Recipes with Retonica

Recipes with Retonica – Smoked Maple Old Fashioned

Joey Phoenix of Creative Salem sat down with Joey Nictora of Retonica for cocktails and a short interview.

CS: What is Retonica?

JN: Retonica is an event lighting company. We do lighting for weddings and concerts and masquerade balls and installations and you name it. If it it needs color changing, blinky lights, we take care of it.

CS: How long has [Retonica] been in business?

JN: In its current iteration for two years. I started doing architectural installations and big projects and got really bored, so I made the decision to start doing more creative events two years ago.

CS: What were you doing previously which led you to doing this as a bigger production?

JN: I was doing permanent projects, taking on one or two at a time, and the thing about permanent architectural projects is that they take forever to plan, they take forever to execute, there’s so many regulations, and money always runs out before it’s finished. I wanted to do something with lights that would be a quick hit, that we could just set up really fast and would be awesome and we could take it down right away before anyone had time to complain. [he laughs].

CS: What’s the one thing about Retonica that most people don’t know?

JN: I think that most people understand the amount of lights that we have and how easy it is for us to bring in lights to a space. Because you have DJ’s that have like 12-24 uplights that come in these giant cases and it takes forever to set them up and you have to plug them in. The lights that we have are the size of a couple of post-its and we can bring a hundred and have them set up in less than half an hour, and we can do all the same things that a theatrical production can do. I think that’s what people don’t necessarily know, because you can’t tell that from a picture. How many pictures of magenta wedding photos do you see?

CS: What kind of event haven’t you done yet, but would really like to do?

JN: I think I’ve done just about everything, but I think it would be fun to do a high end fashion show. I’ve done fashion shows, and I love doing charity projects, I love sponsoring any event that I can – but to do a big designer show where the light is so focused but you have liberty to do whatever you want on the backdrop. I like the juxtaposition of that because you have some highly technical stuff and also some highly artistic stuff that you have to do.

My absolute favorite thing to do is concerts, I love doing concerts. I work with the Venus Mars Project a lot, and those are the happiest moments of my life.

CS: What do you love about being in Salem and working in Salem.

JN: I went to school in Salem, I’m a Salem State grad and undergrad. I love how dynamic the city is. I love how much it’s changed. I love how much it’s still constantly changing and reinventing itself and every corner you turn there’s a new restaurant that’s opened up or some new Satanic temple or something. It’s this endless ‘You never know what’s going to happen next,’ and that’s one of the things I love about it.

CS: What does creativity mean to you?

JN: Creativity is the freedom to express that which is structured in a completely unstructured way, and have it look structured.

More Creative Happenings

Support a more "Creative" Community

A Creative Salem membership helps us foster and shine a light on the creative community in and around Salem as well as grants you access to exclusive discounts and giveaways.

Why Small Business Saturday in Salem is the Real Cherpumple

November 21, 2017

by Joey Phoenix I can see them now. Shoppers all over the United States will be cramming their faces up against windows of major chains on Thanksgiving night, somebody’s elbow jabbing them in the ribs, a small child wailing because its mother brought it to Wal-Mart before it could have its third slice of cherpumple. […]

Master Storyteller Jonathan Kruk brings one-man show ‘A Christmas Carol’ to Salem

November 15, 2017

Performance one night only. When: Friday, December 15, 2017 Time: 8:00pm-9:00pm Tickets: $25 (in advance or at the door) Where: Grace Episcopal Church, 385 Essex Street, Salem, MA 01970 By David Jonathan Lavin Ebeneezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and the ghost of Jacob Marley are soon to come alive in Salem, as the Hudson […]

An Early Snowfall comes to Mercy Tavern

November 9, 2017

“Paper Snowflakes” runs through the month of November at Mercy Tavern, and an opening reception will take place on Sunday, November 12th at Mercy Tavern.

