SAN LUIS OBISPO – On Mar. 16, internationally renowned musician and performance artist Dorian Wood presents a 12-hour composition and art installation at Cuesta College in collaboration with the Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery and the Cultural & Performing Arts Center (CPAC). 

Canto de Todes, Spanish for “Song of Everyone,” is inspired by a lyric by the late Chilean singer/songwriter Violeta Parra. The work is divided into three movements – the first and third movements are one-hour-long chamber pieces influenced by folk, popular, and experimental music. The second movement is a 10-hour pre-recorded piece unfolding throughout multiple spaces. The Los Angeles Times describes Wood’s work as featuring “layered vocals that can be at turns cacophonous and haunting.”

Canto de Todes is an ode to the folk music I was brought up listening to,” said Wood. “The idea that music could simultaneously provide comfort and inspire social change has always excited me. The connections that artists like Violeta Parra, Victor Jara, Mercedes Sosa, and Inti-Illimani made with their communities were crucial in their radical mass uprisings against oppression, and also unjustly put the lives of these artists in danger.” 

Canto de Todes unifies Wood’s multidisciplinary strengths to create a community-oriented project exploring the potential of music as a conduit for social change. It upends the expectation of the rigidness often associated with witnessing chamber music performances by offering a welcoming space that allows individuals to project their personal, communal joys and traumas. It is a collaborative work with local artists who are invited to permanently incorporate their respective visions into the body of this evolving piece. 

“My wish with Canto de Todes is to tour it as broad and wide as possible, mutating and expanding with ongoing collaborations with artists local to each region, and work toward a future of acknowledgment over inclusion and reparations over acceptance,” said Wood.

Canto de Todes is presented on Thursday, Mar. 16, in three movements:

  • Movement I | 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. | CPAC Experimental Theater | Live-stream Link
  • Movement II | 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery
  • Movement III | 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. | CPAC Courtyard | Live-stream Link

Wood (pronouns: she/her/they/them) is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. Using subject matter informed by their own perspective as a genderfluid brown person, a child of Costa Rican and Nicaraguan immigrants, and an autodidact, Wood’s intent of “infecting” spaces and ideologies with their artistic practice is born from a desire to challenge traditions and systems that have contributed to the marginalization of people. 

Admission to this event is free. Please visit the gallery webpage or call (805) 546-3202 for a schedule of exhibits and hours of operation.