The sonda music festival is an annual event that connects the public and smaller exterior heritage sites in Castilla y León through musical performances at different venues each year. In 2021 the village of Cacabelos in el Bierzo was set to be the host, however due to a rainy forecast, the venue switched from the exterior riverfront to the interior of the cine Faba.

The cinema is historically rich with its own identity which is composed by its scale, geometry color, and age. At the same time, the combination of the pandemic and a declining trend of theatre activity has resulted in the general abandonment and disuse of the building.

How can a temporary scenography simultaneously contribute to the creation of an atmosphere that serves as an icon to represent the festival while at the same time reinvigorating the imaginary of a contemporary ruin?

Kodomo was designed to respond to these questions using three key factors (1) geometry, (2) light and (3) color. The triangle is historically considered the most stable shape while also being the icon used for the festival. Repeating the triangle and progressively insetting it creates a presence that draws in viewer attention to the center stage through the illusion of perspective. The use of pink and blue neon lights also allows Kodomo to change modes. When all triangle lights are on, the stage is made stable (much like the historical forms of ancient architecture Obelisk and Pyramids). When the lights alternate in sequence, shrinking from the outside inward, the stage is suspended and transformative, luring in viewer attention while simultaneously fading in and out of the background.

The scenography thus plays different roles at different times, taking on the role of background, middle ground and sometimes the foreground; paying homage to the event, the cinema, and to itself.

‘Kodomo’ means child in Japanese, and was named during the event when kids in the audience unknowingly became participants of the scene, improvising dances, and constructively breaking the norms of the theatre tradition and the ‘seated passive audience’. A spontaneous, unplanned and sincere behavioral change that together with the music, lighting and circumstances temporarily transformed the spirit and the energy of the place and the event during these unprecedented and uncertain times.

Sonda Music
Pareid Architects (Deborah Lopez + Hadin Charbel)
Structural engineer : 
Francisco José Prada López
Fabrication: Metal & Pino
Onsite Installation: Ramón López Rubio
Artists: Shakin’ Piñas +  Reykjavik606
Photos: Pareid

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