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“Lulito’s World:” Childhood imagination brought to life

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Pablo Gómez Estévez (‘17) and Kristin Underwood present “Lulito’s World” at ArtHaus.

Pablo Gómez Estévez (‘17) and Kristin Underwood present “Lulito’s World” at ArtHaus.

Lily Kime (‘19) | Chips

Lily Kime (‘19) | Chips

Pablo Gómez Estévez (‘17) and Kristin Underwood present “Lulito’s World” at ArtHaus.

Lily Kime, Staff Writer

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Lulito shrinks after eating a jellybean, is chased by a lizard, braves the rough seas within the bathtub, and rescues his sidekick Charlie from a bear’s den that seems a bit like his mom’s room. Pablo Gómez Estévez (‘17) presented “Lulito’s World,” his story of childhood imagination blended with an original composition at ArtHaus on March 30. This was the final performance of this year’s Water Street Music Series.

“Lulito’s World” is about an imaginative four year old boy named Lulito and the adventures that he has with the help of his sidekick Charlie Canillas. According to Estévez, the story is autobiographical and based on his own adventures as a young boy.

Kristin Underwood, a member of the Water Street Music Series board and co-founder of ArtHaus, performed the verbal part of the story. In addition to the spoken tale, Estévez composed music for each of the 11 scenes.

“From the beginning, the idea was to write something that I could base music off of,” Estévez said.

The creation of “Lulito’s World” began three years ago. After writing the story, Estévez received a grant from Luther that allowed him to spend seven weeks during the summer of 2015 writing the music for the project with Associate Professor of Music and Composer-In-Residence Brooke Joyce.

In May of 2016, Estévez presented “Lulito’s World” and spoke about his future plans to have it illustrated at the Student Research Symposium. Underwood became involved when requested to participate in a project for the Water Street Music Series.

Underwood’s husband mentioned Estévez’s creation and suggested that she work with him on creating a live performance. Underwood and Estévez then collaborated to create the live-performance version of “Lulito’s World.”

“My job was to go through the 11 scenes and take more descriptive notes and turn them into text that could be spoken in conjunction with the music,” Underwood said.

Underwood and Estévez taught each other about different aspects of artistic creation in order to assist in the performance.

“In general, the most difficult thing about the project for me is that I’m not nearly as musically literate as Pablo is,” Underwood said. “Pablo would say, ‘Just listen for the triplets and come in,’ and I don’t hear that the way he hears it. So my music literacy was a little bit of a stumbling block.”

Audience member Samantha Phillips (‘17) thought the show was a success.

“I thought it was a heartwarming tale that captured Pablo’s personality perfectly,” Phillips said.

Co-founder of the Water Street Music Series Daniel Fernelius (‘13) was impressed with the talent that connected Luther and the Decorah community.

“When you have this much talent in this one little spot, it’s hard to go wrong,” Fernelius said. “Kristin has over 20 years of experience doing what she’s doing, and Pablo is so great that he can make all of this happen.”

For Estévez, this performance was the beginning of his future plans. His goals include an animation, a printed and illustrated book, and an e-book. Estévez is proud of what he has accomplished so far.

“When a dream comes true, this is what it looks like: a lot of hard work,” Estevez said.

Estevez and Underwood will be giving another performance of “Lulito’s World” on April 6 at 7 p.m. in the Noble Recital Hall in Jensen-Noble Hall of Music.

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