Art Exchange 2012: The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library writes a song inspired by Raúl Gonzalez III’s “la Cubeta” – Raúl Gonzalez III creates a piece inspired by “Holy Ghost”

The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library has collaborated with five amazing visual artists to write five new songs based on their works while they created five new works based on our songs. Visit our project summary page for more information. Each day this week, we will release a video showing our creative process in writing the song inspired by each work, leading up to a showing of the works and live performance of the songs at:

Out of the Blue Gallery on September 14th.
106 Prospect Street, Cambridge MA
Facebook Event
http://www.facebook.com/outofthebluegallery
We will be giving out 50 CDs of the songs associated with this project out for free at this show.

Our third artist collaborator is Raúl Gonzalez III. When searching out artists for this project, we had asked for recommendations from our friends and Raúl came up several times. We had seen some of his work previously and after browsing his web site, immediately fell in love with everything he did.

“la Cubeta” by  Raúl Gonzalez III

la Cubeta” by Raúl Gonzalez III

We were given “la Cubeta” to inspire our song. We loved the image and found it very packed with ideas, very powerful, and very moving, without being particularly full or busy. For this project, we actively chose not to really focus on trying to decode the artist’s intent with their images, but rather to use our own context to tell a story. The story that we developed focused on the depicted woman’s struggle with her own sadness, a cycle which caused her to cry out a river a tears, drowning those close to her, and threatening her own life.

The bucket (la Cubeta) remains her only chance to survive the hopelessness of bailing out her tears as she creates them. It’s sort of a take on the story of Sisyphus. Lisa also suggested parallels with The Lady of Shalott, which inspired a section of the song.

Here’s a video telling the story of how we created the song.

Lyrics:
Rolling down the river, river of tears
Rolling down the river of foam and fear
Rolling down the river, river of tears
Rolling down that river of tears

Hold on mama, you’re drowning
Hold on sister, you’re going too
Hold on mama, you’re drowning
and now there’s nothing that I can do

You’re weeping now the boat is leaking
sinking to the bottom where the fishes die
You’re weeping now the boat is leaning
Your bucket and your wishes won’t keep you dry

Rolling down the river, river of tears
Rolling down the river of foam and fear
Rolling down the river, river of tears
Rolling down that river of tears

The Lady of Shallot is weaving
as the shadows of the world go floating by
The Lady of Shallot is dreaming
painting on a bird so she can fly

Hold on mama, you’re drowning
Hold on sister, you’re going too
Hold on mama, you’re drowning
and now there’s nothing that I can do

“Heaven is the Place you Fear the Most” by Raúl Gonzalez III
For the other half of this project, we were thrilled to have  Raúl  choose “Holy Ghost.”


About Raúl Gonzalez III

photo by Beth Driscoll with hand coloring by Elaine Bay.

Raúl Gonzalez was born in El Paso, Texas and grew up going back and forth between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, México. In 2011 Beautiful/Decay in collaboration with Canson awarded him a Wet Paint Grant. In 2009 Gonzalez received an award from the Artadia Foundation for Art and Culture. He was voted Boston’s best visual artist for 2010 by readers of The Boston Phoenix. His work has been exhibited widely in the northeast including The Drawing Center in New York, the Aidekman Gallery at Tufts University in Medford, MA and The Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts in Boston, Ogunquit Museum of American Art as well as on the west coast at SCION Installation, San Francisco Art Institute and Self-Help Graphics in Los Angeles. In 2010 he worked on his first large scale mural sponsored by the Boston Arts Commission installed in the neighborhood of East Boston. Gonzalez is committed to introducing youth to the visual arts and has taught in the education departments of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2011 Gonzalez collaborated with over 125 kids from all over the city of Boston to create a work titled “and their Families” for the Linde Family Wing of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gonzalez lives in Somerville, MA, with his wife Elaine Bay and their infant son Raúl, IV. He is represented by Carroll and Sons, Boston.