Category Archives: Homage

New York Shakes 24-7


This production was developed with 1950’s and 60’s exceptional photographs of NYC and their people by Samuel Gottscho and Vivian Maier.  I also used footage from Archive.org ; “NY Staten Island Ferry” from the Prelinger archives.
Music is Afro Blue by Triplexity (Nikila, SaReGaMa and Hamelin Bérengnier) @ HTTP://www.Jamendo.com  Remix by Leo Bar
(You may notice artifacts and pixellation in some photos or video sequences, these were caused by enlarging small formats into HD format)
All other effects are my fault and I take credit for them 🙂
Enjoy the show,
Leo

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Murgas and Carnaval – Curtidores de Hongos 100 years


The murga “Curtidores de Hongos” made its first appearance in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1912. In 2012 they celebrated their 100th anniversary. In this video you can hear their “Retirada”.
Enjoy the show! – For more info and background see my blog ::
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A traditional murga group is composed of a chorus and three percussionists and this is the type of murga performed on stages at Carnival. The singers perform in polyphony using up to five vocal parts. Vocal production tends to be nasal and loud with little variation in volume. The percussion instruments, derived from the European military band, are bombo (a shallow bass drum worn at the waist and played horizontally), redoblante (snare drum) and platillos (clash cymbals). The two most important pieces of the performance are the opening song (saludo) and the exit song (retirada or despedida). Murguistas dress in elaborate, colourful, jester-like costumes. Staging is sparse with minimal use of props. The singers tend to be foregrounded with the percussionists at the back or off to the side of the stage.

Murga is a form of popular musical theatre performed mostly in Uruguay and some in Argentina during the Carnival season. Murga groups operate in Montevideo and at the Buenos Aires Carnival, though to a lesser extent than in Montevideo. Uruguayan murga has a counterpart in Cadiz, Spain from which it is derived, the chirigota, but over time the two have diverged into distinct forms.
The Murga is performed by a group of a maximum of 17-20 people, usually men. In the months prior to Carnival, which takes place from late January to early March in Uruguay, each group will prepare a musical play consisting of a suite of songs and recitative (heightened speech) lasting around 45 minutes. This suite will be performed on popular stages in the various neighborhoods  known as tablados, throughout the Carnival period. Groups also vie against one another in a prestigious official competition.
Lyrical content is based on a particular theme, chosen by the group, which serves to provide commentary on events in Uruguay or elsewhere over the preceding year. Consequently, murga lends itself well to being used as a form of popular resistance. For example, during the dictatorship in Uruguay in the 1970s, groups like Araca La Cana became known for their left-wing tendencies, subversive commentary and positional stance.

Background and Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murga; http://www.curtidoresdehongos.com.uy/letras/2012-documental-medio-bicentenario.php; http://www.lasmurgas.com/html_07/principal_general_07.php

Tango a la Celeste


The connection between Tango – Football (soccer)- and the Uruguayan National Team. Twice World Cup Winners, and 15 times Americas Cup winner.
This piece is dedicated to my Vimeofriends:
Ben :: vimeo.com/benvideos – For his generosity and love of the sport of football (soccer in U.S.)
Michael M :: vimeo.com/michaelmoller – For his tenacity in learning the art of video making, and his extreme patience with editing.
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Started to make this video in November of 2011, and finished it January of 2013. It went through 9 versions in its chaotic initial life. This has been the most difficult project to date. It involved film clips from 1930’s, 1950’s, 2010 and other sundry dates. All these formats, codecs, frame rates and scales were totally different and a real challenge to assemble them into a cohesive work. What you see is mostly untouched and in its original color/grain.
Music: Astor Piazzolla – Michelangelo 70

The connection between Tango – Football – and the Uruguayan National Team. Twice World Cup Winners, and 15 times Americas Cup winner.
This piece is dedicated to my Vimeofriends:
Ben :: vimeo.com/benvideos – For his generosity and love of the sport of football (soccer in U.S.)
Michael M :: vimeo.com/michaelmoller – For his tenacity in learning the art of video making, and his extreme patience with editing.
~
Started to make this video in November of 2011, and finished it January of 2013. It went through 9 versions in its chaotic initial life. This has been one of my most difficult projects to date. It involved film clips from 1930, 1950, 2010 and other sundry dates. All these formats and scales were totally different and a real challenge to make them into a cohesive work. What you see is mostly untouched and in its original color/grain.
Music: Astor Piazzolla – Michelangelo 70
Enjoy the show,
Leo

Hanukkah – Festival of Lights


As a way to celebrate the upcoming festivals and holidays, I decided to construct a video about Hanukkah. The holiday is a celebration of  lights and the miracle of renewal. As such I chose to go backward and show candelabra (hanukkiah – hanukkiot pl.) dating all the way back to the 15th. century, working my way up to the modern era. Some of the oldest lamps can be found at the Museo Sefardi – Sephardi Museum in Toledo,  Spain dating to the era preceding the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian peninsula by the Spanish Inquisition.  Many others come from humble beginnings in the 17th. and 18th. centuries from little villages of Eastern Europe and the Near East. The modern pieces are displayed at The Israel Museum together with many older from around the world.

