Julius Eastman - Evil N-----: Part I
For my review today, an acknowledgement that this week will indeed be a busy one due to finals, an adjusted work schedule and so forth. Therefore, don’t expect much from me here per se!
But on a day when I could have either taken note of Beyonce’s latest, heaved a weary sigh at the continuing presence of the Strokes and Vampire Weekend (long story, though the latter just make me shrug while the former actively bother me by existing) or said a little something about Jason Molina’s passing — others are saying it better, largely because they actually actively followed his work far more than I ever did — I’d prefer instead to look at a locus point of two areas I’m always learning more about, ‘modern’ classical and DJs/producers as formalist innovators.
Thus Jace Clayton aka DJ /Rupture’s classical album A Julius Eastman Memory Depot, discussed in some detail via this WQXR post. To avoid repeating what’s there, I’ll simply say I’m intrigued to learn about this confluence of creators and personalities reacted both explicitly and implicitly to their surroundings, and how Clayton’s reclaiming of Eastman for a more fluid though hardly perfect present functions as both an extension of reissue/reclamation and finding those new contexts to thrive in. Having recently been working again through DJ /Rupture mixes and marvelling at Clayton’s ease of expression and creation across many realms, hearing this is a gift.
At the same time without knowing anything about it, I would have enjoyed it simply because modern classical — however defined, probably very poorly in my case — is something I enjoy very much without pretending any, any expertise on it. It’s a continual state of growing and learning. Figures like Part and Taverner, as well as Glass, Reich, Nyman and Bryars, are even now something of a generation removed, so there’s just a lot of catching up I’m always doing (and even the fact that most of the people I’ve just named are white dudes gives a sense as to my poor limits and real knowledge). Therefore, anything like this that helps me extend my knowledge is highly welcome.
Sometimes, though, the pleasure is just simply in the hearing. And I quite enjoy hearing this.
Both! If you weren’t able to catch the Brooklyn Youth Chorus performance tonight, I can tell you it was wonderful. Those kids are amazing. At various times accompanied by piano, string quartet, percussion, and guitar, they performed Bryce’s To the Sea (which, admitted bias aside, is the most beautiful thing I’ve heard in ages) and his Tour Eiffel. In reference to the latter, BYC founder and artistic director Dianne Berkun said it was their “tour de force. It’s epic. It has everything you could want in a piece of music.” Indeed.
Not many people get the chance to hear these compositions so I’m very thankful that Q2 Music presented this. A produced version will be featured on WQXR’s McGraw Hill Companies Young Artists Showcase on June 27. Sorry, I really try to avoid a lot of personal commentary here, but I am one happy blogger.
As requested, here’s a reminder to tune in tonight to catch the Brooklyn Youth Chorus performing works by Bryce and others. To the Sea? Tour Eiffel? (Fingers crossed) both?
Attacca String Quartet and the String Quartets of John Adams
On Mar. 26, the Juilliard School-formed Attacca String Quartet presented the string quartets of John Adams at (Le) Poisson Rouge, with the composer in attendance, in celebration of their recent release, “Fellow Traveler: The Complete String Quartet Works Of John Adams.”
Read more about the show:
Sample Q2 Music’s 24/7 stream of new music:
American Mavericks Archives at Q2 Music
Q2 Music has now archived many of the programs associated with the American Mavericks Festival, including all of the Maverick Mixtapes, with selections from Owen Pallett, Shara Worden, Richard Reed Parry, and Son Lux. Bryce Dessner was originally on the mixtapes schedule, but it never aired.
If you missed the March 24 live broadcast of the Anonymous 4 program featuring Mountain Goats member John Darnielle’s song cycle Transcendental Youth, arranged by Owen Pallett, listen at the link here.
Explore Wrapping Up Ecstatic 2012 for the best of this year’s Ecstatic Music Festival.
Get a Line on Lunsqui — Today on Q2 Music
Tune in to Q2 Music today at 12 p.m. to hearBrazilian-born composer Alexandre Lunsqui discuss his compositional aesthetic, the use of jazz and traditional Brazilian music in his writing, and the excitement and anxiety surrounding the World Premiere of his Fibers, Yarn, and Wire this weekend on CONTACT!. Listen today or stream the entire interview on-demand later in the day — and be sure to check out CONTACT! High, his blog on Q2 Music.