Photo by Zen Cohen

First public presentation of the composition, presented in conjunction with Sam Durant’s Plinth commission Untitled (drone)

High Line Art announces two performances of artist and composer Guillermo Galindo’s Remote Control by NYC-based string quartet ETHEL. Presented in conjunction with Sam Durant’s Plinth commission Untitled (drone), this immersive, audience participatory event is the first public presentation of the composition, originally commissioned for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire. The two performances of Remote Control will take place on the High Line on the Spur starting at 8:30pm and 9pm on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. Remote Control is organized by Melanie Kress, High Line Art Associate Curator.

Originally commissioned and premiered by the Kronos Quartet for the Fifty for the Future Project, Remote Control is both a composition for a string quartet and an audience-interactive sonic environment. The work comments on the dehumanization of warfare though the use of remote digital technologies, video games, and attack drones known as combat aerial vehicles (UCAV). The first movement of the performance combines the music of the string quartet with the audience’s live playing of pre-recorded sounds of war video games, military cockpits, and “after attack” soundscapes from around the world. Four tracks of streaming sound and intermittent light, emitted through the audience’s digital devices, smart phones, and tablets, create a shared sonic environment with the quartet.

The recently written second movement, “Aftermath,” will be premiered in this concert as an epilogue to the first movement. As colorful and luminous toy fans are again repurposed as string bows, the tiny blades resemble lively fireflies or toy helicopters, reminding us of our naiveté and the imminent dangers of the games we play. In tandem, the work considers the history of epic music in sonic warfare, from military bands marching alongside infantry, to Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries being played through airplane speakers during the Vietnam War, to the use of sonic cannons to break up protests, particularly the Water Protector civilians at the Standing Rock protest.

The work is performed by renowned string quartet ETHEL and accompanied by digital soundtracks (accessible at played by members of the audience through their cell phones, tablets, or any other audio or audiovisual playback devices available. The score and parts are available for free online. Attendees are encouraged to bring as many smartphones, tablets, and other devices as they would like to participate in the performance.

Guillermo Galindo is an experimental music composer, sonic architect, performance artist, and visual media artist. Galindo’s work bends conventional boundaries between music, composition, and connects the arts, politics, humanitarian issues, spirituality, and social awareness.

The performance is free; visitors are encouraged to RSVP in advance. The nearest entrances are staircases at 30th Street at the intersection with 10th Avenue, with the nearest elevator further west on 30th Street, and a ramp entry from Hudson Yards. Seating and restrooms are available on the Spur. In the event of rain or inclement weather, the program will be rescheduled to Wednesday, July 27, at the same times and location. Updates will be posted on and registrants will be notified via email by 2pm the day before.

All persons with disabilities are encouraged to attend. To request additional information regarding accessibility or accommodations at a program, please contact Constanza Valenzuela ( in advance of the event.

Guillermo Galindo (b. 1960, Mexico City, Mexico) lives and works in Berkeley, California. His acoustic work includes two commissioned orchestral compositions by the OFUNAM (Mexico University Orchestra) and the Oakland Symphony Orchestra and Choir, solo instrumental works, two operas, sonic sculptures, visual arts, computer interaction works, electro-acoustic music, film, instrument building, three-dimensional immersive installations, and live improvisation. Galindo’s work is part of the permanent collections of Crystal Bridges Museum, Arkansas; Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Florida; LACMA, Los Angeles, California; and the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Known for its enlivened playing, blending uptown, conservatory musicianship with downtown genre crossing, the string quartet ETHEL has been described as “indefatigable and eclectic” (The New York Times), “vital and brilliant” (The New Yorker), and “infectiously visceral” (Pitchfork).

Since its inception nearly 25 years ago, ETHEL has released nine feature recordings (one of them nominated for a Native American Music Award), premiered 225+ compositions, performed as guests on 40+ albums, won a GRAMMY® with jazz legend Kurt Elling, and toured worldwide (to include 49 of the 50 states).

ETHEL is currently the Resident Ensemble at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Petrie Court Café and Ensemble-in-Residence at Denison University, and formerly the 2019/20 Creative-in residence at Brooklyn Public Library, 2018/19 Quartet-in-Residence at Kaufman Music Center’s Face the Music, and a 2019 Levi Family Distinguished Visiting Artist at The Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.

ETHEL is Ralph Farris (viola), Kip Jones (violin), Dorothy Lawson (cello), and Corin Lee (violin). For this performance, ETHEL welcomes violinist Lavinia Pavlish.

Founded in 2009, High Line Art commissions and produces a wide array of artworks on the High Line, including site-specific commissions, exhibitions, performances, video programs, and a series of billboard interventions. Led by Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Director & Chief Curator of High Line Art, and presented by the High Line, the art program invites artists to think of creative ways to engage with the unique architecture, history, and design of the park, and to foster a productive dialogue with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape. For more information on High Line Art, please visit

The High Line is both a nonprofit organization and a public park on the West Side of Manhattan. Through our work with communities on and off the High Line, we’re devoted to reimagining public spaces to create connected, healthy neighborhoods and cities.

Built on a historic, elevated rail line, the High Line was always intended to be more than a park. You can walk through the gardens, view art, experience a performance, enjoy food or beverage, or connect with friends and neighbors—all while enjoying a unique perspective of New York City.

Nearly 100% of our annual budget comes through donations. The High Line is owned by the City of New York and we operate under a license agreement with NYC Parks.

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Lead support for High Line Art comes from Amanda and Don Mullen. Major support for High Line Art is provided by Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, The Brown Foundation, Inc., and Charina Endowment Fund. Project support is provided by Charlotte Feng Ford and Vivian and James Zelter. Additional support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.

Major support for the High Line Plinth is provided by members of the High Line Plinth Committee and contemporary art leaders committed to realizing major commissions and engaging in the public success of the Plinth: Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros, Elizabeth Belfer, Suzanne Deal Booth, Fairfax Dorn, Steve Ells, Kerianne Flynn, Andy and Christine Hall, Hermine Riegerl Heller and David B. Heller, J. Tomilson and Janine Hill, The Holly Peterson Foundation, Annie Hubbard and Harvey Schwartz, Miyoung Lee and Neil Simpkins, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Amanda and Don Mullen, Douglas Oliver and Sherry Brous, Mario Palumbo and Stefan Gargiulo, Susan and Stephen Scherr, Susan and David Viniar, and Anonymous.

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