Project: Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance

Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance is an experimental chamber opera about the life and death of Pancho Villa.  Commissioned by Ballroom Marfa, the project is the third installment of The Marfa Triptych, a genre-hopping trilogy of musical performances by visionary composer Graham Reynolds. The opera is an insightful examination of the Mexican and Mexican-American impact on the culture and politics of West Texas, contributing to the current and timely conversation about borders and the limitations of the concept of delineated states. Exploring facts from Villa's biography while also examining the mythology surrounding him, the opera will ask what Pancho Villa means to Mexican and American culture and where these meanings intersect and conflict. Artistic collaborators from both sides of the river come together to engage in a borderless conversation about the shared history between Mexico and the United States. Reynolds experiments with an exciting hybrid of composition and production techniques while leading an eight-piece ensemble to bring Lagartijas Tiradas Al Sol's fascinating libretto to an intensely visceral and intimate life.

Awardee: Graham Reynolds

Performing Arts, 2016

Called “the quintessential modern composer” by the London Independent, Austin-based composer-bandleader Graham Reynolds creates, performs and records music for film, theater, dance, rock clubs and concert halls with collaborators ranging from Richard Linklater and Jack Black to DJ Spooky and Ballet Austin. Heard throughout the world in films, on TV, on stage, and on radio, from HBO to Showtime, Cannes Film Festival to the Kennedy Center, and BBC to NPR, he recently scored Before Midnight with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, Bernie featuring Jack Black, and the Hulu TV series Up To Speed. With Golden Arm Trio, Reynolds has toured the country and released four critically acclaimed albums. His current work-in-progress is a three part commission from Ballroom Marfa titled The Marfa Triptych, a portrait of West Texas that Vogue Magazine described as “beautiful and raucous.”