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FilmMusicVisual Art

Kite Symphony — Roberto Carlos Lange & Kristi Sword

Fall 2020


Marfa, Texas

Kite Symphony

Roberto Carlos Lange and Kristi Sword

Kite Symphony is a multimedia collaboration between musician Roberto Carlos Lange, also known as Helado Negro, and visual artist Kristi Sword. The artists are creating a new, non-linear, and impressionistic style film and live score, as well as a new body of sculptural work that explore the landscape of West Texas through wind, sound, and light. By capturing and documenting sounds the wind generates through interacting with kites, hand-made instruments from native materials, and various sound objects, the artists will bring shape to the ephemeral forces that define the West Texas landscape.

The film and audio field recordings will document the artists day-to-day experiments and meditations in response to the environment. The final score for the film will utilize the field recordings from sound interventions, in addition to new compositions of reinterpreted found sound. The ideas and ephemeral forces that inform the project will further expand into space through a series of artworks, enabling viewers to experience the artists’ process from multiple dimensions.

Kite Symphony is an extension of Roberto and Kristi’s collaborative practice of creating work at the intersection of music, performance, and visual art. Together, the duo created the Tinsel Mammals that have become a visual extension of the musical compositions Helado Negro performs in public. They were first created for the 2014 Vive Latino performance in Mexico City and have now been presented in over 100 performances including special commissions for MASS MoCA, The PAMM Museum in Miami, Millennium Park in Chicago, IMOCA in Indianapolis, The Kitchen NYC, Central Park Summerstage, The REDCAT, and more.

Kite Symphony is organized by Ballroom Marfa’s programs director, Sarah Melendez.

Artist Profiles

Roberto Carlos Lange

Roberto Carlos Lange, Helado Negro (1980) is South Florida native, born to Ecuadorian immigrants and based in Brooklyn. Exploring Latinx identity, and pluralistic sensibilities, his music as Helado Negro is lyrically personal and politically avant-pop. In 2019 he was awarded a United States Artists Fellow in Music and also the recipient of a 2019 Grants to Artists award in Music from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Lange is also a constant collaborator, working on projects with numerous artists including Sufjan Stevens, Julianna Barwick (as Ombre), Devendra Banhart, Helga Davis, and sculptor David Ellis. Helado Negro has presented work in diverse venues from clubs to cultural organizations including the Wexner Center, Columbus, OH; The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA.; Marguilies Warehouse, Miami, FL; Club 2 Club, Turin, Italy; Vive Latino, Mexico City; the Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL; and the Museum of Modern Art, NY.

Kristi Sword

Kristi Sword (1980) is a visual artist working in small scale kinetic sculpture and drawing. Entry into her sculptural work was through her formal jewelry training. She received her B.F.A. from the Savannah College of Art and Design and her M.F.A. from SUNY New Paltz both in Metal and Jewelry. Kristi has shown her artwork at the 92nd St Y in Tribeca as well as the NARS Project Space in Brooklyn. She has made album cover artwork for Helado Negro and Warm Ghost and has completed artist residencies at the Oregon College of Art and Craft and at Marble House.



New Maps by Helado Negro

Check out this mix Roberto Carlos Lange released while working on Kite Symphony in Marfa on March 25 during COVID-19

2 Sundays ago, I began texting friends this:

“If u have a moment + if it inspires u, I’m putting together a collage of field recordings that friends are sending to upload as a place + space of sonic respite. ? just a voice memo recording of ambience or instruments or anything ?.”

It was a prompt inspired by this feeling to draw sound maps adjacent to our own mind maps connecting friends, peers + family. The need for new maps is growing for me + possibly everyone. Connecting interdependencies through sounds, moments, + people.