what came before & what's ahead
Called "the quintessential modern composer" by the London Independent, Austin-based composer-bandleader-improviser Graham Reynolds creates, performs, and records music for film, theater, dance, rock clubs, and concert halls, with a wide range of collaborators across a multitude of disciplines. He recently scored Richard Linklater's Last Flag Flying, the Rude Mechs' Stop Hitting Yourself for Lincoln Center Theater, Ballet Austin's Belle Redux, and a multi-year commission from Ballroom Marfa, The Marfa Triptych, amidst many other projects. His Creative Capital Award winning work, Pancho Villa From A Safe Distance, a bilingual cross-border opera created with librettists Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol (Mexico City) and director Shawn Sides, is currently touring. The performance flits around the borderlands and explores what is remembered of an iconic man, the memories of whom inspire questions of what is fact and what is fiction. For Reynolds, culture is a collection of memories, and all art - music included - is all created from and defined by what we've experienced.
For more than two decades, Kristen Harris' laboratory has worked to elucidate the structural components involved in the cell biology of learning and memory. As a Professor of Neuroscience and Fellow at the Center for Learning and Memory at the University of Texas, she leads a team that pursues understanding of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, the part of our brain which drives memory and its connection to emotion. They have been among the first to develop computer-assisted approaches to analyze synapses in three dimensions through serial section electron microscopy... the resulting images serve to visualize the structure of the brain, which Harris presented at the World Science Festival, and which can also be viewed on Synapse Web.
A fellow leading researcher and educator, Barry Chernoff, is the Director of the College of the Environment at Wesleyan University. In between teaching courses in environmental studies, tropical ecology, aquatic ecosystem conservation, and quantitative analysis, Chernoff conducts research centered on the freshwater fishes of the Neotropical region, primarily those of the Amazon. He has led international teams on over thirty-two expeditions to twelve countries for work on conserving vital watersheds (you can read more about his work here). Graham was drawn to Chernoff's work for its influence and importance on this grand scale... when it comes to considering what future we are creating, there is nothing more crucial than the planet, its limited resources, and how it will fare for generations to come. Both Harris and Chernoff are leaders in their respective fields, tirelessly working to prepare a new generation to continue their crucial studies. Through two pieces of music, Graham will be honoring both individual's abundant curiosity for the world around them, and examining the way in which their work influences our understanding of both what came before and what's ahead.