LINEAJES is designed to be an auditory experience as much as a visual one. I invite you to stream the following playlist over your headphones as you linger in the gallery, losing yourself among the instruments, paintings, and murals. I compiled the playlist especially for the gallery experience, creating a number of new tracks to highlight instruments in the exhibition as well as to pay homage to the numerous genres and cultural legacies referenced. Below the playlist, I've provided track notes to further illuminate your listening experience.
-Antonio M. Gómez
LINEAJES - The titular track serves as an "overture," introducing a vast number of wind, percussion, and string instruments from the exhibition.
Prayer Rock - Featuring Gary Stroutsos, a "caretaker of old songs" who has lovingly apprenticed and studied Lakota, Salish Kootenai, Navajo, and Hopi flute traditions. His most recent project has been at the invitation of the Hopi to help re-establish a living tradition of ancient flutes.
Da cabeça aos pés - This sketch features some of the core instruments in the Afro-Brazilian samba bateria (ensemble), including pandeiro, ganza, agogo bells, repinique, surdo, tamborim and the howling-laughing sound of the cuica.
Cumbia rústica - The cumbia is pure magic! In its most traditional form, it beautifully represents the confluence of the Indigenous, African, and European strands that weave together Latin American identity. This rootsy rendition pays tribute to the folkloric cumbia, the mother of the countless iterations of cumbia in popular music.
Cempanquiza - Meaning "procession" in old Nahuatl language of the Mexica (Aztecs), this is a love letter to the ancestors, built around the call of conch shell trumpets calling to the four directions and the driving huehuetl drum, ayoyote leg rattles marking the movement of dancers, and the cadence of the teponaztli log drum.
Asturias - Tango del Cielo, founded by harpist Anna Maria Mendieta, interprets the iconic 1890s piece by Catalan composer Isaac Albéniz. In this version, the cellist Joseph Hébert taps the strings with his bow to emulate a berimbau in time with a ceramic udu drum in the introduction.
La Manta - In the son jarocho style—the Afro-Mexican music of the Veracruz coast—Trío Guadalevín (Abel Rocha, Gus Denhard, Antonio M. Gómez) is joined by dancer Iris Viveros-Avendaño, whose shoes on the wooden tarima mark the percussive accompaniment to the harp and jaranas. The tarima is both a stage for the dancer and a large drum that is played by the dancers' feet, as if they were hands on a drum.
Canto de Berimbau - Featuring two berimbaus with pandeiro, agogo de castanha, and atabaque (conga), this sketch pays tribute to the cultural resilience and resistance of Afro-Brazilians encapsulated in the martial arts/dance tradition of capoeira.
Paseo de Carnaval - With direction from Panamanian composer and master musician Alfredo Chavez, this piece also features Tim Wetmiller on violin and Antonio. Carnaval is a major celebration in Panama, especially on the Peninsula de Azuero where a centuries-old blending of Indigenous, African, and European practices has yielded a beautiful and unique cultural tradition.
Drume Negrita - A classic Cuban standard popularized by Bola de Nieve, this version is offered by Havana-born Alejandro Fleites, who now resides in Western Washington. Alejandro recorded this loving rendition far from home, accompanied by Antonio Gómez, Russ Salton, and Gary Stroutsos.
Mediu Xhiga - A traditional Oaxacan song sung in Zapotec. In this version, Trío Guadalevín intentionally stacks Indigenous vocals and percussion alongside European guitars and Afro-Latino percussion to highlight the complexity of Latine identities.
Jomocha - Composed and arranged by cellist, composer, and choir director Joseph Hébert, with whom Antonio has collaborated for decades. Featuring cello and multiple percussion tracks that blend jazz, Celtic, Middle Eastern, and Early Music sounds, it seeks to transport the listener to far off lands.
Theme from Latinos: The Changing Face of Washington - Composed by Antonio to accompany the KCTS 9 documentary of the same name, this theme honors the diversity of Latinos in the state by combining a range of instruments from the Americas around a Puerto Rican bomba pattern.
Tammurriata da Brusciano a Bernal Heights - A tribute to Antonio's maternal family migration from the town of Brusciano outside of Naples, on the north side of Mt. Vesuvius, to San Francisco's Mission District neighborhood where they settled. This tammurriata features the large Neapolitan tammorra tambourine along with the barking sound of the putipù friction drum, mouth harp, scetavajasse and nacchere (castanets).
Tonantzin - More of a personal prayer than a recording for distribution, this sketch features an English-language reading from the Nican Mopohua, an account which details the encounters of Juan Diego with the Virgen de Guadalupe on Tepeyac, the sacred hill of the Mexica goddess Tonantzin.
Valley of Life - A live improvisation with Gary Stroutsos on alto flute and Antonio playing frame drum with leg rattles and tambourine.
Fandango/Fandanguito - Gus Denhard opens this Trío Guadalevín medley with a 17th-century fandango on baroque guitar and is joined by Abel Rocha playing quinta huapanguera and singing in the traditional falsetto of son huasteco music from central Mexico. Antonio emphasizes the "third root" of Mexican heritage with North African frame drum.
Ija Mía - The Sephardic Jews lived on the Iberian Peninsula for at least a millennium before they were forced into exile or conversion in 1492. Both within Sefarad (Spain) and in the diaspora afterward, they generated an incredible body of poetry and music, from which this song originates. Vocalist Lian Caspi invokes her family heritage, accompanied by Gus Denhard on oud and Antonio on riq and darbuka.
Vanidad - Sung as an homage to the classic early-mid-20th-century boleros, Alejandro Fleites says so much with so little: voice and guitar accompanied by Antonio on bongo. Remorse and nostalgia so thick you can hang your hat on it.
Everyone Can Love Someone (Percussion Only) - Tacoma Refugee Choir's anthem of acceptance required Antonio to track a variety of percussion instruments to drive the song as well as pay tribute to the range of cultures present in the ensemble. While this is just the amalgamation of percussion tracks, you can view the finished song and accompanying video in this recording.
La Diáspora en mí - Composed by Antonio and Abel Rocha and cut from the same cloth that was the genesis for LINEAJES. This Trío Guadalevín original yearns for and acknowledges our pasts both revealed and mysterious. The diaspora(s) are in us.