Inspired by the transformation of winter to spring at the Wildflower Center, composer and performer Gabriel Santiago collaborates with master horticulturist Andrea DeLong-Amaya to celebrate the intersections of nature and music. Thursday, May 13th at 7pm CDT. Register online here. Free, Donations welcome. 


We are so thrilled to share an incredibly special event called Flowers of Life on Thursday, May 13th, at 7pm CDT, presented in partnership with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. 

As part of the Austin Now series, ACG’s Artistic Director Joe Williams asked the talented composer and performer Gabriel Santiago to collaborate with master horticulturist Andrea DeLong-Amaya from the Wildflower Center to create a program inspired by the intersections of nature and music.

We have seen many transformations this year, including the infamous Texas Winter Storm that turned into this beautiful spring we are now experiencing. 

Nature’s beauty and complexity has been a common inspiration for some of our Austin Now events such as Cycles from last fall. Joe Williams shared some of his inspiration for Flowers of Life, 

“The ACG Spring season has been centered around the themes of hope, rebirth & celebration. In many ways, these themes grew out of a conversation with Andrea DeLong-Amaya, the director of Horticulture at Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center.

We talked about the cycle of seasons and the process that plants go through every year: from winter to spring, from seed to bloom, from dirt to fields of flowers. And it occurred to me that that transformation – that process – in many ways reveals where we are.  We’ve been in a sort of winter since Covid hit and, starting with the new year, sparks of hope are igniting.  We can peak at a foreseeable end to the pandemic and the human spirit and our community is in the process of blooming.  But we aren’t out of the woods yet – we need to nurture every last bit of hope in our community – and that’s what we have been endeavoring to do.

I am so inspired by Andrea and Gabriel’s collaboration and their work together.  In Flowers of Life, Gabriel Santiago’s gorgeous music evokes the beauty of both wildflowers and our community and Andrea’s voice offers poems and quotes gently urging us to take part in the wonder around us and ignite hope for our future.”

We also spoke with Gabriel about his creative process in this collaboration and what this event meant to him, 

“There was a lot of inspiration from photos and videos of birds, flowers, and nature, which inspired me to try to come up with a musical description of what I was seeing to enhance the imagery that was being presented to me. This made the creative process very fruitful for me.”

Gabriel shared how this inspiration is expressed in the music, 

“The music is made up of main themes and variations. The main theme is the transformation from winter to spring, of course. But here’s another example: I saw an image of a bumble bee, so in one of the pieces I created a small variation within the main theme about that bee! The process was very similar to scoring music for a movie, and that  was exciting for me.” 

During the planning of this event the title “Flowers of Life” was chosen through Gabriel and Andrea’s intentions of the event being an expression of the celebration of life. The Flower of Life is a geometric figure that represents the path of creation in sacred geometry. Gabriel composed a piece called Flowers of Life which we are so excited to hear premiered in the concert! Gabriel shared: 

“The piece Flowers of Life has to do with seasons and change and the cycles of nature. The world is constantly changing and the piece I composed was inspired during the winter storm. I was here at home with no electricity and no water but I had a little juice left on my phone, so I recorded this piece that was inspired by the scenery I was experiencing in this very odd time. It plays as my dialogue of my experience which touches on this sentiment of constant change, destruction, and growth in the cycles of nature.” 

We are so excited to see this collaboration come to life! Please join us.