Showing posts from April, 2013

Wadada Leo Smith: The Future of Ten Freedom Summers

The Life of the Music
At present, Three Collections of music constitute Wadada Leo Smith’s masterpiece, Ten Freedom Summers. The First Collection is called “Defining Moments in America;” the Second Collection, “What Is Democracy?” and the Third Collection, “Ten Freedom Summers.”  Each collection is comprised of various pieces, which he has composed for close to forty years and is still composing.
The East Coast premiere of the full three-night performance of Ten Freedom Summers occurs at Roulette in Brooklyn on May 1, 2, and 3 of 2013, for which The Fromm Foundation commissioned  Smith to add one work in the last collection, “The March on Washington, DC: August, 1963.” He plans to seek another commission to write one more piece. This one will be called “The Voting Rights Act of 2012;” he wants to bring attention to the voter suppression in 2012, followed by the Supreme Court’s questioning of Section Five of the Voting Rights Act as it was signed by Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1965.
The next…

The Year 2013: In It

When this blog began, it was intended to illuminate the subject matter I thought was worth exposing.

The funny thing is that writing about recordings seemed to be all that mattered to anyone; my essays dealing with more personal situations have not attracted much attention. Because I am philosophizing about what motivates me? Believe me, I am writing about the same questions that enter the minds of the musicians with whose music I have been concerned.

Pianist Matthew Shipp was interviewed by, as he described it, "a guy who came up to his crib" a while back. The interviewer, Jason Gross, made public Matt's eleven-minute monologue offering advice to musicians.

In this video, Shipp articulates that musicians have to prepare themselves for the spareness of their lives, not to discount the commitment and discipline which they have to maintain to command their art.

Shipp strikes a note that runs parallel to what I have to do. My life as an artist has been lived in a backwards…