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f-stop Ambassador Veronica Lanza is a documentary photographer and videographer based in Lima, Peru. Her latest personal project 'Rudimenty' is a video series combining both stunning visual scenarios, with the fundamental musical language of drumming around the world. In 'Rudiments', Veronica Lanza is joined by drummer Gisella Giurfa, an international teacher of drumming, now living in Lima, Peru. Gisella previously spent 10 years living and drumming in Japan, and believes music is a language you can use to communicate your thoughts, feelings and passion through - in this case, through the language of drums. We caught up with Veronica and Gisella to learn more about this project. Along with behind-the-scenes videos, read on hear how she went about creating this project in diverse environments around the world.
Words, photos and videos by Veronica Lanza:
Is a personal film project and music production, filmed all over the world, collecting a series of videos called “Rudiments” each one lasting one minute with international drummer Gisella Giurfa. As a personal project I did all the directing and editing myself fo this.
Gisella and I wanted to record a series of short videos about jamming with a simple pair of sticks in any surface, while paying special attention to the photography and scenery of the locations. Gisella told me about "rudiments" and its meaning: rudiments are the foundation of different drum patterns around the world. The word “rudiments" not only means basic, but also fundamental. Any level of drumming should, or may be, broken down by analysis into a series of component rudiments. There are 40 officially recognized international drum rudiments.
I study all the rudiments and their alternative beats with different variations, and so they just come to me when I seat with my sticks in any surface, mixing themselves with the music in my own mind. Also, they come from being inspired by the surrounding environments in each video.
I guess, it is quite challenging, because Gisella only plays something once and I have to get multiple angles of it, and different types of shots, without stopping recording, because we cannot lose the audio of the whole performance. It is only one take. However, it is very rewarding and creative not only to capture the drumming performance, but also because of the different climate or scenery in each location.
We remember, being in the north coast of Peru, filming with a Gopro underwater in a pool, when suddenly we were challenged by filming rudiments underwater, even though we did not know if the direct sound would have been good enough for our audience. We were laughing so much because I had to literally push gisella head down the water in order to maintain her firm on the pool’s floor so her to be able to make the rudiments, meanwhile I was filming
The one in Colombia was definitely very tricky. It was filmed in the Tayrona National Reserve Park, on the top of a cliff. We were perched on a rock over a big drop, staring at the sea, with Gisella’s feet hanging off the edge into the air, and me trying not to fall down of the cliff while trying to get the best shot.
Well, all of these videos are clearly outdoor productions, so it's really useful to be able to easily hike up a hill, along a beach, or through the city. Travelling light, we shot most of the Rudiments episodes in 4k using a Sony A6500 and the f-stop Kashmir UL and Loka UL to get to our gear quickly and easily. This worked well as it enabled be to grab my Sony or my Canon cameras, and my audio equipment, without necessarily having to leave the backpack on the floor.
The most unusual was drumming on the sole of a shoe! Actually in that case, we were in a very old museum in Cusco, and I was worried about hitting the sticks on the roof top there because of the history of the wall and surfaces of this museum.
At the bottom of a swimming pool was super hard to play, because it's very difficult to move into the water and to play rudiments, you have to be very fast but underwater we all get slow. It took me 10 or more times to make it happen.
One more occasion was playing on a motorbike helmet hanging by a rope, in front of a burning roman coliseum, when it was almost 42 degrees celsius hot and it was moving all the time and tricky to control my movements and the helmet’s movements!
Gisella: This project is important for me, as it is a great opportunity to share my musical ideas and use the language of drumming to share her feelings. It's also a very nice chance to search for different destinations, great views of different cities and countries around the world. This combination of music and travel, and the feelings that come from that are the best.
Veronica: For me is it very enjoyable and helps me to discover great new shooting locations in Peru or abroad. Also, I am so glad that our audience is increasing and constantly commenting not only on Gisella's talent but also on the idea of this videos series. It's good to know that this work is making its mark on the public.