my colleague Paul de Gurse on piano, along with a string quartet from the Winnipeg Symphony. It also featured a soprano, a tenor, and two contemporary dancers (skillfully choreographed by Brenda Gorlick). So yeah, I was more than a little stoked. The piece is called “Let Beauty Grow”, and although I don’t have audio from the performance, you can listen to my sampler mock-up here:

So that’s some of what was keeping me busy for the past few months. What’s coming next? Stay tuned…