The LMU community will gather Dec. 3, 4, and 5 at 7 p.m. to watch an out-of-this-world animation display on the walls of Sacred Heart Chapel in celebration of the 50-year merger of Loyola University and Marymount College. “Anima Mundi,” the “Soul of the World,” will take the viewer through an emotional, beautiful journey symbolizing both LMU’s legacy and future.
“‘Anima Mundi’ is a celebration of the collaborative spirit that gave birth to Loyola Marymount University 50 years ago,” said John Sebastian, vice president for Mission and Ministry. “It is a reminder of the foundations of our university in what is good and true and beautiful. It is an invitation to pursue the call of the spirit to new realms of seeing and imagining and believing.”
Animation faculty member José García Moreno is the mastermind behind this incredible undertaking. For the past three years, he has been creating, molding and producing this experience. But García Moreno is one of many who have worked behind the scenes on the event, including a team of five LMU alumni: Andy Cepollina, Sheldon Williams, Adam Gailles, Moses Kent, and Eloíse Kabbaz Szabo were a part of creating “Anima Mundi.”
Williams ’23 majored in animation as an LMU student and he jumped at the chance to work with García Moreno. “He shared some of his early thoughts and concept work on the project,” said Williams. “I was blown away by the careful planning and unique structure of this abstract narrative. I knew ‘Anima Mundi’ would be unlike anything I had done before, so I had to be a part of it.” Williams said this project has been an ideal transition from being an LMU student to entering the work force. “During some meetings, José would surprise us with brand new ideas or artwork, and the team would discuss how to fit them into the project,” said Williams. “Being exposed to some of the creative planning for ‘Anima Mundi’ has been a lot of fun for me, because it creates a deeper connection between me and the project.”
Cepollina ’22 was also eager to contribute to “Anima Mundi” because of his experience of García Moreno as a faculty member. “His storytelling process and deep understanding of geometric symbolism and surrealism inspired me, and his guidance on my animated thesis film left a profound impact,” said Cepollina. There have been many moving pieces and multimedia elements, innovative solutions have been integral to the development of the project, using animation, 3D printing, and high-definition video mapping. “This project has motivated me to delve into new animation techniques, and I’m enthusiastic about applying these learnings to future endeavors,” said Cepollina. Eoíse Kabbaz Szabo ’22 said physically being on LMU’s campus was very special to her. “Being able to work as an animator on a project for a school where I initially learned animation was not only gratifying, but offered an immense sense of closure,” said Kabbaz Szabo. “It felt cyclical, helping to produce something visually intriguing in celebration of where I earned my creative degree was only fitting.”
President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D. is the creative tour-de-force behind the music, composing an original 35-minute score and many choral interludes that harmonize with the inspired animations and visuals throughout the presentation. “The cosmicity of the experience should be tangible,” said Snyder. “I tried to compose and perform the music, bringing all the feelings and understandings to life.”
John Flaherty, who is leading the live 60-member choir, shared, “it’s been a great experience to sing through each movement of ‘Anima Mundi.’ The movements are challenging as there are many voicings that are wonderfully unique, each in their own way. ‘Anima Mundi’ will be stunning, this will be a great feast for the senses, only the poet and the artist can describe the indescribable, that is, to give us an image of the unimaginable … To paint an image of the God who is beyond all names, description, and imagination.”
“Anima Mundi” will honor the richness of LMU’s heritage and mission grounded in the goals, mission, and wisdom of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, and the Society of Jesus.
“Anima Mundi, The Soul of the World” will take place Dec. 3, 4, and 5 at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Watch a video about “Anima Mundi” and learn more about “Anima Mundi,” in an interview with José García Moreno.