Preview: Young Masters | NMSA

New Mexico School for the Arts- Young Masters Performance Series- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

New Mexico School for the Arts will soon break ground on renovations for their new Railyard location, and they’re wasting no time injecting fresh creative energy into the arts district. It starts with a special performance series at form & concept, showcasing outstanding student musicians, creative writers and poets of NMSA. Attend the inaugural performance on Thursday, March 1 at 5 pm, and mark your calendar for Young Masters performances the first Thursday of each month.

The first performance is hosted by NMSA faculty members Kurt Isaacson and Hakim Bellamy. “We would be irresponsible not to build connections with our new neighbors,” says Isaacson, the chair of NMSA’s Music Department. “Galleries and art institutions are the bedrock of the arts and culture economy in the Railyard. They’ll serve as strong foundations and anchors for the new school, and NMSA will in turn fertilize the creative environment in this district.”

Isaacson and Bellamy, NMSA’s Creative Writing Director, were on the hunt for a new venue for readings and performances—somewhere they could showcase contemporary and student-made work. They struck up a conversation with Sandy Zane, an avid supporter of NMSA who owns the Railyard’s form & concept gallery, and she offered up the space for a new event series.

The first performance features a 25-30 minute music program, with configurations including a string quartet, solo cello performance, and vocal performance with string duo accompaniment. Isaacson says the events will have a strong focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, a mission that he hopes will leave its mark on the Railyard. “I want the new campus and the Railyard to be a hub for interdisciplinary work,” he says. “If the vision of the neighborhood is new and contemporary art, then the injection of NMSA into that community is essential. It’s a crossroads for so many art forms.”

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Soprano Tara Khozein- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

THE TARA & RHONDA SHOW! Fully Clothed and Highly Introverted makes its Santa Fe debut at form & concept tonight. Come to the gallery at 7 pm for an evening of improvisational performance with New Mexico musicians Tara Khozein and Rhonda Taylor. Make sure to bring a $5-$25 donation in support of the artists.

Khozein and Taylor have performed together once before, for the one-night sound exhibition Lyric Concrete at Radical Abacus in 2015. Here’s an excerpt from Alex De Vore’s write-up on the event for Santa Fe Reporter:

“Often in contemporary classical, it’ll just say that it’s for ‘voice’ or ‘female voice,’ and these newer compositions will focus on what they call extended techniques or mumbles and grumbles or things you could say that metal vocalists have been doing for years,” Khozein says, displaying her self-described crazy eyes. “I’ve been trying not to use the word ‘weird’ to describe this music, because that just seems a little apologetic.”

[…] Let’s get down to brass tacks here, you guys. What is the overall selling point, especially in a town where everyone hates what they don’t know? The selling point is that it’s important to experience some things that exist outside the norm. And while McKissick and Khozein readily admit that Lyric Concrete won’t be for everyone, they’ve both promised a tangible emotional response to the performances.

The same goes for Khozein and Taylor’s daring performance at form & concept tonight! Come hear how both artists have evolved since their last collaboration, and support performing arts in Santa Fe.

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The Tara and Rhonda Show!


When it comes to musical genres, Tara Khozein and Rhonda Taylor hold nothing sacred. “When you start getting into nitty gritty definitions, it just gets so messy,” says Khozein. “I’m a big fan of the metal solution to this problem, which is just thousands of subgenres. Every band has their own genre.” That could certainly be true of Khozein and Taylor’s latest collaboration. Their improvisational performance alchemically melds instrumentals, vocals and gestures. Until a new genre is born, it can only be described as daringly contemporary. Khozein and Taylor present THE TARA AND RHONDA SHOW! Fully Clothed and Highly Introverted at form & concept this Saturday from 7 to 8:30 pm.

Khozein is a soprano, actor, director and theatre-maker living in Santa Fe. Taylor is a renowned saxophonist, and the College Associate Professor of Saxophone and Music Theory at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces. They met in 2006 when Taylor was Khozein’s professor at NMSU, and quickly found a creative connection. In 2015, they appeared together for the first time as part of the Lyric Concrete performance series at Radical Abacus in Santa Fe. They conceived of THE TARA AND RHONDA SHOW! as kitschy and approachable, but also a serious extension of their individual work with improvisational performance.

Tara Khozein performs at Meow Wolf- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

“Rhonda is thinking a lot about storytelling, and weaving overlapping storylines into a work,” says Khozein. “I’m working with physical gesture, and how gesture can lead sound.” Each artist will write a score for the performance, taking cues from the innovative work of American composer Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016). “Oliveros would write descriptions and rules, and sometimes make graphic representations for the piece. The performers then improvise within those parameters,” Khozein explains. “We’re taking that as a cue for writing these different pieces, but the content will of course be ours.”

