NICARAGUA PART SIX

A LITTLE ROUGH, BUT THE BEAUTY COMES THROUGH

LUCIA MY FILM MAKER DAUGHTER CAME DOWN TO SHOOT A SEQUEL TO “MY FATHER THE GENIUS.”  FILMING HERTY AND THE WORKMEN GREETING HER.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

SHE WAS DISHEARTENED BY THE TWO ROOM APARTMENT OFFICE I HAD. I WAS LIVING IN ROGER’S COMPOUND OF LUXURY, BUT MY QUARTERS WERE A BIT TOO RUSTIC FOR HER IMAGE OF WHAT HER FATHER SHOULD BE LIVING IN. ROGER HAD FILLED IN MY ONLY WINDOW IN THE BEDROOM, BECAUSE MY ROMANCE BOTHERED THE NEIGHBORS. IN NICARAGUA THE FAMILY COMES FIRST, AND I, ROGERS PARTNER AND MONEY SOURCE, TOOK SECOND PLACE TO HIS FAMILY WHICH HE PROVIDED LAVISHLY FOR. THE LATIN FAMILY BOND IS WAY STRONGER THAN IS TYPICAL IN THE STATES. EVERYTHING IS CENTERED AROUND THE FAMILY. IT MAKES FOR A CONTINUOUS CELEBRATION TIME ALONG WITH ALL THE HOLIDAYS OF NICARAGUA. IT IS JUST AMAZING. THE CULTURE LIVES TO PARTY. I REALLY QUESTION THE WAY WE LIVE IN THE STATES AFTER BEING IN NICARAGUA, WE ARE SO SERIOUS AND MATERIALISTIC.

ROUGHING IT WITH MY CUSTOM DESIGN AND BUILT TABLE AND LOCAL TEN DOLLAR CHAIRS

THE FRONT SKIRT BELOW THE STAGE FLOOR WAS DETERMINED BY AN EXISTING WALL OF THE REVIEWING MOUND THAT WAS NOT 90 DEGREES TO THE POPE’S OBOIST. THIS DIFFERENCE ALLOWED AN UNDULATING SWEEPING ROTATION OF FORM. MOST OF THE FINISH DESIGN WAS DONE ON SITE DIRECTED BY ME. THE RECESSED LIGHTING ACCENTUATED THE ROTATION. THE STAGE FLOOR IS TEN FEET OFF THE ROAD BELOW. I DESIGNED A PLANTING AREA TO CUSHION ANY FALL, BUT HERTY WOULD NOT LET IT HAPPEN, SO A SERIOUS ACCIDENT IS WAITING TO OCCUR.

I HIRED A PORTLAND OREGON ACOUSTICAL ENGINEER RUSS ALTERMAT TO MAKE IT ALL WORK FOR SOUND. HE CAME UP WITH A COMPUTER PRINT OUT THAT WAS STRAIGHT LINE PLANES WITH A SCRUB BOARD PATTERN OR THE INSIDE SHELL SURFACE. I TOOK THIS PRINT OUT AND RELIGIOUSLY FOLLOWED THE CONFIGURATION. I CURVED THE TRANSITION POINT ON THE EDGES TO LOOK LIKE A FLOWING PLANE.

VIEW ON STAGE: ON AXIS TO THE PLAZA

WE PUT HOOKS IN THE CEILING SHELL AS WELL TO HANG TRUSSES FOR LIGHTING AND MIKES. ALL DROPPED TO THE STAGE FLOOR AND HOISTED TO PROPER LEVELS. THE BACKSTAGE FLOWED FROM THE STAGE WITH STAGGERED PANELS. SO ENTRIES AND EXITS COULD HAPPEN ANYWHERE, THE MAJOR SPEAKER SYSTEM HAD HOOKS ON THE OUTER PLANS TO ALLOW FOR GIGANTIC SPEAKERS TO BE HUNG. SERGIO OUR STRUCTURAL ENGINEER WOULD NOT SIGN OFF ON THEM. HE DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE BEAUTY OF THE STRUCTURE THAT TIED ALL THE LOADS TOGETHER. MY ATTEMPTS WITH THE LOCAL SOUND MAN TO DO A TEST UNDER THE NEW REGIME, WERE MET FROM THE GOVERNMENT MAKING ME HAVING TO TAKE ALL FINANCIAL RISK. ANTI COOPERATIVE. I DID NOT HAVE FUNDS TO COVER THE RISK. MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE JUST GONE FOR IT, BUT FAILURE IN NICARAGUA COULD LAND ONE IN JAIL.

