top of page
Above the Clouds


Unrealized Production | 2020

A Play by Jose Rivera
Composition by Ariana Cardoza

Marisol follows the title character as she navigates a new world after the angels start a war with God. This new world takes a deeper look at the tragedies of our current reality in an apocalyptic lens. As the audience follows this journey, we realized that the new discoveries aren’t new but just a highlight reel of all the injustices currently in our world. The play is a call to action to pay attention before it’s too late. The sound goals were for the music of the play to reflect the causes it was promoting while abstracting the music to have a familiar but abstract quality. It was important to highlight the differences in the pre-apocalyptic world and apocalyptic world while maintaining a link between them. The use of  hip hop and synthesizers achieved both the message of social justice and the imitation of reality.


This project was an unrealized paper project. I designed and composed two cues (below) on Logic Pro X. 

At first glance Marisol is a play that can be confusing and absurd at times. At my first reading many questions came to mind and it was important for me to find clarity through exploring the text and rereading the play. Some notes I took from those first few reading are:

  • The crown raised above the stage makes every moment where Marisol is talking to God more impactful.

  • The play references issues that are in real life and the play exaggerates it which makes scarier.

  • When Marisol survives on page 55, she doesn’t know why and turns on God. And once she turns on him and joins the revolution, she dies by the hands of the rich.

  • “Heavenly Hierachies” (pg 18) 

  • Why is Lenny pregnant?

    • To show a toxic masculine person the perspective of a woman

  • The world feels like an in between place, bright and dark, hot and cold

  • Music is a source of relief for Marisol

  • The crown (God) is always looming over the play

Once I understood the play better I made a spotify playlist to explore the soundscape that I felt resonated with me and connected to the play. Hip Hop felt like an impactful connection because of it's roots to New York City (the setting of the play) and its ability to speak on social issues. In addition, the play felt dark, hot, and unknown, especially as we progress into the war. Drone-like and electronic music resonated because of its unreal quality and its imitation of reality. Also, it can convey the feelings of the play well.

With these types of music established. I moved along and created a soundscape with Hip Hop and Electronic Music. Beginning with Hip Hop as the grounding part of the play, it slowly morphed and abstracted to Electronic just as the world of the play morphed and abstracted.

Scene Four

In scene four, the Angel appears to Marisol for the first time to tell her she will no longer be protected because the angels that guard humans are going to war with God. In this underscoring, the Angel's emotions are tracked by the sound of string synths, which conveys a beautiful angelic feeling as well as being dark and mysterious. 

00:00 / 07:39

Final Monologue

At the end of the play, Marisol is killed in the war and sends her last message towards the audience. She tells the story of the rest of the war and by doing so inspires all who feel like they can't make an impact. Unity and hope can fight even God. The underscoring reflects the emotion of the story and emphasizes the impact it has on the audience. Stand up for what is right and fight together.

Reading by Emily Mesa

bottom of page