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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, October 10 2019 4:59 AM UTC +00:00.

MXTX: A Cross-Border Exchange

DJ-Producers and Composers from México and Texas create an open-source audio sample library, album, and touring live performance.

MXTX: A Cross-Border Exchange

DJ-Producers and Composers from México and Texas create an open-source audio sample library, album, and touring live performance.

$7,577
pledged of $15,000pledged of $15,000 goal
37
backers
21days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, October 10 2019 4:59 AM UTC +00:00.

About

As the United States government shuts down over plans to build a divisive wall and destructive narratives intensify, MXTX resists, embracing a hybrid musical approach that empowers artists to collaborate across artistic, cultural, geographic, and political lines. We will use the power and depth of the language of music to explore the issues where words often fail us. 

MXTX will result in an open-source audio sample library, an album, and live performances, initially created through collaborative exchange between fifteen DJ-Producers and fifteen composers from both sides of the Rio Grande, but evolving into an open concept designed for sustained resonance and ongoing dialogue.

Co-curated by Coka Treviño, Orión García, Felipe Pérez Santiago, and Graham Reynolds, collaborators will be selected to balance representation geographically, by gender identity, and by genre, but no contributor will be constrained to one nationality, culture, or identity in the work they create.

The endeavor is broken down into three stages of creation over the course of one year, beginning in November 2019 and culminating in November 2020. Read below for greater detail.

 >>>>>>FROM GOLDEN HORNET ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, GRAHAM REYNOLDS <<<<<<

“My first time abroad, immersed in a language other than English, and most transformatively, the first time I felt the full potential of art, was in Mexico City at age ten. The revolutionary murals, particularly Orozco, Siqueiros, and Rivera, planted seeds for a lifelong interest in Latin American history and culture. As a high school activist, I protested U.S. interventions in Central America. In college I majored in Latin American history, and after graduating, moved to Austin, four hours from the Mexico border. I’ve listened to Mexican and Mexican-American music for decades (Tejano, Son Jarocho, Nortec and more) and developed lasting friendships, but I hesitated to incorporate these interests into my art; the stories weren’t my own, and the musical traditions not those I was rooted in. 

Composer Felipe Pérez Santiago, Grammy-Award Winning Producer Adrian Quesada, and Graham Reynolds with players in Mexico City while recording "Pancho Villa from a Safe Distance," 2017.

 The inspiration persisted; with heightened sensitivity to appropriation, I sought out Mexican & Mexican-American artists whose work I admired, and who I had something to learn from. Relationships formed, first through exposure to their work, friendship and feedback, and then active collaboration. The most notable being Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance, a bilingual opera about the enigmatic general/bandit/hero, created with Mexico’s Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol. Commissioned by Ballroom Marfa and supported through a Creative Capital Award, the world premiere took place on the night of the presidential election. Adding weighty relevance to the performance, the sense of urgency has only increased in the two years since. Audience reception - particularly the Mexican-American attendees in LA and NYC and Pancho Villa’s grandchildren - has been remarkable. Combined with recent collaborations with Orión García (Peligrosa) and Demián Gálvez (Centavrvs) as well as sold-out performances of The Sound of Science in Mexico City last year, invitations to engage more directly, less “from a safe distance,” have opened up.

Audience preparing to watch Golden Hornet's "The Sound of Science" featuring Jeffrey Zeigler at Ex Teresa Arte Actual in Mexico City, March 2018.

After spending a month in Mexico City annually, meeting artists and developing relationships, and then returning home to re-experience the work of the Peligrosa DJ collective in 2017 and 2018, the seed for this project was planted.”

The concept felt pertinent then, but today, we feel we have no choice but to act.
 

 
On August 3rd, 2019, one man with an assault rifle took the lives of twenty two people in El Paso, wounded more than twenty, and inflicted loss and trauma on countless others. Eight of the lost were Mexican citizens; México is investigating the shooting as an act of terrorism. And nearly all the victims are Latino/a/x.

This was not by accident. The shooter claimed in a diatribe online that Latin American immigrants represented a “Hispanic invasion.” He seemed to hope that his attack and words would inspire additional like-minded attacks in pursuit of a white ethnostate.

We resist this. We resist violence. We embrace our shared histories and encourage discovery and understanding in the spaces between. We seek to facilitate dialogue, collaboration, and community.

Your support will demonstrate your reply to violence. Your support will demonstrate that the lives of people on both sides of the border - regardless of race, ethnicity, or identity - is valuable. Your support will demonstrate that we are stronger together, safer together, and enriched by one another. Your support will help unite us rather than divide us.

Your money will go almost exclusively to artists contributing to this endeavor, kicking the project off the ground. Our all-or-nothing goal of $15,000 will cover the costs of:

            > Commissioning the Creation of Sample Library
            > Recording for Sample Library Completion
            > A Bi-Lingual Project Manager
 

Golden Hornet, the 501(c)3 nonprofit presenting this project, will manage all finances.The initial project budget, looking only at essentials, is $62,000, covering the full launch of sound library, album recording and production, and two initial live performances. Beyond the support provided on Kickstarter, we are hosting fundraising events and beginning conversations with additional donors and partners. 

The Berlin Wall coming down on November 9, 1989. One of the most momentous occasions in recent history, we call on a similar drive for unity through this project. Photo: Robert Bechert.

MXTX begins with the creation of a sample library, commissioned from at least fifteen composers and fifteen DJ-Producers, scattered across México and Texas. Contracted in November 2019, the DJ-Producers will provide beats, drops, and more, while the composers will create melodic, rhythmic, and chordal fragments to be recorded as segments and loops by players in Austin and Mexico City. 

