Notgnirrac by Alfredo Santa Ana

This week saw the release of the second of three music videos I’ve been working on for Lutalica, my ongoing performance and recording project that focuses on the flute music of Pacific Rim composers. I’m so excited to present Notgnirrac: a video by Bernardo González Burgos and Kiné Producciones, featuring the music of the Canadian-Mexican composer Alfredo Santa Ana.

Notgnirrac takes its name and inspiration from the British-Mexican surrealist artist, Leonora Carrington (spell Carrington backwards and you’ll get Santa Ana’s piece title). After the devastating end to her relationship with the surrealist painter Max Ernst, Carrington moved to Mexico City, where she established herself as one of the country’s leading artists, a primary figure in the international surrealist movement, and a founding member of the Mexican Women’s Liberation Movement.

For this piece Santa Ana was specifically inspired by Carrington’s visual and literary artwork. “I consider her artistry to be a path of self-discovery and a blend of psychological and physical geographies… Carrington displays a self-reflecting attitude inwards, to one’s own identity, culture, and work. This, I believe, is an awareness that is also at the core of McGregor’s examination of Pacific Rim music through the lens of identity. His use of ‘lutalica’ invokes the notion of never really being captured within the narrow categories that we use to describe ourselves.”

It’s almost too perfect that this video was, in fact, filmed on location at the Museo Leonora Carrington in San Luis Potosí, Mexico; throughout this video you’ll see a number of Carrington’s sculptures haunting the various courtyards and galleries of the museum, bringing an eerie surrealist energy to Santa Ana’s rhapsodic and virtuosic music. I’m deeply indebted to Museo Leonora Carrington for providing us the unique opportunity to film there, and to the Canada Council for the Arts for their support.

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