Prepare to be transported through stories and art: Our Composer in Residence, Joseph Williams II, the creative genius behind last year’s original silent film score for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger, hosts an evening inspired by the other-worldly at The Townsend, Austin’s coolest new bar and listening room.

Williams along with guitarist Joseph Palmer and bassist Ricky Pringle will present his evocative Zia: Myth and Folklore from New Mexico and Homage to Tom Waits. Our featured artist is Austin’s own Yuliya Lanina whose surreal paintings portray the mysterious, the beautiful, and the sensual.  There will be food compliments of Easy Tiger included in the ticket price, and delicious cocktails available from The Townsend’s mixology masters.

The Townsend shot by SJ Reid Photography
The Townsend shot by SJ Reid Photography
We can almost smell the fresh-baked goodness from Easy Tiger
Fresh-Baked Goodness from Easy Tiger








About the Music: Joseph Williams II composed  Zia: Myth and Folklore from New Mexico as a collection of etudes, or short musical compositions, emphasizing  timbre and extended guitar techniques. A “Zia” is a symbol for the sun: a red circle with groups of rays pointing in four directions. The symbol comes from the Zia tribe from New Mexico and was adopted as the state flag in 1925. As a native of New Mexico, Williams  drew inspiration from the Spanish and Native American folklore and mythology integral to the cultural landscape of the state. In writing etudes focusing on extended techniques and timbre, he found a sympathetic relationship between this exotic sound palette and the frequently fantastical elements in New Mexican folklore and myth. In realizing this relationship, he associated each etude with a specific myth or folkloric story. Although the pieces can exist without this association, his hopes are that the programmatic reference will empower a general audience to engage in a contemporary musical language and also to keep these narratives alive in modern consciousness.

Tom Waits (b. 1949) is an American songwriter, composer, actor and performance artist. He is a self-described maker of “adventure songs and Halloween music”  whose lyrics explore a fantastical underworld of seedy, sentimental, grotesque and sometimes maudlin subject matter. Williams’ Homage to Tom Waits (2012) is dedicated to the later period of his music characterized by the use of uncommon instruments and an evolving sound palette that explores forms that are rarely present in popular music (vaudeville, rumba, polka, tango, spoken word).

To read more about Joseph Williams visit his website

"Je Suis Charlie" by Yuliya Lanina About the Art: Yuliya Lanina is a Russian-born American multimedia artist who lives and works in Austin, TX. Employing surreal imagery to simultaneously elicit feelings of uneasiness and empathy, she paints and collages bizarre characters that come to life through mechanization, animation, and music. Lanina draws from many sources to create these characters, though she often taps into Greek mythology with its half-human and half-animal demigods, and also relies on Russian fairy tales, which are filled with fantastic beings deeply rooted in paganism, mysticism, and symbolism. Her creatures and their stories move freely between logical and illogical, realistic and illusory, predictable and surprising, representing life that can only be lived, but never understood. 

To see more of her work visit her website

Play! is about connecting contemporary art and music in captivating downtown Austin spaces.  Each event highlights the work of one visual artist paired with an intimate live concert.  We look for exciting downtown environments, start off with cocktails, delicious bites from Easy Tiger, and let the art and music set the mood.  

This event is sponsored by Laraine & Leon Lasdon.

Tickets can be purchased here.