In collaboration with Mexic-Arte Museum, ACG has asked our beloved community to join us in a creative celebration of loved ones for Día de Muertos through our Ofrendas project. You can experience the works of our community through this playlist. RSVP for the finale event on Thursday, October 29th, at 7pm CDT here


In celebration of Día de Muertos, and in collaboration with mexic-Arte Museum, we created the Ofrendas project. Through the project we commissioned twenty Austin-based artists, and invited our staff, community members, and students to create musical tributes to their loved ones. Receiving these beautiful works has been heartwarming, especially during a time when it can be difficult to connect with others. 

This project was inspired by the tradition of ofrendas, or offerings: altars containing photos, gifts, food, and personal items of our loved ones as a way of inviting their spirits to join us in the celebration of their life, created as part of Día de Muertos.

Austin musician and celebrated film composer Carl Theil contributed a beautiful ofrenda. He shared a little about himself and his heritage which has influenced the artist he is today. 

I was born and raised in Mexico City. My dad was Swedish and my mom is half-Austrian and half-German. Music has always been a part of my life. I started playing piano at age 6 and started writing short compositions at age 11. I’ve also always loved film, so writing music for film is a perfect combination of the two things I love most.”

Carl’s ofrenda is for his grandmother, Herta Bauer. He also shared a bit about what this process has meant to him and his family.

“It was a great honor to be asked to participate, and it also gave me the opportunity to pay tribute to my grandmother, who always looked after us with love and care. I loved revisiting her life as I discussed it with my sister, who helped me gather the information and photographs.

I inherited my grandmother’s upright piano, and I think of her every time I play it, so I thought it’d be fitting to write and play a piece on it. It is a symbol of joy that she continues to bring me and my son, as we both enjoy playing on it. I felt it appropriate to write a piece that starts with a simple melody then evolves into a more complex and rich chordal section and finally subsides back into simplicity, kinda like life.”