Eventually, I had to forgo many beautiful examples due to the time constraints, so it’ll be for another time… Together with the imagery, I created an oil painting and used different digital compositions to enhance the feeling of light, miracle of fire and sequence of nights.

The intention was to combine the traditional with the modern and thereby reflect the many changes this holiday went through the centuries. The music was my remix using portions of a flute solo;  Desert Sunset by Saregama – Jamendo CC BY NC and a calabash drumming recording from Africa, (author unknown.)

Hope you enjoy the show and that the Holiday Season is a bright one for you and your family and friends,

Leo

~ ~ Special thanks to:
The Israel Museum – Jerusalem, Israel
Museo Sefardi – Toledo, Spain (also inside scenes)

Kol Nidre – All Vows


Kol Nidrei (all the vows) is an Aramaic legal declaration recited in the synagogue at the evening service on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  This legal formula and its melodic accompaniment has been part of the services since the 6th. century.

Music: Kol Nidrei – Composer Max Bruch – Played by Pablo Casals (Remix – Remastered by Leo Bar)

Painting: Yoram Raanan
Photography & Digital Art: Leo Bar

Graphics – Fonts: From a 19th. century Jewish holiday prayer book (machzor)

Ponkapoag Native Dreams


A tribute to the Neponset and Ponkapoag nation, native Amerindians of Massachusetts.

In this production I concentrated on creating a multilayered look that was achieved by using textures and compositing. In addition, a heavy dose of color grading and antique-like look was used to give the feel of a bygone idyllic era. The scenes were created using recent, as well as antique photographs and artifacts of native tribes of Southeastern Massachusetts. What captivated my imagination were the twisted branches of ancient maples and oak trees growing in the lands where the natives of Ponkapoag Pond once walked.
Nowadays, the original Ponkapoag Plantation is contained partly within the boundaries of the Blue Hills Reservation and further into the town of Canton, MA.

I hope you enjoy a serene dreamlike presentation,
Leo
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Filmed at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, MA and Ponkapoag Pond at Blue Hills Reservation near Boston, MA.
Music: The enchanted valley – Ah Nee Mah
Textures courtesy of: Pink Sherbert and Skeletal Mess @ http://www.Flickr.com

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The Massachusetts Indians who had settled near the mouth of the Neponset River were known as the Neponset Indians; and Chicataubut, their sachem, was styled the “Sagamore of the Neponsetts.” It was here in a grove now known as Vose’s Grove that John Eliot, on the 14th of September, 1646 , first preached the gospel to the Indians in the wigwam of Kitchamakin, the successor of Chicataubut. Eliot continued to take a deep interest in their welfare; and it was owing to his advice that when for a trifling considera­tion they sold their lands at Neponset, they decided to move to Ponkapoag.

The aboriginal name of the territory lying beyond the Blue Hills, known to the inhabitants as the “New Grant,” was Ponkapoag. The territory derived its name from the pond, which formed one of the principal features in the landscape; and the name in the middle of the seventeenth century applied to a more extended territory than that which subsequently was included in the Ponkapoag Reservation. While the Indians sojourned at Neponset, they were known as the Neponset tribe; and when they removed to Ponkapoag, they received the name of the place of their new location. It is an error to suppose that the place took its name from the residence of the tribe within its borders-; the reverse is true. Excerpt from THE PONKAPOAG PLANTATION – Daniel Thomas Vose Huntoon (Cambridge, Mass., J. Wilson & Son, 1893)

For more information see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponkapoag .
Also see http://www.stoughtonhistory.com/huntoon-punkapoag.htm

Mi Uruguay


This video is dedicated to a great little country – Uruguay.
Throughout most of its history, it’s been a progressive, democratic and fair society. During the 1970’s and for a span of 11 years it went through a period of military dictatorship and the suppression of civil rights while fighting an urban guerrilla movement “Tupamaros” ; returning in 1984 to a full democracy
Despite being one of the smallest countries in South America, it has carved its name in the soccer world forever. Twice World Soccer champion, most recently America’s Cup champion for the 15th time.
I hope you enjoy this retro journey,
Leo

Elements used in this production

Photography: all @ http://www.flickr.com – Eduardo Amorin; Ivan Bustamante; Leo Bar
Film Clips: Young Uruguay, Julien Bryan :: http://www.archive.org
Music: Mi Padre, El Compañero. Album: Yo Nací En Montevideo, Quintin Cabrera
Special thanks: LIFE Magazine

For more information see :: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Uruguay