History and Time
Santa Fe Opera features music by composer Huang Ruo in two free concerts
You’ll need to wait a few more weeks for the world premiere of M. Butterfly at the Santa Fe Opera (July 30-Aug. 24). But SFO this week presents several other works by composer Huang Ruo in free concerts at SITE Santa Fe. On Friday, “Angel Island,” an oratorio for voices and string quartet, will be performed by the San Francisco-based Del Sol Quartet, which commissioned the piece.
The work sets to music Chinese poems that were carved into the walls of the Angel Island immigration station in the earlier part of the 20th century—a place where Chinese immigrants were held under the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882-1943), a federal law that prohibited the migration of Chinese laborers. Speaking to NPR last year about the Angel Island project, the Chinese-American composer Ruo discussed his early research trip to Angel Island, where he and Del Sol Quartet mounted a performance of music improvised around the wall poems. From that experience, Ruo composed music that would take listeners on the same journey of seeing the area’s outside beauty and then experiencing the terror of confinement.
“The oratorio for voices and string quartet weaves a story of immigration, discrimination and confinement,” SFO’s press materials note, “bringing history into the reality of our current lives and the questions we are still facing.”
In addition to the string quartet, the performance will feature several soloists: soprano Fang Tao Jiang; tenor Yi Li; mezzo-soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen; and bass Yichen Xue. On Sunday, the Del Sol Quartet will perform Ruo’s “A Dust in Time,” an hour-long meditation inspired by Tibetan Buddhist sand mandalas, a recording of which the New York Times described as building “in force and complexity toward a radiant and churning central section before returning to the quiet strands of the opening.” That album, by the way, comes with a coloring book in which you can draw your own mandalas while listening. (Julia Goldberg)
Santa Fe Opera presents performances of work by Huang Ruo: 6 pm, Friday, July 15. Free; no tickets required: “Angel Island,” oratorio for voices and string quartet by Huang Ruo with the Del Sol Quartet. 3 pm, Sunday, July 17: “A Dust in Time,” by Huang Ruo with the Del Sol Quartet. SITE Santa Fe, 1606 Paseo de Peralta. santafeopera.org/whats-on/site-santa-fe/
The Kat Returns
Kat Kinnick speaks about her current solo show at Hecho Gallery
Whereas most young people who wend their way out of New Mexico for college take the win and move on with their lives, something about the area kept calling to local multi-media artist Kat Kinnick while she was pursuing her art degree at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
“That first year [of college] was exhilarating and really new and exciting, but I wanted to come back for all the visual inspirations,” Kinnick, who grew up in New Mexico, tells SFR. “I came back, I think, for the same reason a lot of artists choose to come out here—it’s so expansive and the light is so special; the smells and the quality of color and combinations. There’s so much more nature.”
That knack for nature finds its way into much of Kinnick’s work, including the ceramics for which she’s been so popular in recent years, but for her Abundance/Impermanence solo show at Hecho Gallery, Kinnick returned to her first love: painting. From a small studio near Lone Butte, she has created dreamlike interpretations of New Mexico wildlife and landscapes. The works convey a familiarity with the area, but double down on flora and fauna found within the dense New Mexico oases dotted across the arid landscape. You’ll recognize the feel and flavor in a Kinnick painting, but the longer you look, the more you’ll find weirdly unfamiliar elements. Perhaps this is a dash of wish fulfillment or even idealism, but it works a kind of magic that somehow feels nostalgic and new all at once.
Kinnick appears at Hecho this week to talk inspiration, process and execution—a winning combo.
