CRISTINA PATO IS WELL-KNOWN TO THE CAROLINA PERFORMING ARTS COMMUNITY for her many rousing performances on our stages, as part of Silkroad Ensemble, Cristina Pato Quartet, and more. A master of the Galician bagpipes (gaita), a classical pianist, and a passionate educator, she has been hailed as “a virtuosic burst of energy” by the New York Times, and as “one of the living masters of the gaita” by the Wall Street Journal. With a professional life devoted in large part to cultural exchange, it’s no wonder that she has curated the new program Invisible(s), which asks the question: how might our social, political, and cultural landscapes be different if history had been written by the people of forgotten communities?
Upon meeting violinist and composer Mazz Swift during a Silkroad Ensemble residency, the pair quickly discovered that they were each separately exploring how to shed light on the experiences of forgotten communities. Pato was beginning to understand how the realities of women in her home country of Spain were often swept aside by society, and Swift had just composed a piece about victims of police brutality and racism. Invisible(s) brings together their differing ways of understanding the world through composition, performance, and education.
This program will include music by each artist in addition to work commissioned for this project. Featured compositions include Pato’s “My Lethe Story: The River of Forgetfulness,” which she composed as a means of processing her mother’s frontotemporal dementia, and which raises questions about the role of memory in individual and collective identity. Meanwhile, Swift’s composition “16 Hits or Misses” is part of a collection intended to pay homage to victims of police brutality and racism and inspire necessary dialogue going forward.
Anne Faircloth and Fred Beaujeu-Dufour
in honor of Wyndham Robertson