All of these sounds - this musical palette - will form the initial foundation of the MXTX library, compiled in January 2020 and immediately put to use and built upon in the next stage (the full library will be launched to the public in tandem with the world premiere in November 2020). 

From this larger cohort of artists, a core group of composers and DJ-Producers will be asked to create twelve full works for a mixed chamber ensemble and DJ, commissioned in January 2020. These artists will pull from the MXTX library, adding to and building upon the foundation as desired. The album will be recorded, mixed, and mastered in the summer of 2020, and released in tandem with the world premiere. 

Though the works included on the album will be “static” in recording, each composer will write to the clef rather than specific instrumentation, allowing a wide variety of ever-changing ensembles the option of performing and adapting the works for live performance.

 México City will be host to the World Premiere, estimated in November 2020, and Austin, Texas host to the U.S. Premiere, estimated in April 2021. For these live performances, we will deconstruct the album and adapt it to the stage, as performed by a mixed chamber ensemble and DJ with at least one cross-border representative included in each.

Additional future performances will be added based on partnerships and funding opportunities, and the flexible design will allow anyone to adapt the work for live performance on an independent basis in a variety of contexts sprinkled across the map.

Construction on the border wall between Texas and Mexico, February 2019. Photo: PBS News Hour.

For sustained resonance, the open-source online audio sample library will be launched and available to the public in tandem with the world premiere performance and album release in November 2020. The sample library will be made freely available for anyone in the world to create their own work, allowing the cross-discipline, cross-border community to continue growing around the generation of new music. The library itself will continue to grow through a submission process open to anyone. This exchange allows the cross-discipline, cross-border community to continue growing around the creation of new music. 

      ////////////////////////////////////////// THE CO-CURATORS  ////////////////////////////////////////// 

Orión García is best known for his consistent contributions to cultural blendings of music and art. He has been writing, composing, and performing varying styles of music for over fifteen years. In 2007 he founded Peligrosa, the widely known Latin/o/a/x collective of DJs, producers, and artists, who continue to promulgate music and visuals from a variety of diasporas with a considerable focus on sounds from Latin American, the Carribbean, and parts of Africa and Europe.

From Monterrey, México, Coka Treviño has worked extensively in art and music, holding every position imaginable within the cultural scene, curating being her favorite. In 2009 she founded The Projecto with musician Alfredo Ríos in Monterrey, looking to facilitate cultural exchange with different cities and artistic expressions. In 2010 The Projecto moved to Austin, where they have been hosting international artists and collaborating with different local institutions to enable dialogue and community enrichment. She also works as a Program Coordinator with Big Medium. 

Considered one of the most active and recognized composers of Mexico's musical scene, Felipe Pérez Santiago is a composer, conductor, and sound artists who has received several prizes and recognitions in Europe, the United Sates, and Latin America. He founded the Vórtice Ensemble, and his compositions have been performed and commissioned in over forty countries by internationally renowned orchestras and ensembles. He has also served as a resident composer at conservatories, universities, and institutions all over the world.

    ////////////////////////////// THE COMMISSIONING ORGANIZATION  //////////////////////////////

 
      Drawing on the collaborative spirit of rock bands and the composer-led nature of classical music, Golden Hornet commissions new music, supports young and emerging composers, and presents adventurous works in non-traditional settings. Led by Artistic Director Graham Reynolds and Managing Director Kate Murray, Golden Hornet is the driving force behind such programs as String Quartet Smackdown, ATX Composers Showcase, Young Composer Concert, Mozart Requiem Undead, and The Sound of Science featuring Jeffrey Zeigler. The organization is based in Austin, Texas and received official 501(c)3 non-profit status in 2008.
 

   ////////////////////////////// CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS & PARTNERS  /////////////////////////////////
 

We are guided by inquisitiveness and dialogue. We aim to create a more equitable and vibrant society by empowering artists. We know we won't be able to do this alone.

Curation is underway to identify contributing artists, and conversations are in progress to confirm additional partners.

Previous partners of collaborators have included Ballroom Marfa, Fusebox Festival, and more. 

As with any cross-border project, visa and immigration policies pose risks to realizing in-person engagements with traveling artists. We have reduced the potential for this risk to negatively impact the fruition of the project through careful planning of the two initial premieres, and through the flexible, modular approach to composition and live performance.

With 30+ collaborators, paying artists equitably while keeping performances accessible for all audiences to experience and participate in the resulting art is a challenge. We have formulated our budget to strike a balance, but we need to raise it all to bring this project to life.

Your support makes all the difference. We are grateful. 

Risks and challenges

...............................................................................................................................................................

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    Share a meal with Graham Reynolds and other collaborators in Mexico City or Austin! Details would be determined through communication but likely occur in conjunction with a premiere performance. Travel not included.

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    An exclusive pre-show party to celebrate the World Premiere in Mexico City (est. Nov 2020). You invite up to nine friends to join you for the opportunity to mingle with ensemble and collaborators while enjoying a mezcal tasting, followed by the first full performance! Travel not included.

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    *****FIRST 48 HOUR BONUS REWARD*****
    Donate $75 or more in the first 48 hours of campaign launch, and you'll receive a map of the El Paso and Cuidad Juarez where they meet at the Rio Grande, engraved on real wood. Made by Golden Hornet's Managing Director Kate Murray. Ideal for framing and display, but can be used however you like!

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