Khozein and Taylor will present versions of THE TARA AND RHONDA SHOW! in both of their home cities. Each performance will be based on the same scores, but will inevitably be different due to their improvisational nature. “We’re excited to help bridge the creative communities of Las Cruces and Santa Fe by hosting this performance,” says Frank Rose, gallery director at form & concept. “It will also be interesting to see how the events differ, based on Tara and Rhonda’s organic reactions to the two settings.”

For the show at form & concept, Khozein and Taylor will perform among the artworks of Thais Mather’s solo exhibition Reckless Abandon in the gallery’s atrium. “We’ll be reacting to each other, but also to the space and art,” says Khozein. “I don’t see how we couldn’t.”

The venues will accept a sliding scale donation of $5-$25 in support of the artists.

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Gamelan Encantada: In Honor of Lou

Lou Harrison Portrait- Composer- Gamelan Encantada- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico


West Coast composer Lou Harrison’s 100th birthday party has been a yearlong, global affair. The Harrison House in Joshua Tree, California live streamed a 24-hour celebration, Bill Alves and Brett Campbell published a sweeping new biography, and renowned musicians have played tribute concerts from New York City to San Francisco. Harrison passed away in 2003 at age 85, but his influence as a composer, instrument builder, environmentalist, pacifist and gay rights activist is as resonant as ever.

This Saturday, the party rolls into Santa Fe at an event presented by Albuquerque percussion ensemble Gamelan Encantada and LGBTQ advocacy nonprofit Equality NM. In Honor of Lou features a concert of Harrison’s works for gamelan instruments, along with a screening of the biographical film Lou Harrison: Cherish, Conserve, Consider, Create. The event is Saturday, December 2 from 4 to 6 pm at form & concept, with a $15 to $25 suggested donation. All proceeds from the event will benefit Equality NM.

“Lou was at the forefront of so many progressive causes, socially, culturally and politically,” says Jenny DeBouzek, director of Gamelan Encantada. “By partnering with Equality NM, we’re weaving together two of his lifelong passions at this gathering: music and LGBTQ activism.” Founded in 1991, Gamelan Encantada is a contemporary percussion ensemble with roots in the gong/metallophone orchestras of Southeast Asia, specifically those of Central Java in Indonesia. DeBouzek, who has taught gamelan technique, theory and composition at Santa Fe University of Art and Design for the past decade, knew Harrison in the 1980’s when she was a member of several new music groups in Berkeley. She also performed in and worked on the film that will be screened at the event.

Gamelan Encantada- Gamelan Percussion Ensemble- Albuquerque New Mexico- Form and Concept Gallery

Harrison was a contemporary and colleague of such notables as John Cage, Henry Cowell, Harry Partch, Alan Hovaness and Virgil Thomson. He was instrumental in fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation the music of all cultures, especially those of the Middle East, China and Southeast Asia. He was also an outspoken advocate for gay rights, an ardent pacifist and environmentalist, and a beloved teacher and friend to many young musicians and composers.

Together with his life partner Bill Colvig, Harrison was also responsible for building a number of innovative instruments, as well as reviving an interest in ancient and unusual tuning systems. While teaching at various colleges in Northern California, he studied traditional gamelan in Berkeley with Javanese master K.R.T. Wasitodipuro and also worked with gamelan composer and teacher Jody Diamond, and it was this influence that inspired him to create some of the works that will be performed at In Honor of Lou.

“Nearly 15 years after Harrison’s death, he’s still inspiring the world to push the envelope,” says Frank Rose, form & concept Gallery Director. “We felt an instant connection with his transdisciplinary approach to everything he accomplished. The world may have changed since his death, but there’s enduring wisdom to the way he approached humanity’s most profound questions and challenges.”

Gamelan Encantada- Gamelan Percussion Ensemble- Albuquerque New Mexico- Form and Concept Gallery

Equality NM’s ethos is closely aligned with Harrison’s. The nonprofit organization envisions a world in which oppression is obsolete and all aspects of identity are honored. EQNM works to create a reality of equity, full access, and sustainable wellness for members of the LGBTQ community in New Mexico. Initiatives include outreach and education, family law resource center, policy advocacy at both state and local levels, and partnering with the business community and with other nonprofits to ensure fairness and equality for all New Mexicans.

Admission is $15 ($25 for preferred seating for the film screening). Tickets are also available at the door (credit card only).

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TONIGHT: InterPlanetary Party!

InterPlanetary Project- Santa Fe Institute- David Bowie Costume Party- Form and Concept Gallery

Creative Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Institute join forces tonight to host the InterPlanetary Ziggy Stardust Costume Party at form & concept. Stop by the gallery from 5-7 pm for cosmic cocktails by Santa Fe Spirits, space-themed snacks, screenings of David Bowie’s The Man Who Fell to Earth and much more. We’re challenging Santa Fe to help us unofficially set the Guinness World Record for biggest David Bowie costume party, so come dressed as any version of Bowie for a chance to win fun raffle prizes.

