Marfa Dialogues

The Marfa Triptych: The Country & Western Big Band Suite

Part One: The Country and Western Big Band Suite

16 November 2013

The Marfa Triptych: Three Portraits of West Texas
Part One: The Country and Western Big Band Suite
A 14-Piece Band featuring Redd Volkaert
World Premiere
Crowley Theater, Marfa, Texas
8pm | November 16th
Pre-sale tickets are now closed. Tickets ($20) available at the door. All residents of Brewster, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties get in for half price.


The Marfa Triptych is three portraits of West Texas as envisioned by Austin-based composer Graham Reynolds.

The multimedia, genre-hopping trilogy of performances is inspired by Reynolds’ interest in the intermingled populations of the Texas-Mexico border regions, from ejido to ranch to the visual arts community. The three performances will take place annually, starting in late 2013.

The first installment in The Marfa Triptych is an instrumental suite for 14 players, described by Reynolds as “classic instrumental country meets Western soundtrack meets power jazz rhythm section.” This performance includes contributions from veteran musician Redd Volkaert and emerging fiddle prodigy Ruby Jane, along with other members of Reynolds’ far-reaching group of collaborators.

The second composition is for layered piano, a production that uses means both digital and site-specific to process the acoustic instrument’s sounds. This presentation continues the motifs introduced in the first suite in a different genre, its sound still rooted in the same geography.

The final piece in the work is a culmination of the themes developed in the first two sections, and takes the form of a bilingual chamber opera, including instrumental contributions from Adrian Quesada of Grupo Fantasma alongside parts for male and female vocalists. Reynolds and Ballroom Marfa are working together in the development of a video component.

Reynolds is a frequent visitor to West Texas, and the leader of the Golden Arm Trio. He is known for his compositions for theater and dance as well as his award-winning soundtrack work with director Richard Linklater and others.

    Listen to Marfa Public Radio’s Talk at Ten interview with composer Graham Reynolds, November 15, 2013.

    The Marfa Triptych has been made possible through the support of Texas Commission on the Arts and Ballroom Marfa members.

    Special thanks to Jennifer Bell, The Big Bend Sentinel, Adam Bork, Michael Camacho, Primo Carrasco, Rob Crowley, Tim Crowley, the Crowley Theater, Boyd Elder, Chris Hillen, Hotel Paisano, Tim Johnson, the Long Center, Carlos Lujan and Cochineal, Marfa Public Radio, Marfa Recording Company, Alex Marks, Tom Michael and the Thunderbird Hotel.