Ombra Musici

Multidisciplinary Collaborations

Tomás Cotik has a strong passion for collaborating with artists from diverse disciplines. One notable project is “Ombra Musici,” which featured a five-story-high projection for the Portland Winter Light Festival. Another remarkable collaboration is “The Fiddler on the Roof,” a large-scale performance projection of a violinist on a downtown Portland roof. This project received a National Endowment for the Arts Grant for a 2023 installation.

“Ombra Musici” was a multimedia multidisciplinary collaboration with Dr. Dave Collangelo, presented during the Portland Winter Light Festival in 2019. The central facade of the PSU Library became a canvas for projected silhouettes of four faculty members from the School of Music and Theater, each performing a solo work. Spectators passing by and gathering in front of the building experienced the music through loudspeakers and witnessed the moving silhouettes projected onto the entire height of the structure. The title “Ombra Musici,” meaning “Musician’s Shadow” in Italian, directly referred to the visual content of the work, paying homage to the Italian heritage of classical music and symbolizing the ephemeral and transformative nature shared by shadow play and large-scale projection. By bringing scenes typically confined to Lincoln Hall onto the library’s facade, this concept turned the traditional “inside out,” fostering a closer connection between art and the community and becoming a highlight of the Portland Winter Light Festival.

Building upon the success of the previous project, “Ombra Musici II” took place at the Portland Winter Light Festival in 2023. It showcased a captivating large-scale performance projection of a violinist on a downtown Portland roof, exploring artistic performance in the (post)-pandemic era and offering a new communal and democratizing experience with the arts.

In “Trio for Violin, Light, and Shadow,” the audience inside PSU’s Lincoln Recital Hall had the opportunity to immerse themselves in live music for solo violin accompanied by mesmerizing and minimalist lighting effects. Tomás Cotik, PSU Violin Professor, collaborated with PSU School of Music and Theater student Ronnie Rantis to create this multidisciplinary experience, blending modern technology with classical music. The traditional concert experience was reimagined through the use of lights, shadows, movement, and optical illusions, injecting new life and contemporary relevance into classical music while engaging with the community in innovative ways.

Please find below a playlist featuring various projects and interviews that showcase the breadth of Tomás Cotik’s diverse collaborations.

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