Music of the Month | Brandon De La Cruz


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Join us for our Music of the Month in March to hear from Brandon De La Cruz, a folk artist whose lyricism is uniquely shaped by his interest in mythology, ceremony, and R H Blyth’s translations of Japanese haiku. He grew up in the suburbs of Southern California's Inland Empire and has lived and performed regularly in Portland, Oregon, Berkeley, California, and now calls Kirikiriroa Hamilton, Aotearoa home.

As well as an avid reader and accomplished songwriter, Brandon takes great inspiration from the visual arts, crediting his evolving love for engaging with the paintings of Mark Rothko as a big part of his own cultural growth, noting that across the years he went from being dismissive of the artist’s work to considering Rothko ‘a kind of soul companion’. 

Despite being a relative newcomer to our shores, Brandon is no stranger to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Recounting his first encounters at the Gallery, he says, ‘In February of 2020, I flew to Auckland for my first trip to Aotearoa to visit friends. One of my first stops was Auckland Art Gallery. On display at the time were Colin McCahon’s The Fourteen Stations of the Cross and as somewhat of a companion piece, FrenchBayDarkly, a painting by John Reynolds and on the third wall were brilliant impressionist landscapes by Toss Woollaston. I find it hard to find words for my encounter with those paintings. In particular, The Fourteen Stations of the Cross, took me on a 14-vision journey of landscape, emotion, darkness and colour that somehow took the familiar narrative to an abstract though deeply personal plane.’

We are thrilled to be hosting a rare performance from this well-travelled artist, whose last three records were inspired by the writings of Rainer Maria Rilke, Joan Didion and Ovid, while his new album Two Kilos of Blue draws from images from his own life over the past decade, and features a 1985 painting by Purvis Young as its cover art. 

First in, first serve! No booking required.

Image credit: Christian Haslett

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