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Voltaire Biography

Last updated: 05/21/2013 06:51:13 PM

Voltaire-photo
Voltaire was born in Havana, Cuba in 1967. He emigrated with his family to the U.S. as a child and settled in New Jersey (a fact he never stops complaining about!)

"Voltaire is a singer/songwriter whose music has its roots deeply imbedded in European folk music. His songs speak of love and, most often, the loss thereof with the added twist of how best to seek revenge on the ones who have hurt you. Lyrically, he explores and reveals those moments of vulnerability most would rather not discuss and exploits with childish abandon those fleeting streaks of cruelty we all feel but choose not to act upon or even mention.

Voltaire's live shows, whether solo or with his skeletal orchestra, are highly theatrical -full of props and stories. The visual quality of his performances is not surprising; Voltaire has been directing commercials and animating short films for the last ten years. He's best known for his Hieronymous Bosch inspired station ID's for MTV.

Inspired by the films of Ray Harryhausen (Jason and the Argonauts, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad), Voltaire began animating at the age of ten on a super8 camera. At that time, he says, "no three dimensional object was safe. My brother's action figures, my sister's dolls, silverware, etc . . . If it was missing, chances were that it was in the basement in front of my camera."

Eventually, piecing together snippets of information from fanzines, he was able to teach himself how to make foam rubber animation models and animate them with fluidity and realism. The films of his childhood landed him his first directing job in 1988. That project was the classic MTV ID called "MTV-Bosch." The stop-motion tour of the hellish "Garden of Earthly Delights" went on to win several awards including a Broadcast Design Award and helped to establish Voltaire's style of animation.

His strange stew of gothic darkness, baroque lushness and whimsical surrealism has been seen in a score of television commercials for clients such as Cartoon Network, USA and The Sci-Fi Channel. His short films which he describes as being "an opportunity for me to be as strange and demented as I care to be," have been seen at animation festivals around the world, including the sinister "Rakthavira" which toured as part of Expanded Entertainment's Too Outrageous Animation."

- Courtesy of Projekt.com

These days, Voltaire continues writing, recording and performing music, directing and animating commericals and projects for television and working on the occasional comic book. Somewhere in there, he also teaches stop-motion animation at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.


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