Home > Mutating the Signature, Videos > Puebla de los ángeles

Puebla de los ángeles

February 27, 2009

If you can’t see the video, you need to download Flash.

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.

by Arturo Lomas Garza, Robert Skiles, and Katherine Durham Oldmixon

Download the MP3

Process notes

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.

  1. Peter
    February 28, 2009 at 7:57 am

    I love this poem!

  2. Nancy Durham
    February 28, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Delightful interlude for this quiet Saturday night! Beauty in color, sound, images…

  3. Val Harbolovic
    February 28, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Hi Kat!
    My friend from Chicago and amiga of the same birth year as me!

    I just loved this project. How beautifully poem, photos, and music melded together. None taking a superior place to another. The ultimate fusion – Just WONDERFUL!


    Val xxx

  4. Juan Valera
    March 1, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Hello Kat.
    Cogratulations. Your poem, Arturo’s drums and your dancing together flow and float with the baloons in the city square of Puebla de los Angeles. I just wish that Diane and I were the couple dancing! When in Rome next month, we plan to take our music, use our ipod and dance one evening by the Trevi Fountain.
    Best regards.

  5. March 1, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Beautiful work–the composition, the photos, and the poem. This is what collaboration looks like when it works well. Great job, all of you!

  6. March 2, 2009 at 1:15 am

    what a joyous, lyrical celebration! Just beautiful.

  7. March 10, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I really enjoyed that. The musicians working so hard so the music could be played in the square. And some couples could dance impromptu. Making the day beautiful and meaningful. And, as others have commented, all the parts of this piece work together quite well. Intermedial. The music, the photos, and the poem. Thanks.

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