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Guillermo Galindo

Remote Control

Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Starting at 8:30pm and 9pm

On the High Line at the Spur on 30th Street

Guillermo Galindo is an experimental music composer, sonic architect, performance artist, and visual media artist. Galindo’s work bends conventional boundaries between music, composition, and connects the arts, politics, humanitarian issues, spirituality, and social awareness.

Originally commissioned and premiered by the Kronos Quartet for the Fifty for the Future Project, and performed on the High Line by renowned string quartet ETHEL, Remote Control is both a composition for a string quartet and an audience-interactive sonic environment. The work comments on the dehumanization of warfare though the use of remote digital technologies, video games, and attack drones known as combat aerial vehicles (UCAV). The first movement of the performance combines the music of the string quartet with the audience’s live playing of pre-recorded sounds of war video games, military cockpits, and “after attack” soundscapes from around the world. Four tracks of streaming sound and intermittent light, emitted through the audience’s digital devices, smart phones, and tablets, create a shared sonic environment with the quartet. The recently written second movement will be premiered in this concert as an epilogue to the first movement.  In tandem, the work considers the history of epic music in sonic warfare, from military bands marching alongside infantry, to Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries being played through airplane speakers during the Vietnam War, to the use of sonic cannons to break up protests, particularly the Water Protector civilians at the Standing Rock protest.

This performance is the first public presentation of the composition, presented in conjunction with Sam Durant’s Plinth commission Untitled (drone). Attendees are encouraged to bring as many smartphones, tablets, and other devices as they would like to participate in the performance.

Remote Control was originally commissioned for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, a project of the Kronos Performing Arts Association. The score and parts are available for free online.

Organized by Melanie Kress, Curator of High Line Art.

Artist bio

Guillermo Galindo (b. 1960, Mexico City, Mexico) lives and works in Berkeley, California. His acoustic work includes two commissioned orchestral compositions by the OFUNAM (Mexico University Orchestra) and the Oakland Symphony Orchestra and Choir, solo instrumental works, two operas, sonic sculptures, visual arts, computer interaction works, electro-acoustic music, film, instrument building, three-dimensional immersive installations and live improvisation. Galindo’s work is part of the permanent collections of Crystal Bridges Museum, Arkansas; Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Florida; LACMA, Los Angeles, California; and the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Known for its enlivened playing, blending uptown, conservatory musicianship with downtown genre-crossing, the string quartet ETHEL has been described as “indefatigable and eclectic” (The New York Times), “vital and brilliant” (The New Yorker), and “infectiously visceral” (Pitchfork). Since its inception nearly 25 years ago, ETHEL has released nine feature recordings (one of them nominated for a Native American Music Award), premiered 225+ compositions, performed as guests on 40+ albums, won a GRAMMY® with jazz legend Kurt Elling, and toured worldwide (to include 49 of the 50 states).

ETHEL is currently the Resident Ensemble at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Petrie Court Café and Ensemble-in-Residence at Denison University, and formerly the 2019/20 Creative-in-Residence at Brooklyn Public Library, 2018/19 Quartet-in-Residence at Kaufman Music Center’s Face the Music, and a 2019 Levi Family Distinguished Visiting Artist at The Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.

ETHEL is Ralph Farris (viola), Kip Jones (violin), Dorothy Lawson (cello), and Corin Lee (violin). For this performance, ETHEL welcomes violinist Lavinia Pavlish.


Lead Support, High Line Art
Amanda and Don Mullen

Major Support, High Line Art
Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons
The Brown Foundation, Inc.
Charina Endowment Fund
Scintilla Foundation

Project Support, High Line Art
Charlotte Feng Ford
Vivian and James Zelter

Additional Support, High Line Art
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

Public Support, High Line Art
High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.

Support for the High Line Plinth
Major support for the High Line Plinth is provided by members of the High Line Plinth Committee and contemporary art leaders committed to realizing major commissions and engaging in the public success of the Plinth: Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros, Elizabeth Belfer, Suzanne Deal Booth, Fairfax Dorn, Steve Ells, Kerianne Flynn, Andy and Christine Hall, Hermine Riegerl Heller and David B. Heller, J. Tomilson and Janine Hill, The Holly Peterson Foundation, Annie Hubbard and Harvey Schwartz, Miyoung Lee and Neil Simpkins, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Amanda and Don Mullen, Douglas Oliver and Sherry Brous, Mario Palumbo and Stefan Gargiulo, Susan and Stephen Scherr, Susan and David Viniar, and Anonymous.