Puebla de los ángeles
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On the zócalo in Puebla, la ciudad de los ángeles,
flocks of shiny balloons rise and fall and rise
again with the coruscating spray of water
spouted from the mouths of fountain
fish misting birds who flutter
above human voices
peddlers, priests, tourists folding
maps, laughing children playing chase,
rumble of taxis, buses, cars, clink of glasses in
sidewalk cafes, scrape of chairs as the band begins
the danzón, hum of horns, scuff of cellos and violins,
lyrical silence of pigeon wings.
Robert Skiles and Arturo (“Turo”) Lomas Garza have been friends and collaborators for almost thirty-three years, together performing Robert’s musical compositions for recordings and live concerts. Poet and photographer Katherine Durham Oldmixon and Turo have also worked together and supported one another on many artistic projects. So it’s no surprise that Turo, the editor of this project, is the nexus of the collaboration.
When we launched this project, we agreed that we wanted Robert’s music to be central, but we began with Katherine’s poem “Puebla de los ángeles” as a basis for the idea. Robert had read the poem before and expressed an appreciation for its sounds and images. We didn’t want the poem to become lyrics accompanied by music, but the music to be its own interpretation and representation of the idea, and the poem and images to complement. So Robert wrote and recorded his piano solo, “Puebla de los ángeles,” and Turo selected and edited Katherine’s photographs of Puebla, Mexico to create the visual media, integrating the lines of the poem as he heard them and saw them in the song.