Xavela Lux Aeterna serves as a tribute to and coincides with the centenary of legendary Costa Rican-born Mexican singer Chavela Vargas. Wood, who uses they/them pronouns, offers “a vocal charisma that would befit a preacher” as they engage in a reverent dialogue with Vargas’ works. The orchestral performance is accompanied by a string quartet directed by Alberto Montero, as well as Xavi Muñoz on synth, bass and backing vocals and Marcos Junquera on percussion. Experimental vocalist and Herb Alpert School of Music faculty member Carmina Escobar appears as a special guest, alongside Los Angeles-based singer San Cha. Xavela Lux Aeterna debuted at the 2019 Festival de Arte Sacro in Madrid.
— Dorian Wood (@DorianWoodMusic) November 19, 2019
“To those of us who have been pushed aside by society, Chavela is a divine presence,” said Wood. “I feel an intense connection to this great artist, beginning with the common aspects we both possess and culminating with the greatest defiance, which is to live as one desires, with scars and kisses and everything. Chavela had her great loves and deep sorrows.”
Wood is a Los Angeles-based artist who “challenges the separation of artist and spectator” by exploring “subject matter informed by their own perspective as a non-binary person of color” and their autodidactic practice. Wood’s most recent work, “XALÁ” (Atonal Industries, 2017), is the artist’s first full Spanish-language album. The album, recorded in Villarreal, Spain, spurred two videos: CORPULENXIA and MARTILLOS, both conceptualized by Wood. The album also inspired the short film PAISA (2019), co-directed with Wood’s longtime collaborator, Vancouver-based filmmaker and writer Graham Kolbeins.
Wood’s musical, performative and visual works have exhibited internationally at institutions like The Broad (Los Angeles), LACMA (Los Angeles), The Stone (New York City) and Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach), and festivals like Stockholm Fringe Fest, Cully Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Festivals Kometa (Latvia) and Saint Ghetto (Switzerland).
Dorian Wood: Xavela Lux Aeterna
Friday, Nov. 22, 8:30 pm
Saturday, Nov. 23, 8:30 pm
631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles