Marfa Dialogues

Les Filles de Illighadad and Book of Sound at Ruby City


Ballroom Marfa and Ruby City present
Les Filles de Illighadad
with Rob Mazurek, Damon Locks and Lisa E. Harris performing Book of Sound (SHAPESHIFT ONE)
Postponed to 2021 FREE
Ruby City, 150 Camp St., San Antonio, TX

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Ballroom Marfa and Ruby City are partnering this spring with an evening of live music at Ruby City’s Sculpture Garden for Music in the Park. The evening will feature the all-female Tuareg guitar group, Les Filles de Illighadad, and Book of Sound (SHAPESHIFT ONE), a new project from Rob Mazurek in collaboration with Damon Locks and Lisa E. Harris. Music in the Park is an annual program hosted by Ruby City and KRTU Trinity University 91.7FM in San Antonio.

Les Filles de Illighadad is an all-female Tuareg guitar group from a secluded commune in central Niger, at the edge of the Sahara. Their sound explores two very different sides of Tuareg music: dreamy ishumar acoustic guitar sessions and hypnotic polyphonic tende. Tende is the sound that defines rural Niger and the forgotten root from which Tuareg guitar is inspired. As communal music, tende is meant to be played during celebrations and as a call-and-response among women singing about what’s happening in the village. While tende is a musical form dominated by women, Tuareg guitar has grown into its male-dominated counterpart. Fatou Seidi Ghali, the lead vocalist of Les Filles, is one of the only female Tuareg guitarists in Niger. In a place where gender norms have created two divergent sounds, Fatou and Les Filles are reasserting the role of tende in Tuareg guitar and reclaiming its importance in the genre.

Book of Sound (SHAPESHIFT ONE) is a new project commissioned by Ballroom Marfa from Marfa’s own multidisciplinary artist and electro-acoustic composer, Rob Mazurek. Mazurek has invited his longtime collaborator, Damon Locks of Black Monument Ensemble, and interdisciplinary artist, performer and composer Lisa E. Harris to perform the first part of this epic Galactic Space Opera. Using a theremin, vocals, brass instruments, and digital and analog synthesizers, this new, psychedelic composition explores the ever-changing world of biotechnology. The project highlights the impact of biotechnology on human life, from birth and daily decision making to death and beyond.

This meaningful exchange allows Ballroom Marfa and Ruby City to work together to fulfill their shared mission to foster the creation of innovative expression.