Orlando Fringe 2022 review: 'A Solo From the Pit'

A one-man masterclass in acoustical manipulation from a musical magician.

It’s been several years since Elias Faingersh was able to visit Orlando from his home in Sweden, making this musical magician’s return yet another reason to celebrate the suspension of pandemic travel restrictions. As a Juilliard- and Yale-trained musician in New York during the late 1990s, Faingersh thought he had it made when he scored a gig with the prestigious Metropolitan Opera orchestra, but he ended up spending more time counting rests than actually playing for dozing audiences. Fortunately, the music of Manhattan’s streets inspired him to explore new compositional directions, reimagining Bizet’s Carmen and Puccini’s Tosca or mimicking his quarrelsome neighbors using a cup mute.

During his one-man masterclass in acoustical manipulation, Faingersh conjures not mere songs, but an entire acoustical cosmos of music using merely his mouth, a trombone, and some pedal-controlled digital recording devices. Together, they transmute his solo playing into an otherworldly soundscape, blending classical Western traditions with Middle Eastern-influenced timbres and ambient electronica. 

Faingersh’s music is carefully constructed out of intricate loops and overlapping layers, and it’s deceptively easy to be seduced by his hypnotic patterns; if his stories linking them don’t all flow as fluently, that’s a forgivable flaw in a fascinating performance. A Solo From the Pit is a can’t-miss pick for classical music lovers, or anyone who wants to put the "international" back into their Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival experience.

Tickets and show info: A Solo From the Pit

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