News and notes from San Antonio's other music scene
Is it just me, or is there a trend toward interdisciplinary cooperation? While the proof is always in the pudding, and I am by no means a fan of jamming things together for the hell of it, it is encouraging to see a few organizations making the effort to create, office, and even perform together. RADIUS has brought together some of SA's best small non-profit performing arts organizations in the same building, sharing monthly public performances. The San Antonio Dance Umbrella produces an ongoing program on Wednesdays with Jump-Start Performance Co. that presents Works in Progress by member ensembles, and last month Blue Star Contemporary Art Center hosted two musical performances. One featured Jesus Moroles improvising musically on his large-scale granite sculptures with the city's favorite improv band, Pseudo Buddha. The second was a performance by SOLI Chamber Ensemble, a group with a history of welcoming visual art onstage as they perform masterworks of the contemporary classical repertoire.
On June 12, the new Ballet Conservatory of South Texas will present its premiere performance at the Carver Cultural Center with live accompaniment by none other than Symphony Concertmaster and Cactus Pear Music Festival Artistic Director, Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio. Her meticulous violin playing will be matched by pianist Kristin Roach, equally sought after as a voice and opera coach. It seems the new dance school is intent on teaching their dancers the nuance of live musical accompaniment, which doesn't happen nearly as often as it should.
There are a couple of ways to look at these collaborations. On a practical level, we live in a town flooded with arts organizations and studios with limited funds and audiences. Combining resources is one way of making connections into various factions within the community. More important, to my way of thinking, is an acknowledgment of the aesthetic correspondences among the arts that can only truly be understood through direct experience. There's a divisive tendency in modern society to see the various art forms as separate entities, with specialized skills, audiences, and techniques that are somehow mutually exclusive. When you boil it all down, art is art. Whether it's the line of a dancer's movement across the stage, a Mozart melody, or a painter's brush stroke, it's the integrity of the act that counts. If there are ways to integrate those forms to enhance that integrity, even better.
For those that want just a straight dose of music, don't miss the San Antonio Symphony's final performance of the season with Christopher O'Riley on June 3-4 or the live taping of From the Top on June 2 `see "A Zhou 'from the top,'" May 19-25, 2005`. The Alamo City Men's Chorale will present its final concert at 8 p.m. June 11, at Travis Park United Methodist Church (acmc-texas.org or 495-SING for info) and keep an eye out for Cactus Pear (cpmf.us/) in July.
Compiled by Diana Lyn Roberts