...like a bowl of soup


Faces of Dallas, our final concert of the season, is a mammoth undertaking. With a dedicated committee along with a team of artists and data gatherers creating and collecting the multifarious pieces, it has proven to be ambitious in its scope. As we’ve progressed through this year, the project has loomed on the horizon, its intensity exciting and intimidating.

As of this weekend, a clearer image of this concert has emerged after conversations with composer David Ross Lawn and compilation of several written pieces that will make up the libretto. Lawn hails from New Jersey but is originally from Largs, Scotland. Sam was intrigued by the idea of having an outsider to the city of Dallas set to music the diverse collection of survey responses and poems we’ve received. Lush and meditative, Lawn’s music will act as the sea in which the voices of Dallas residents are carried. Check out this recording of Lawn’s composition for solo piano.

The libretto for this concert will be made up of the “Dallas Is…” survey responses and poetry submitted by authors from across the city.

Here’s a preview of the diverse voices chiming in on this project.

Dallas is…

...a cowboy city but without tumbleweeds

...still one of the most segregated cities in the U.S.

...amazing but gentrified. Chill and uppity. Haves and have nots

...growing but needs to grow more in contemporary art

...The next New York City

...un hoger en que me puedo encontar, a place which love has been planted and tended through hands of la communidad, and family, land that continues to remind us to embrace it back

...a place where you get to see dreams become reality

...a diverse array of faces, places, and a fresh start

...bridges, beautiful symbols of a city seeking unity. We are not there yet, but we have begun

...a middle school child

...pålegg (Norwegian, a mix of usually wouldn't taste good together things that do)

...bbq, tex mex, and big hair

...like a bowl of soup. All the different vegetables represent different peoples. They all join to make a beautiful place.

We’ve also worked with poet Joe Milazzo to solicit poetry submission from local writers.

my old brown neighborhood is slowly turning white and i hate myself
for liking the mid-century modern houses and the coffee shop/bar/arcade/bookstores and the overpriced grilled cheese shops and             shit have i been gentrified?

— Sebastian Mejia

My street is an exercise in urban evolution. The water department leaves ruts for street maintenance.
A new complex is under construction in place of absent oak canopies. The shade will have hard lines.
My dog sniffs the air in wonder as do I. Asphalt aromas bubble in summer, freeze in winter.

— M H Clay

All along Hillcrest and Arapaho
Rises, pinkwhite, a radioactive glow
Of blanched pearblossom, apple, plum and quince…

Better take shelter in an underpass.
City of all desires, city of glass.

— Frederick Turner

“Just Down Highland Road from the Boarded-Up Grocery Store”

In the leafy dark, tree-frogs and cicadas throb under a few humid stars.
Through the chainlink fence my neighbors are singing in Spanish: guitar, accordion, two bright
male voices. They tune sweet 3rds and 6ths, they slide into every cadence: mi amor, mi amor.
Lisa Huffaker

The pieces are coming together, and this is going to be beautiful.

Erinn Sensenig