Jim ParisiMusic Review

Symbiotic Action in Guanacaste

obregon teamBy Jim Parisi

The new Papaya DVD, “Piano and Tropical Dry Forest – a Journey into the Heart of the Tropics” is a stunning compilation of imagery and sound, filmed and recorded entirely in the Guanacaste province, in several locations: Rincon dela Viejaand Cacao, Islas Catalinas, the Gulf of Papagayo, Malpais, Playa Naranjo, the national parks of Palo Verde and Santa Rosa and El Viejo Wetlands. The hour of sound and film of Manuel Obregon accompanying the natural sounds and sights of each of these areas on his portable electric piano is nothing less than breathtaking, impressive in its consistent attention to detail on and off camera. I cannot imagine the number of man-hours put into this project, also a statement to Papaya’s commitment. The filming, a team of five photographers, headed by Luciano Capelli, who is also the director and executive producer, presents a potpourri of crystal clear long shots and very detailed close-ups of the area’s living, breathing soul, all literally in concert with Obregon improvising with Nature’s beauty and unpredictable personality. The imagery is really a play of light and motion; the editing in conjunction with the sound is superb. Nano Fernandez contributed a seamless job of recording the natural sounds, then mixing and mastering the final result, a critical step in the end production that often goes unrecognized.

Jaime Peligro Books and Music

The footage of the fog rolling in at Naranjo, the broad shots of Witch’s Rock, the monkeys, anteaters and detailed insect sequences in Santa Rosa, the rugged beauty of a Malpais sunrise, the frog ballet and rain passages in Quebrada el Duende along a trail and a creek nearLa Casonade Santa Rosa, the fade-outs and overlays, the captured concentration on Manuel’s face, all combine like a life-play. And the work it must have taken to get to those locations, record and film, then breakdown and edit it all into a final, beautiful product is mind-boggling and could only have been produced from a passion for the area.

 It is no secret that Guanacaste has a special place in the hearts of the Papaya family: obviously, the popular band Malpais was founded here. Luciano Capelli and his wife, writer Yazmin Ross have produced a notable book on this province (“Guanacaste – Rutas de Viaje”) and in 2010, Capelli filmed the documentary “Se Quema el Cielo” (“The Sky is Burning”) about the vulnerability of the fragile dry rainforest here, one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet. Manuel Obregon’s first Simbiosis venture was filmed in theMonteverdeNational Parkin Guanacaste. In fact, it was while Capelli was filming his documentary that he hatched the idea to conduct this second Simbiosis project.

 One sure sign of a successful artistic idea is when it spawns new ones, when it grows and takes on new branches. Papaya Music has demonstrated that propensity as key members have worked together as well as having solo projects. I’ve always considered them a good team but I am seeing now that they are really more like a family, like threads of a woven tapestry.

firma simbiosis