The Sonosopher

Former UVU students and filmmakers, Travis Low and Torben Bernhard, are soon screening their film, “The Sonosopher: Alex Caldiero in Life … in Sound” at UVU, documenting an unusual teacher and his unconventional relationship with language, art and life.

The film is based around the creative process of Sicilian-born, Brooklyn-raised Alex Caldiero, UVU’s artist in residence; and the duo plans to submit the film to both national and international film festivals. The Sept. 25 screening is raising money for this endeavor.

Scott Carrier, Caldiero’s friend of more than 20 years and a professor in the Communications department says of him, “Alex is captivating to many people because he speaks many languages. He’s kind of the embodiment of the word ‘language,’ or like a meta-mechanic of meaning. Writers, dancers, musicians and visual artists are attracted to him because he greases their wheels.”

Bernhard and Low met at UVU, and with special help from the Integrated Studies program, fused their academic pursuits with their desire to present the art and performance of Caldiero, their mentor and teacher, in a full-length film.

Describing Alex Caldiero to a uninformed person is like playing darts while simultaneously performing a scratch spin in figure skating – the target being somewhere in the periphery and a bit blurry – the attempt is bound to be off mark. One might hit the target with luck, but in all likelihood is probably not equipped with enough prescriptive or descriptive tools to provide a correct answer. But here’s an approximate summary: the man creates pieces of art or anti-art – whichever your preference – and uses what he terms “sonosophy” in the process to give his creations an utterly unique kind of life.

Caldiero’s verbal imagery, cocooned within him, is eager to escape into the air as recitation. Sometimes the words, or audible thrusts, peek out slowly through the cocoon – other times they maniacally force their way out as if trapped in a straitjacket. The Forrest Gump box of chocolates metaphor fits well here: “You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Caldiero’s local following waits in anticipation for this film to be screened, and the $5 tickets are going quickly at Campus Connection for the fundraising screening held Sept. 25. To catch a glimpse of the difficult-to-describe, yet impossible-to-be-unaffected-by Alex Caldiero, pick up tickets as soon as you can.

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