The celebration is part of a larger event series organized by SFI’s InterPlanetary Project and featuring a constellation of local arts organizations. Patricia Lenihan of Santa Fe New Mexican covers the Oct. 13-17 happenings:

Although Earthlings can’t visit Mars quite yet, the Santa Fe Institute’s October InterPlanetary series may convince many to update their passports to infinity and beyond. Events are directed at those who would engage today’s problems by imagining tomorrow’s challenges, according to SFI. 

The series, which runs from Friday, Oct. 13, to Tuesday, Oct. 17, is offered in anticipation of a June 2018 InterPlanetary Festival in the Railyard that will showcase innovation and technology and, it is hoped, attract space enthusiasts from around the world. Participants at that time will experience concerts, discussions around InterPlanetary topics, art installations, gaming, sci-fi film showcases, cosplay, food, drink, and more.

But for now, SFI collaborates with community partners to stage events that include a film festival, an invitation to the refurbished SITE Santa Fe’s Future Shock exhibit, and presentations at the Lensic Performing Arts Center.

Read the full article here, and make sure to RSVP for our InterPlanetary party!

Image: Pasatiempo.

Ziggy Stardust at form & concept.

David Bowie- Ziggy Stardust Costume Party- InterPlanetary Project- Form and Concept Gallery


Madrid, New Mexico might be known for its appearance in the film Easy Rider, but a much weirder chapter of cinematic history unfolded there in the mid-1970’s. Early in David Bowie’s The Man Who Fell to Earth, the singer descends a hill that’s just south of the historic coal mining village. In fact, the majority of the movie was filmed on location in New Mexico. Four decades later, the Santa Fe Institute has launched an initiative with the opposite trajectory. The InterPlanetary Project challenges scientists, artists, writers and the public to imagine what it would take to explore and populate worlds outside of our solar system.

Santa Fe Institute partnered with Creative Santa Fe to launch the project in July. They join forces again this Sunday to host the InterPlanetary Ziggy Stardust Costume Party. For one wild evening, the InterPlanetary Project rides David Bowie’s star-dusted coattails at this weird and wonderful soiree. The free, RSVP-only event features a cash bar by Santa Fe Spirits and interstellar hors d’oeuvres by form & concept. Guests who wear David Bowie-themed costumes will be entered into a raffle for fun prizes. The party lands at form & concept on Sunday, October 15 from 5-7 pm, on the weekend of InterPlanetary’s fall event series.

The Interplanetary Project debuted in July 2017, with a panel discussion between science fiction authors, scientists, explorers, and artists at the Lensic Theater in downtown Santa Fe. It continues this fall with a city-wide event series running October 13-17 and featuring screenings of science fiction films at the Jean Cocteau and Violet Crown Cinemas, a performance by Jeffrey Ernstoff and a panel discussion led by Santa Fe Institute External Professor Manfred Laubichler. 

There was one key ingredient missing from the weekend of InterPlanetary events. Who better to join us on an interstellar journey than David Bowie? Looks from any era of Bowie’s colorful and daringly varied fashion legacy are welcome at the InterPlanetary Ziggy Stardust Party. Spacesuit up, Santa Fe!

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P S I R E N S & Dinos

Paris Mancini- PSIRENS- Matron Records- Santa Fe New Mexico
Image courtesy Paris Mancini.

Despite snowy days in Santa Fe earlier this week, the Railyard Arts District is launching straight into spring with the Last Friday Art Walk on March 31st. The event unfolds from 5-7 pm in diverse contemporary art spaces throughout the neighborhood. At form & concept, we’ve invited P S I R E N S of Matron Records to perform in our atrium. P S I R E N S is the solo project of vocalist and musician Paris Mancini, who splits her time between Santa Fe and New York City. This week, Alex De Vore of Santa Fe Reporter described her ethereal, looping sound in a preview of the performance:

Mancini brings a hefty dose of earnestness to her performances. It’s actually quite hard to explain, but it’s like an eerie blend of art project and Bjork weirdness with the challenging musicality (or sometimes lack thereof) of a band like Oakland’s Clipd Beaks—though there absolutely is a more cohesive vision in Mancini’s work.

Read the rest of the piece here, and click over to the Matron Records website to watch some P S I R E N S music videos. Our leg of the art walk will also feature the debut of new porcelain dinosaurs by Brett Kern. Scroll down to see charming new work by the West Virginia ceramicist, and mark your calendar to meet the dinos in person this Friday. RSVP to the event on Facebook for updates.

Brett Kern Ceramics- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Brett Kern, Large Blue T-Rex, porcelain, 15 x 9 x 14 in.
Brett Kern Ceramics- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Brett Kern, Red Corythosaurus, porcelain, 14 x 5 x 11 in.
Brett Kern Ceramics- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Brett Kern, Small Green Carnotaurus, porcelain, 6.5 x 5 x 8 in.
Brett Kern Ceramics- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Brett Kern, Small Blue T-Rex, porcelain, 7 x 5.5 x 8 in.
Brett Kern Ceramics- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Brett Kern, Small Red Parasaurolophus, porcelain, 7.5 x 8 x 4.5 in.