Marfa Myths 2019 Preview

Click here to read about who we're most excited to see at Marfa Myths!

Marfa, Texas is a quiet West Texas destination for minimalist art that is most well-known for not being well-known whatsoever. It’s likely that if you’re familiar with the town, it’s because some art history major friend of yours remarked on how they needed to make a pilgrimage to the Prada storefront located 26 miles northwest of Marfa before they graduated high school. Maybe it’s the mythic phenomenon of the “Marfa lights” that drew your attention to it. However you initially came to discover this quiet desert town nestled in the corners of the state, one thing is for certain: for the past 5 years, Marfa Myths has been the reason you’re excited to visit it.

Combining the strong cultural history of Marfa and its air of ethereality with a desire to bring art to the forefront of the town, Marfa Myths “is an annual music festival and multidisciplinary cultural program” founded in 2014 by Ballroom Marfa and Brooklyn label Mexican Summer. Every year, a group of creatives from around the global arts scene congregate in this cultural epicenter to bring forth an art experience like no other. Musicians take residence within the confines of the town to collaborate on albums together; well-established producers and instrumentalists set up shop as they prepare their woodworking and painting exhibits; ambient pioneers wander around the deserts of West Texas in search of inspiration for their next body of work. Whatever facet of art appeals to you the most, you will find some realization of it at Marfa Myths. Radio UTD is sending an envoy of our staff, current and former, to take in all the festival has to offer – take a look at what we’re most excited for this year.

Dawood Nadurath, Station Manager – Emily Sprague

No matter the medium, Emily Sprague has a gift for creating incredibly transportive art. Through both her music and photography, the vocalist for indie folk band Florist is meticulous and purposeful with every string she plucks, every sample she loops, every scene she captures. Through both her photography and ambient solo project, words take a quiet backseat, allowing the warmth of ephemera to completely envelop anyone engaged. Drawing on vivid memories of her life in the Catskills and inspiration she gains from landscapes she’s encountered throughout her life, her ambient records have soundtracked the quiet moments hidden within my own life since December 2017, and I can’t think of a better place to continue that experience than Marfa.

Isabel Magana, Music Director – Drugdealer

Texas is the birthplace of the term “psychedelic rock”, and for many, it is still the heart of it. Throughout the many years I’ve taken on the 11 hour drive to El Paso, it has always served as the landscape in which I can explore and expand my taste (hey, I’ve got the time). It is in the heart of the desert that I discovered psychedelic rock, and being able to come full circle and see one of my favorite modern psych artists is representative of the journey- my musical journey, my constant drives through the desert, and the journey of Michael Collins, FKA Salvia Plath and Run DMT.  

Savannah Sherer, Former Station Manager – Tim Hecker

Tim Hecker is a Canadian experimental sound designer and electronic artist with a varied body of work. While albums like Dropped Pianos are delicate and dreamy snapshots of emotion, his performance at Day For Night in 2017 was a harshly loud, textural wall of sound. Some audience members basked in its overwhelming glory, but others were pissed:

Tim Hecker can do both, but on his latest album, Konoyo, he decided to land somewhere in between. Recorded with a traditional Japanese gagaku ensemble, he explores the combination synthetic textures and eerily visceral tones that could only come from acoustic instruments. For his visit to Marfa, Hecker will come with the Konoyo Ensemble in tow, and we’re ready for the ritual.

Tyler Hormell, Blog Editor  – Connan Mockasin

It wouldn’t be Marfa without Connan Mockasin- but this year will be a bit different. Setting down the guitar for a paintbrush, Connan is 2019’s Painter in Residence. His surrealist R&B sound is often coupled with unsettling (though always captivating) visuals, sparking a promise that something incredible will come from his visual art experience. With his latest film Botsyn and Dobsyn recently released (or at least- the first part of it), numerous writing credits for the likes of MGMT and James Blake, and almost 10 albums under his ever-swelling belt, Connan painting during this years event was surely the next pool for his many sprawled fingers to be dipped into.

Full lineup and further details can be found here.