OPENING NIGHT, WHEN IT ALL CAME TOGETHER

THE OPENING NIGHT WITH FAMOUS MEXICAN MUSICIANS, WAS DESCRIBED BY THE MUSICIAN AS GREAT ACOUSTICS. THE AUDIENCE OF 150,000 TOTALLY WERE BLOWN AWAY. OPENING NIGHT WAS THE ONLY PERFORMANCE THAT USED THE SHELL AS DESIGNED, HERTY’S TERM AS MAYOR WAS UP A FEW DAYS LATER.

AFTER THAT OPENING NIGHT SECURITY WAS IGNORED WITH THE NEW REGIME, AND THE ELECTRIC PANEL BOXES STOLEN AND THE LIGHTING SYSTEM SHUT DOWN. THE PAINTING AND MINOR REPAIRING OF PATCHING AND PAINTING FOR UPKEEP WAS NOT IMPLEMENTED CORRECTLY. NEW PAINTING STOPPING WHERE LATTERS STOPPED. A COMICAL TRAGEDY. PERFECTION AND UPKEEP WAS NOT ON THE RADAR SCREEN. THE FEW EVENINGS BEFORE THE FIRST PERFORMANCE SHOWED THE LIGHT ACOUSTICAL SHELL AT NIGHT, A VERY BEAUTIFUL SIGHT. WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN?

PLAZA AND WATERFRONT SITE PLAN

THE MASTER PLAN IMPLEMENTED WOULD CREATE A FEELING OF ENCLOSURE BUILDING UP TO THE ACOUSTICAL SHELL. THIS NEVER HAPPENED AND IT SITS ISOLATED. THE SHORELINE MASTER PLAN I DESIGNED HAS BEEN IGNORED, AND A BUNCH OF HIDEOUS AND RANDOM RESTAURANTS HAVE EVOLVED.

HUGE EVENTS ARE HELD IN THE PLAZA WITH THE KEY ELEMENT BEING THE ACOUSTICAL SHELL. EVEN WITH STRANGE TEMPORARY SEATING AND ADDITIONAL MULTI STAGES THAT OFTEN ARE ARRANGED, THE ACOUSTICAL SHELL HOLDS ITS OWN. I REMEMBER OPENING NIGHT WHERE HERTY WANTED A RUNWAY JETTING INTO THE AUDIENCE AND TOLD THE LOCAL SOUND MAN TO ERECT ONE AGAINST MY OBJECTIONS WELL, THE MEXICAN DIRECTOR OF THE EVENING TOLD HERTY IT WAS UGLY AND TO GET RID OF IT. WHICH HE DID. ROGER AND I WERE NEVER ASKED TO DESIGN A RUNWAY, AND IT COULD EASILY BE DONE IN HARMONY WITH THE STRUCTURE.

I HAD ANTICIPATED THAT ONCE FINISHED AND USED THE ACOUSTICAL SHELL WOULD BECOME THE SYMBOL OF NICARAGUA. THAT IS SLOWLY HAPPENING. BUT IT IS TAKING MUCH LONGER THAN I PROJECTED. I AM A BIG BELIEVER IN SENSUOUS SHAPES THAT DO NOT NEED TO BE EXPLAINED, THEY JUST NATURALLY ATTRACT POSITIVE ATTENTION. THE SHELL HAS RECENTLY APPEARED ON THE COVER OF SOME PROMINENT MAGAZINE.

APPROACH VIEW

AN AUDIENCE OF THOUSANDS

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4 comments

    • HI ERIK,

      RUNNING OUT OF STEAM IS IMPOSSIBLE, OTHER THAN TERMINATING ME.

      SILENCE IS NOT MY THING.

      THE FINISHED ACOUSTICAL SHELL LIVES ON. I GET AN E MAIL NOW AND THEN WHEN SOMEBODY HAPPENS ONTO IT IN MANAGUA AND THINKS THEY HAVE DISCOVERED GOLD.

      THANKS FOR COMMENTING

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