Andrea Sáenz singer, producer, and actress joined forces with music producer, DTO to resurrect an aria from 1770 by Alexander Gluck, and added trip-hop and electronic beats. This specific aria tells a story of passion, pain, and ultimate transformation. We assembled a global team of artists ready to shoot a stunning music video. The two have been pouring our hearts and souls into this shared dream of creating a bridge for opera and electronic music, and we got to catch up with them about their current project together, read on for more!
Entertwine: Could you tell us a bit about your individual musical backgrounds?
Andrea: Since the age of16 I have been studying the classical vocal technique with private voice coaches as I have always enjoyed the delicate details of the the human instrument. During my years in college I was the founder and president of UConn’s record label, Husky Entertainment. I continue to study with two prominent voice coaches in the LA area. Through music I have incorporated both acting and dancing and thoroughly enjoys unifying the three.
DTO: I was taught classical piano at the age of 5 and played in concert and orchestral groups throughout high school and college. When I was 10 years old, composing music as well as cowriting with fellow musicians was a natural manifestation. I took a Music Appreciation class in college taught by my mother to deepen my knowledge of different styles of music. This project has allowed for our individual backgrounds and current abilities to flourish.
How was the project initially conceptualized, and how did you all meet and begin collaborating together on this particular project?
Andrea presented DTO with the idea of creating this musical meld when they first met and after many hours in the studio Dolce Ardor was created! A few months passed and the idea of bringing this song to life as a moving picture became very clear to Andrea and the concept of DOLCE ARDOR: An Opera Music Video began materializing.
Tell us about the following team members: Pete Maher (mastering engineer), Lana Chromium (body paint artist), Izzy Gomez (conceptual artist),Akira Chan (Director) and Casey McDonald (costume designer).
We are all passionate artists who are choosing to make powerful ripple effects in the world! Throughout the course of this project we have been fortunate to work with incredible artists. Andrea Sáenz has been working with producer Donnie Osborne of Don E Productions on all her musical projects and through him we were introduced to Pete Maher, an extraordinary mastering engineer who has worked with some of the world’s leading artists such as Lana Del Rey, The Rolling Stones, and Nine Inch Nails just to name a few. We also had the honor of working with guitarist extraordinaire, John Ziegler, who graced our song with his beautiful guitar playing. He’s an LAbased musician who has an array of musical ventures with some of the finest musicians in the world including his famed prog rock band, Volto! with Danny Carey of Tool fame joining him on drums!
Izzy Gómez is Andrea’s 18 year old sister; she is a gifted visual artist who has received many awards for her talents throughout her years in High School. She is the conceptual artist and cocreator of Dolce Ardor She has been accepted into 3 prestigious art school as she continues her path in illustration and fine art. This is the first of many collaborations with her sister Andrea
We are grateful to be working with Akira Chan, a visual artist embracing all forms of creative expression. DTO met Akira at a film shoot and they’ve remained closely connected in the flourishing San Diego arts scene. He has won an amazing reputation for quality and one of his recent projects was featured at the Sundance Film Festival. Casey McDonald is a wellknown artist in the Burning Man community who creates wearable art for her clients; DTO and Casey met at an album release party for recording artist, Danyavaad. Her company Voltage Coil is a unique brand that will provide beautifully designed wardrobe for this music video.
In terms of Akira and Lana, Andrea felt very inspired by Lana’s fascinating Ultraviolet body paint display and the fluidity and precision of Akira’s technique in the music video
project entitled Default Evolution featuring our friends Adelaide and David Booker. Akira Chan was the cocreator and DP and Lana Chromium and Briana Houston Chaney were the body paint artists. Andrea and DTO got in touch with these talented artists and they enthusiastically agreed to be a part of Dolce Ardor.
What can you tell us about the video elements that will be released in support of this project? Could you tell us about the overall concept and inspiration for this music video?
We worked extensively on creating compelling video elements for this campaign, especially our campaign pitch video. We have also created separate video featurettes to showcase the wardrobe for the video as well as an excerpt from a live performance of the song. Also, there will be behind the scenes footage available once the official video is released.
Concept – The idea is to bring this aria to life with elements of the 1700’s when it was presented for the first time in Vienna. We will take you on a journey back in time creating an interblend of 18th century elegance with an ultraviolet experience. The story follows the quest in search of true love of the central character played by Andrea Sáenz. The fire that fuels her throughout the quest is represented by the rich piano melodies played by DTO. She appears adorned in full 18th century attire, but as her quest becomes increasingly urgent and the dichotomy of passion and pain escalate and collide, she then begins to literally dismantle before the viewers’ eyes. She is left with no choice, but to seek within and bathe in the fountain of her origins, which is visually relayed through a UV body paint transformation.. The video culminates as the central character emerges anew in newfound divinity and freedom.
Throughout Andrea’s study of classical music and other genres she grew increasingly passionate and interested in creating musical dichotomies. Thus, the idea of melding timeless opera with the intoxicating vibrations of electronic music, specifically triphop
blossomed into fruition. Also the idea of bringing to life an aria from the 18th century under a new light and lens would hopefully lend to the modernization of classical opera.
Could you tell us about the recording process for this aria? What musical equipment, instruments, studio gear and software was used to create and capture these unique sounds?
Producing triphop and opera was new for both Andrea and DTO so many long and beautiful hours were spent in the studio experimenting with an array of textures and colors. The production of Dolce Ardor was done in Ableton software in a studio in San Diego, CA, with an AKAI MPK88 controller, Adam Speakers, Ensemble by Apogee and an iMac. Andrea recorded her vocals in a studio in West Hollywood with stateoftheart equipment.
John Ziegler also recorded guitars on this project, correct?
What was it like working with him? How did this collaboration come about?
Andrea has always been a fan of John Ziegler’s work especially with all the amazing music he composes alongside Danny Carey in his band Volto! Andrea attended one of his show’s at The Mint and their friendship has continued ever since. We are extremely honored to have a musician of his caliber enriching Dolce Ardor with his talents.
A portion of the funds raised through your campaign will be donated to iEmpathize, What inspired your decision to work with this particular nonprofit company?
iEmpathize is is doing amazing work in the world by bringing awareness and helping to eradicate child exploitation by engaging culture in creative solutions. There is more of this happening in our own backyard than most people know. This is dear to our hearts and we support this cause fully!
What have you learned about crowdfunding through this process?
We have learned that our current personal connections have developed into beautiful collaborations. The crowdfunding process is an intricate one with many delicate details
thus patience and persistance is key. The love and support from our fans and contributors has been paramount in keeping this project vibrant and buoyed.
Tell us a bit about the official release party and what that entails?
A stellar live performance in both San Diego and LA venues with many guest musicians, DJs and the video projected as a large backdrop.
Lastly, can you divulge which studios and locations this video will be filmed?
This will be shot in a forested area in San Diego county. It is going to be magical!