The Blanton presents a compelling and timely new installation of SoundSpace, our acclaimed music series. SoundSpace: Refugees features works written by, performed by, or depicting the experience of refugees. These performances occur throughout the museum in galleries featuring art that touch on refugee themes. This program is included with museum admission.
SoundSpace is organized for the Blanton by Artistic Director Steve Parker, who notes “Music and art cross national boundaries all the time. These creative works by refugees and about refugees’ stories can help reframe our ongoing public conversation about the role of immigrants and refugees in our daily lives.”
Highlights of the program include ARCOS Dance presenting “The Warriors: A Love Story,” winner of awards from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Austin Critics’ Table Award. This powerful work confronts the disturbing beauty and profound devastation of WWII, through the story of an American philosopher and veteran who survived the Allied bombing of Dresden.
Also featured are performances by Roberto Paolo Riggio, Basim Lami and members of the University of Texas Middle Eastern Ensemble Bereket. Riggio has toured with international stars such as Youssou Ndour, Fathy Salama, Fairuz, Kadim Al Sahir and the New York Gypsy All-Stars (from the family of The Gipsy Kings). He also has collaborated with cutting-edge composers such as Aashish Khan and Fared Shafinury, and has founded various groups, including the East Austin Youth Orchestra and the Austin Global Orchestra.
The program also includes the world premiere of a new work by Brent Baldwin, featuring Panoramic Voices, Nakia (from Season 1 of The Voice), and dancers Hassan Christopher and Alexa Capareda. An award-winning conductor, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, arranger and composer, Baldwin is the artistic director of Panoramic Voices and holds a master’s degree in music from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied conducting with Craig Hella Johnson, Daniel Johnson, and Dan Welcher.
Additional performances include premieres by the award-winning performers Zell Miller III, Michael Anthony García, Henna Chou, and Sheffield/Rippie.