Unmeasurable Picture, an Interdisciplinary Performance of Music, Poetry and Lyrical Imagery

Natasha Lardera (October 16, 2014)
The world-renowned organization La MaMa Experimental Theatre has hosted the Sara Galas Band for the performance of Unmeasurable Picture, a unique piece of theater that aims to theatrically portray today's dynamic and troubled society and spread a message of unity and solidarity.

The world-renowned organization La MaMa Experimental Theatre has hosted the Sara Galas Band for the performance of Unmeasurable Picture, an interdisciplinary performance of original music, poetry and lyrical imagery. 

Formed by Italian actor, singer songwriter Sara Galassini and Japanese composer and multi
instrumentalist Yukio Tsuji, the Sara Galas Band is a dynamic Duo whose eclectic sound takes root in the tradition of Italian music but creates rhythmic and melodic motifs that belong to world, jazz, rock, reggae, bossa nova, tango, flamenco and folk music. 

Actor, singer songwriter Sara Galassini launched her career in NYC as a member of La MaMa ETC in 2000. Arriving from Siena, Italy, by the invitation of Ellen Stewart, Sara has developed her creative talent and musical sensibility by collaborating with award winning Japanese composer and multi-instrumentalist Yukio Tsuji. 

Mr. Tsuji’s wide expertise in composition and variety of sound hails from Asia, Europe and America. Tsuji’s well-known mastery of percussion, shakuhachi and guitar can been heard on countless film soundtracks, modern dance, concerts and theater productions.

The duo’s songs focus on the human condition through lyrical story telling of dreams, hope, love, mythical and archetypal figures and the miracles of life. Tsuji’s acoustic arrangements underscore Galassini’s poetic lyrics in Italian and English with sheer inventiveness and simplicity resonating a distinct spiritual force that is strongly present in Galassini’s words and an alchemical energy ever present between the two musicians. 

In NYC the Sara Galas Bandhas performed shows in Lounges and Theaters, among which are Japan Society, La MaMa ETC, Dixon Place, The Nuyorican Poets Café, M.E.A.N.Y Fest 2013, the Great Hall at Cooper Square, and they continue to do so.

This brigs us to their latest show: Unmeasurable Picture.

Conceived and written by Galassini and composed in collaboration with Tsuji, Unmeasurable Picture aims to theatrically portray today's dynamic and troubled society and spread a message of unity and solidarity. The piece portrays a woman (Sara Galassini) in today’s troubled world, on the journey for self-discovery. The non-linear narrative of the show unfolds in a series of dream-like music-based scenes. 

In the show the Sara Galas Band and its collaborators, drummer Bill Ruyle, pianist and mandoline player Claudio Scarabottini, bass player Yuka Tadano and well known flamenco dancer Maria Elena Anaya from Mexico, explore the inconsistency and oppositions of human behavior. The dualities of human nature that can make life and love blossom or slowly die and vanish. 

But let's find out more about the show and what's behind it. Sara Galassini has answered some of our questions and explained why "We are never alone but part of a bigger, if not Unmeasurable Picture." 

How did Unmeasurable Picture come to be?

Unmeasurable Picture comes from the musical collaboration between me, a Tuscan actress and singer-songwriter , and the Japanese composer and multi-instrumentalist Yukio Tsuji. Back in 2012 the we founded, in NYC, the Sara Galas Band, a duo featuring the sound of a guitar and of Sara's voice, that plays original songs in both Italian and English. Both Tsuji and I have plenty of experience in the world of theater and so we decided to experiment with the theatrics of their music. This is how Unmeasurable Picture came to be. We use pieces of our repertoire to tell about a voyage, the journey of an everyday woman who is looking to find herself... to find her true identity and spirituality in a world where beings are falling apart more and more.

Why is it important to convey a universal message of unity and solidarity? 

Equality, solidarity and unity are core topics of my compositions. They are fundamental values of human existence, but oftentimes they seem to be ignored by society and by modern governments that tend to separate humanity between the rich and the poor, the weak and the powerful, the rightful and the wrongful.  And so the modern man lives in conflict, in inequality, in corruption and opportunism... appearances matter more than authenticity and fundamental moral values are totally ignored. I see music, poetry and theater as a vehicle to go back to these values and to a common identity that lies in nature, love and sharing.

How would you describe the journey of the protagonist?

This woman's journey is almost imaginary: it's interior, spiritual. It lies between consciousness and subconsciousness where reality blends with intuition and imagination merges with dreams. Loss and neglect become almost necessary in order to meet and rediscover part of the whole that surrounds us. In the journey of life we are constantly tested and forced to face new possibilities and experiences. This helps our personal inner growth.

Tell me about the multiculturalism of the theater.

By living in NYC I've had the constant possibility to witness other cultures and traditions. This experience helped me understand how important it is to share our own individuality, to welcome diversity as new treasure to share in order to discover a possible common fate of peace among the nations of the earth. Sara Galas Band's choice to collaborate with artists form Europe, Asia, the US and Mexico is a deliberate choice aiming at spreading a message of solidarity, equality and sharing.

Why is it important to see this show?

Seeing Unmeasurable Picture is important because it is a project that speaks to everybody. It touches the universal values of respect, equality and acceptance giving them the role of key players in the creation of a just society where solid and everlasting peace reigns for all.