5 facts about Christmas in Salem

November 21, 2017

Christmas in Salem, thought to be the nation’s longest running holiday house tour, invites visitors to tour historic homes in the Downtown and McIntire neighborhood from December 1–3, 2017. Homes will be beautifully decorated for the holiday season and will be open for tours throughout the weekend.

Road Trip Photo Gallery – Illuminus Boston

November 4, 2017

The ILLUMINUS Festival is Boston’s contribution to the global “Nuit Blanche” movement established in Paris and taking place in many cities around the world. Each year it has been held at a different location in the greater Boston area and is free to the public.

Legendary Folk Trio Maeve Set for Rare Concert in Salem

November 3, 2017

Beginning in 2001, the modern folk group Maeve has developed a huge following among music lovers who appreciate their exquisitely warm harmonies and thoughtful lyrics. Over the past few years, their live concerts have been rare.

Salem Photos – XYZT at Peabody Essex Museum

October 22, 2017

An incredible exhibit exploring the X Y Z and Time dimensions imagined by the French digital artists, Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne

The Write Space: Kevin Carey

October 20, 2017

The Write Space is a monthly Q&A series from Creative Salem covering a local writer and a Salem space(s) he associates with writing.

Taste of the Gables Highlights via SATV

October 20, 2017

Video by Salem Access TV The House of the Seven Gables hosts its annual fundraiser and THE event of the year.

Salem Photos – Mayor’s Night Out Salem 2017

October 11, 2017

Once a year, at the beginning of the Salem Haunted Happenings Celebrations Mayor Kimberly Driscoll joins hundreds of little revelers in costume for Mayor's Night Out. Dozens of local businesses offer special discounts and offers to residents and hand out treats for the little ones!

Salem Scene – Punto Urban Art Museum Block Party

October 3, 2017

Our vision is to create a world class urban arts district in Salem’s Point Neighborhood, one that embraces its rich immigrant and architectural history and present a dynamic opportunity for the neighborhood’s future.

Salem Scene – Taste the Space Fundraising Kick Off

September 30, 2017

The Salem YMCA GreenSpace is a public garden run by the Salem YMCA. The Y hires local teens that work with volunteers to create and maintain this garden and school gardens across the city. Through the support of our community volunteers, the City of Salem, and generous donors, GreenSpace is able to provide free weekly produce to it's neighbors.

HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan comes to the Larcom Theatre

September 26, 2017

“Memoirs of Geisha” meets “Slumdog Millionaire” in this vibrant award-winning stage show with original music, colors of India and a riveting story that is sure to remind you of Bollywood

Salem Scene – Notch Oktoberfest

September 18, 2017

Oktoberfest celebrations in Salem kicked off this past weekend with an overwhelmingly successful event at Notch Brewing. Giant tents, delicious cuisine, communal tables, games, traditional music and merriment were all in abundance as a new tradition in Salem has come to life on the South Harbor.

The Trustees to Present first East Coast Production of TigerLion Art’s Acclaimed Outdoor Walking Play Nature

September 15, 2017

Boston and Concord, MA – August 2017 – The Trustees announces that it will present TigerLion Arts’ critically acclaimed outdoor walking play Nature at the Old Manse in Concord this fall.

Road Trip Photos – Bread and Puppet Theatre

September 11, 2017

The Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side. Besides rod-puppet and hand puppet shows for children, the concerns of the first productions were rents, rats, police, and other problems of the neighborhood.

We’re All Mad Here – A Photo Series by Joey Phoenix

September 6, 2017

Creative Photo Series by Joey Phoenix Media creates a wonderful and magical take on Alice in Wonderland.

Christmas in Salem Video Screensaver

November 21, 2017

Christmas in Salem, thought to be the nation’s longest running holiday house tour, invites visitors to tour historic homes in the Downtown and McIntire neighborhood from December 1–3, 2017. Homes will be beautifully decorated for the holiday season and will be open for tours throughout the weekend.