Composers Share Their Homecoming Story - Meet Mario Diaz

Peace Offering premieres on 3A’s Studio Series concert, Homecomings
October 17 & 18 at 7:30pm

Photo Credit: Finelens Professional Photography

Photo Credit: Finelens Professional Photography

...my homecoming was the beginning of a journey inward. Since returning home to Oregon, I have found a new passion and appreciation not only for music, but also for the rain and all that it touches. I’m really lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
— Mario Diaz, Featured composer from "Homecomings"

Born and raised in Oregon, I have a special affinity for the powerful landscape here. It is diverse, vast and immersive; at the same time, delicate. For many years, the rain was something that made me long to travel away to a sunnier and warmer climate. In 2011, I moved away and my plan was to never come back. My rainy homeland lured me back and opened my eyes to an inner world I had only dreamed about. I was unaware then how I would come to terms with being so rooted in the fabric of this landscape--my homecoming was the beginning of a journey inward. Since returning home to Oregon, I have found a new passion and appreciation not only for music, but also for the rain and all that it touches. I’m really lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

The inspiration for Peace Offering, commissioned by Third Angle New Music with generous underwriting support from Joseph Anthony & Heidi Yorkshire, lies with Oregon’s Poet Laureate Kim Stafford and my father. I first met Kim at a Farm Salon concert in 2018. This was a gathering of diverse artists in a rural landscape at a wonderful old farmhouse. I was immediately impressed by his words and presence.  After he finished reading his work, I mentioned to my friend that I needed to find a way to write a piece with him. I approached him and came to the realization that my father had previously tried to introduce us, but the meeting had ultimately never happened. From there our collaboration was born. Originally, I was intent on writing traditional folk songs with Kim’s poetry as the text, but I soon found a wealth of other material that seemed to be a better fit with the theme of this show, Homecomings.  Coincidentally, my father had also been working with Kim on translating a number of his poems into Spanish and happened to know Kim’s father as well. After reading well over a few dozen of his poems, I settled on three that were perfect and began to put together an adaptation of them. I mixed and matched Kim’s original poems with my father’s translations and recorded my own interpretation of the text--wood, honey, salt, water, rivers and a fire just beginning to burn. This work is an is an exploration of opposite elements coming together, of finding peace in the fusion of two different elements-inside the landscape, language and frequency.   

Like a boomerang, everyone feels a deep pull toward the land where they were born.

I dedicate Peace Offering to the late Eddie Alvarez, BHB & BB. Their penchant for watches, trench coats, training and no eye contact will always be remembered.

For more information about Homecomings and to purchase your tickets click here.

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Third Angle