Do you want to know what happens when you unite the love of a dog, a friend like Anthony Silvestri and a determination to go around the world to pay homage to your dog? Stay to read this story. This is the fascinating story behind “I Will Dream With You”, a passionate work created by a loving dog lover, which became a moving celebration of life and friendship.
I am a person of passions, of obsessions, and I love with intensity. Among my great loves are animals, especially dogs, as if they possess something supernatural. The idea that there is no human being who just by seeing you can express so much joy and transmit so much love in such an allegorical way drives me crazy. Who deceived them into believing we are fantastic when, in truth, we are far from it?
In May 2020, my beloved dog Ruperto departed from this world. In my grief, I wrote a heartfelt poem and shared it on my Instagram. A few days later, my friend Anthony Silvestri performed a grand gesture and sent me a “mirror poem.” It was profoundly emotional, respecting the structure of the poem I had written for Rupi. At that moment, I lacked the strength to create music, but his gesture of “I’m here for you, my friend” uplifted me and made me feel supported. Only two years later, I finally overcame the grief, and I realized that there must be many people out there who would love to have music to honor their loved ones. The poem also included a message of “I depart, having fulfilled my dreams,” which inspired the idea of crafting a piece with a message to live life in the most beautiful and determined way possible. It made perfect sense, drawing from my own experience of leaving Latin America and with immense determination becoming a full-time choral composer. This could undoubtedly inspire many.
Ruperto was a presence that profoundly impacted my life, and I knew I couldn’t dedicate a mere three-minute piece for four voices to him just to collect a check and call it done. No, I was determined to create the best work I could possibly compose. I was ready to devote as much time and effort as it took to bring this monumental piece to life. I envisioned taking him on a journey around the world, surrounded by an orchestra paying homage, with his immense energy, a mix of dog and Siberian, resounding powerfully. I thought as grand as I could. In early 2022, this idea started taking shape. I formed a consortium and invited the directors I admired the most, friends to whom I would give the world if I could. Julian Bryson, one of those friends who always brings laughter and support, Brian Winnie, whom I greatly admire for his mastery of musical phrases and unwavering passion for vocal studies – perhaps one of the most knowledgeable people in that field – and my friend William Perrot from Canada, for whom I would give anything because he is a remarkable human being. I knew that the human aspect of this project was its backbone. I was entrusting my most precious piece to these admirable souls.
Once the group was formed, we began considering the instrumentation. Personally, I had envisioned a work for two choirs with a 200-member orchestra, as that would be the minimum Ruperto deserved. However, back in reality, we reached a consensus on a choir of 30 to 40 people, a string quintet, a piano, and a clarinet. And as I started making this project public, angels appeared. People began reaching out providing financial support to help the choirs cover fewer commission costs, and these people changed everything. One day, Kirsten Goulde (patron) said, “I studied at Loyola Maramount University; I must contact TJ Harper so that we can perform your piece here.” After some conversations, TJ was on board. As if that weren’t enough, Loyola Maramount University happened to be Anthony Silvestri’s alma mater, completing the circle.
Then came two months of writing, dialogues, and reminiscing with my mother about Rupi to portray him in the best way possible. We discovered that the accompaniment had to embody the energy of a dog that only knew how to run, with the musical motif of rising and falling analogous to the sound Rupi made when he shook his toy frantically from side to side while biting it. The piece had to be an unstoppable crescendo, mirroring his unyielding energy even during his last days as a 14-year-old senior. It would be a story of a life lived to the fullest, filled with travels, friends, and familial love. Rupi was an extraordinary dog, and I needed to create something extraordinary to celebrate him.
Once I completed the composition, I packed my bags, looked up to the sky, and said, “Friend, I’m taking you on a journey around the world.” And in September 2022, I set off for London. From there, I traveled to Barcelona, New York, Boston, Illinois, and California. Twelve weeks of touring, performing concerts across Europe and crisscrossing the USA from coast to coast. Those were the happiest days of my life so far. I vividly remember the first rehearsal of “I Will Dream With You.” As Brian Winnie raised his arms, the music began to resonate, and within seconds, tears welled up in my eyes. That initial rehearsal was overwhelming, and trying to suppress the emotional side was a challenge. Fortunately, working with Brian is one of the greatest pleasures and privileges; we understood each other perfectly, turning the performance into a grand tribute. Kirsten traveled to Illinois for the concert, and it was exhilarating to have her by my side that night.
Meeting TJ Harper and collaborating with the choir while having Kirsten not only as a patron and friend but also as a singer was a wonderful experience. We shared an emotional week, and it was truly unforgettable.
Just a few days ago, the exclusivity license expired, and I uploaded “I Will Dream With You” to my website. I want to continue taking Ruperto’s voice to the ears of the world. But I also want to convey the message that a life lived with determination and surrounded by friends is the best life we can live. Embrace your dreams – even if it means going on a global tour to pay tribute to your dog and visit friends all over the world – because they are the only thing that truly matters. Bring well-being to those around you. That’s what dogs have taught us, and I believe humans have much to learn from it.
So, enjoy “I Will Dream With You,” and consider acquiring it at this Link