“It feels like a nice and satisfying leveling up for me,” Kinnick explains of her new body of work. “It’s something I’ve been doing my whole life, which I hold really dear and precious.” (Alex De Vore)
Kat Kinnick Artist Talk: 2 pm Saturday, July 16. Free. Hecho Gallery, 129 W Palace Ave., (505) 455-6882
Hey, Loretta—Fix Me a Plate
‘Tis always a special occasion whenever the hometown heroes who make up the legendary Gluey Brothers come together to play once more, and not least because it only happens every couple years or so. This is the band that came this close to taking the world by storm in the ‘90s, and while its members have since scattered to the winds to work on other projects, this year’s reunion at a totally free show on the Plaza should go a long way toward reminding us all why the band is so dang special. Elements of rock mingle seamlessly with funk, punk, jazz and more. An eccentric whole emerges from the bits and pieces of so many musical styles, in fact, that it’s a wonder the Glueys can even remember it all. Come to dance, sure, but do yourselves a favor and watch the instrumentation at play. Why this band never got massive remains a mystery. Drastic Andrew opens. (ADV)
The Gluey Brothers: 6 pm Thursday, July 14. Free. Santa Fe Plaza, 100 Old Santa Fe Trail, ampconcerts.org
CAD Your Way Into My Heart
Two thrilling words: Historical. Documentation. Oh yeah, that’s nice. While the internet has essentially ruined human connection, it has done wonders for anyone with a curious eye for the past like Scott Ernst. Ernst has worked decades as a preservation wood worker, helping national parks and monuments across the country in reconstructing wooden-based architecture. Now he’s a specialist in 3-D digital documentation, where models and CAD (that’s computer aided design) drawings of regional adobe structures and historic mines are his forte. This isn’t too technical, so don’t worry if computer talk goes over your head. Just picture it as a chat about how cool it is to live in an era wherein history is more alive than ever before. (Riley Gardner)
3D Digital Documentation for Historic Structures: 3 pm Thursday, July 14. $10 for non-members, free for members. El Zaguán, 545 Canyon Road Ste. 2. (505) 983-2567.
The way we see it, there are two kinds of people: those who dismiss animation because they assume it’s for kids, and those who know it’s one of the more freeing and possibility-laden mediums of all time. For that camp, might we suggest No Name Cinema’s Saturday Morning -Cartoons event this week? The anti-profit DIY arthouse has curated a rather interesting assortment of animated bits and bobs from over the last hundred years for a theme of outer space (that means Marvin the Martian and Space Ghost at least). Heck, they’ll even throw in a free cereal bar. We read someplace that none of the major networks run animation blocks on Saturday mornings anymore, which feels like a travesty. Cheers to No Name Cinema for bringing back a little slice of the good old days (which we mean cartoon-wise, and not politically). (ADV)
Saturday Morning Cartoons: 11 am Saturday, July 16. Free. No Name Cinema, 2013 Piñon St., nonamecinema.org
Kickin’ It With O’Keeffe
Whether famed painter Georgia O’Keeffe was a big fan of neighborhood bashes, we’ll never know, but still—we’re gonna party in her name. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Santa Fe’s Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the institution has invited the whole street out to playeeeyay this weekend. You’ll find art-making activities, face-painting and other kid-friendly activities. Storytelling? You betcha? Poetry? Bet on it. Plus, enjoy a live concert in the afternoon featuring the regional tunes of Lone Piñon, the outta control synthy/danceable jams of Lindy Vision, super-funk from The Sticky and Baracutanga’s South American melodies. Oh yeah, and if you’ve never stopped by the museum you’re out of excuses—admission is free to all New Mexico residents throughout the weekend. (RG)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Community Block Party: 11 am-7 pm Sunday, July 17. Free. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, 123 Grant Avenue. (505) 946-1000
Drag Us To The Railyard
As it turns out, drag performances pair well with brunch. Perhaps that sounds obvious to some of you, but others might need more proof. So, should you find yourself in the needing-proof game, stop by the Jean Coctaeu on Sunday morning. You shan’t find obscure arthouse cinema this time, no, but rather brilliant drag. That’s right! Your morning can become a sexy smorgasbord of breakfast burritos, donuts, coffee, a full bar and, most importantly, drag stars. Hosted by the inimitable Miss Brandi, the show features Santa Fe and Albuquerque-based queens like Felicia Rockstar Faraday, Rocco Steel and Jessica K. Daniels, among others. Did we mention the mimosas and bloody marys? We can’t promise Drag Brunch will cure all that ails you, but maybe it can help address those emotional ills you’re carrying. (RG)
Get Down Drag Brunch: Noon and 3 pm Sunday, July 17. $20-$50. Jean Coctaeu Cinema, 418 Montezuma Avenue. (505) 466-5528
Dust it Off
If we said something about how Albuquerque’s Dust City Opera blends the mechanics of punk, rock and klezmer, would that make sense? We think it does. Tempo-wise, vocally, the band moves at a quicker clip than you might expect from a self-described “folk-tinged, macabre rock band,” and things have been known to get weird in a DCO song. Think orchestral-adjacent elements and lots of words crammed into small spaces. In other words, frontman Paul Hunton has a lot to say, a short amount of time in which to say it and some pretty cool bandmates to make that happen. So, if you like darkness, rocking and a little bit of the old tongue-in-cheek action, might we suggest this free show? (ADV)
Dust City Opera: 6 pm Tuesday, July 19. Free. Santa Fe Plaza, 100 Old Santa Fe Trail, ampconcerts.org