Leticia Gonzales’ Senior Show
Leticia Gonzales hasn’t always known her niche.
“The first thing I wanted to do was dance,” she said. “Then sing. Then I wanted to join a Mariachi group and wanted to play trumpet, but I couldn’t play trumpet. Then I wanted to play bass, but I couldn’t play bass. So it was guitar or violin, and guitar is fucking stupid.”
Tonight at 7 p.m., Gonzales will be performing her senior show featuring nine musical selections from various nations ranging from America to Macedonia, Ireland to Guinea. She will showcase her talents on vocals, violin and three African drums (Dununba, Sangban and Kenkeni). But organizing the event, and performing in front of a crowd was the last thing she wanted to do.
Gonzales grew up listening to American Folk music, and when she enrolled at University of New Mexico, music seemed to be the natural choice. But its program was too confined for her musical curiosity. Faith renewed when she transferred to SFUAD and discovered its Balkan and African drum ensembles.
“The only way I can talk about why [I like Balkan and African music] is that I heard it and it spoke to me,” she said and that seems to be a running theme.
Along with being a music major, Gonzales is also working toward a minor in writing, something she considers her true passion.
“Writing would be the vessel,” she said. “ And inside of that is music, textiles, philosophy, language and everything else that makes me excited about living.”
Caitlin Brothers, Gonzales’ friend and musical partner, sees her experience as a writer seeping into her senior show in the arrangement of music, and spoken word selections.
“I feel like she’s organized the show almost how one would arrange a poem,” she said. “It feels like being a part of a nine point poem.”
Brothers and Gonzales perform with each other often, including as part of their band Storming The Beaches With Logos In Hand. They also share the connection of both being women in a predominantly male department.
“Having a conversation without being listened to, is bearable sometimes,” said Brothers. “Trying to play music with someone who isn’t listening to you—you can’t fucking do anything, We found each other as people who can listen to one another. She knows I’ll listen to her, and I know she’ll listen to me.”
In part to Gonzales’ distaste for singing publicly, and the duo’s musical compatibility, Gonzales acknowledges that her show would be lost without Brothers’ contribution on percussions and vocals.
“When I was considering African rhythms and singing the tunes that I’m singing, the only way that I thought that would come to fruition was if I imagined Caitlin doing them with me,” said Gonzales.
She is self-deprecating, nervous about applying make-up for the camera, but it is clear with her attention to detail in writing, and dedication in learning new music, that Gonzales knows what she is doing.
“I’m hoping that in presenting things in a methodic and tight woven way, there will be an hour where everybody in the same room is connecting in the same way, on a winter night,” she said.
Along with Gonzales and Brothers, the show also features collaborative composition between Gonzales and Sam Armstrong Zickefoose, as well as Bailey Schaumburg reading a selection from Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities.” Gonzales requests that there be no cell phones or photography, and that you hold all applause until the end.
Leticia Gonzales Senior Show
O’Shaughnessy Performance Space
7 p.m. Free