Art and Fear: the Perils of Creativity in the 21st Century.

April 7, 2013 - 4:30 pm
Fayerweather Hall, Pruyne Lecture Hall

The “Art in Place / The Place of Art” series at Amherst College continues with a presentation and open discussion with Copeland fellow Matana Roberts, entitled “Art and Fear: the Perils of Creativity in the 21st Century”. Free and open to the public.
Matana Roberts is a Chicago-born, New York-based saxophonist, improviser and composer who works as a soloist and a multimedia collaborator. Matana’s current sound project, COIN COIN, brings a genealogical history of Africans in America together with research into her own ancestry.
She says of her work, "COIN COIN is a compositional sound language that I have been developing since 2006. My initial interest in creating this work came from my childhood fascination with ghosts, spirits, spooks, and the faint traces of what they leave behind. I have a deep interest in old, antique objects of human existence, mostly because of the variety of story that can be created, factual or not, from the possibility of their being. This project is a combination of those interests as well as my delight in musical communication , ritual adornment, and the genealogical 20th century history of Africans in America. In some instances I am using information that I have gleaned from research into my own ancestral history, as inspiration and area of creative consideration. The musical root of much of this work also stems from my continued attraction/repulsion to certain aspects of the American Jazz tradition(s) which I am deeply involved with as an alto saxophonist."
Various movements of the piece have already been composed, workshopped and performed. The first movement, Chapter 1 "Gens De Couleur Libres (or free people of color)," was recently released as an audio album.
"Art in Place / the Place of Art" is a one-year interdisciplinary arts series at Amherst College which explores the myriad relationships that the arts have with place, and how artistic practice helps to shape our senses of place, identity, communities, cultures, institutions, and conversations. It is organized by faculty from the Departments of Art & the History of Art, Music and Theater & Dance, as well as the Mead Art Museum and the Frost Library.

The event is part of “Virtual Tour: A Reduced-Carbon Footprint Concert Series,” a three-concert series that will occur on April 5-7, 2013 featuring performances between UC San Diego and different locations for each concert. Live audiences will be present at all locations. The “tour” kicks off with the Amherst concert featuring Robinson, Ehrlich, and Weiner and continues with Matthias Ziegler and Gerry Hemingway at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST) in Zurich, Switzerland on Apr. 6, and Sarah Weaver, Jane Ira Bloom, Ray Anderson, Min Xiao Fen and Matt Wilson at the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, Consortium for Digital Arts, Culture, and Technology (cDACT) at Stony Brook University in New York on Apr. 7. Taking advantage of high bandwidth networks available only at research and educational institutions, these concerts will feature virtuoso performers performing together across thousands of miles with lifelike, uncompressed audio and minimal time delays and HD video, setting a new standard for music making on the telematic stage.

This Virtual Tour builds upon years of collaborative exploration into the artistic potential of telematics for improvisers performing simultaneously at great geographical distances. Co-directors Mark Dresser and Michael Dessen and site-directors Sarah Weaver and Jason Robinson have been leading innovators in the field of networked jazz and improvised music. This project represents an important step forward: a “virtual tour” in which a core group at UC San Diego will perform a series of concerts with other ensembles and live audiences in different cities each night. The tour will feature premieres of new compositions created specifically for the telematic stage by Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen, Nicole Mitchell, Jason Robinson, Marty Ehrlich, Gerry Hemingway, Matthias Ziegler and Sarah Weaver.

Contact Info

Phil Dupont
413-345-2953
image of e-mail address@amherst.edu