Friends, I first publicized "Patagonia Rising" for its San Francisco premiere, back in June. At the time I had not seen the film. I must say-- it is an amaaaaaazing documentary. DO NOT miss it.
When I last promoted the premiere, I focused my Newsletter on Axel Herrera, composer of the film score. I am including the text, thus some of you may have already read the following Editor's Note.~
I look forward to the San Francisco premiere of "Patagonia Rising," not only because of the film's at present relevant subject matter--HidroAysén, the hydroelectric mega project to be built in the southern-most tip of Chile's pristine paradise--but, notably, for an entirely personal reason: the film score's composer is my dear and long time friend--Axel Herrera.
I've known Axel for over a decade, but it wasn't long after I met him that I knew he had the makings of a Maestro. Born in the enchanting port of Valparaíso, in 1974, Axel Herrera discovered his vocation for music early on. By age twelve he was studying guitar and music theory at the Escuela Artística de Valparaíso, a community based school. Growing up in the shadows of Chile's military regime, his sensitivity found, during these turbulent times, a form of expression in music, specifically classical music.
Axel moved to California at seventeen and of course he met up with many compatriots that shared his social views and musical comprehension; in particular the former generation of local Chilean artists, many of which were the founders of La Peña de Berkeley, CA. In 2001 Axel got his music degree from San Francisco State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude.
Axel plays guitar, he is an amazing drummer, but foremost, he is a profound composer of classical music. Thus, it's not surprising that his work began to interest local filmmakers. His original film scores include: "Soledad is Gone Forever," directed by Mabel Valdiviezo (2006); "Sobreviviendo en el imperio," directed by Ariel López (2006); "The Blast,"directed by Dennis Maxwell (2006); "Epifanía," directed by Gabriel Restrepo (2006); and a documentary on the life of Manlio Argueta, renown Salvadorean poet and writer, titled: "Manlio Argueta, poetas y volcanes," by filmmaker Carolina Rivera, and director Nando Grancelli, (2010).