This is sort of an interim or capsule newsletter to let you know about some music I just released on Bandcamp. It's called New Freedom Sound and you can read more about it, listen, and buy it for download via . The statement that went up on Facebook and Instagram was the following, and I reproduce it here because it still seems the best way to describe what New Freedom Sound is about and how it came to be.
Item 1: I love Tsai Ming-liang's films for two things: first, they demonstrate a unique commitment to the possibility that things are made real by being filmed, that the process of materializing on film and being witnessed there might somehow provide for a cinematic occupation of space and time among the rest of us, that films can make their subjects and objects palpable. The other thing is that he knows that sometimes it takes awhile for events to unfold, for their important parts to become clear. Nowhere are these two elements at greater concentration than in his 26 minute film, I can't imagine you've seen anything quite like this, but if you have, please let me know what it is.
: I came to Harry Smith through film, not music, so you can imagine my surprise when I learned he was a considerably influential anthologist of obscure American music. His odd and arcane films are unique in both style and philosophy, animations with an emphasis on evolution, one set of images into the next, a kind of extended conjuring. His (1957) is the highpoint of this work. His , on the other hand, is an acknowledged masterpiece of record-collecting, anthologizing, and design. You can and learn more at the page for the CD set that was released in 1997. just released a second set of CDs, , which has brought all of this to mind. It's a wonderful set, full of the kind of thing such sets are known, at their best, to provide. It's not streaming anywhere but I think you can get a feel for what it is by checking out the original . , which is no doubt an improvement on whatever I've written here.
: , offers an important shift in focus in terms of both what constitutes the collapse of a society, and who among us is affected most (or least). The gist is in the piece's title but I recommend reading it through. It has left little doubt that we are currently living in a collapsed state. .
: was interviewed at . I saw her perform in Nicole Mitchell's quartet, and remain impressed by her art. I've especially enjoyed her own compositions which can be heard among other work at .
: Our vote is our only foreseeable means to recuperate our government from its current leadership. I imagine I'm preaching to the choir here, but whoever you intended to vote for at the beginning of the campaigns leading up to the current elections, the gravest matters of import on which we must assert our influence are to flip the Senate and elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. .
Item 1:This 2016 episode of the Death, Sex, and Money podcast is a conversation between two Sonias: Justice Sonia Sotomayor and author/actor Sonia Manzano, the latter of whom is best known for her role as, and the former of whom is best known as an accomplished voice of considered in her service to our Supreme Court. What more can I tell you? These women are extraordinary and inspiring.
: A characteristically comparing the current era to that of Reconstruction following our Civil War. The similarities make an impression, of course, and the historical material makes for an informative read. But the accounting of how and why such moments fail to realize true equality and equity for Black Americans is critical and spot on.
Former D.C. musician Sohrab Habibion interviewed D.C. musician Mark Cisneros over at . Two of my favorite punk rockers!
: Pianist/composer was interviewed at the wonderful . All of the interviews are worth a look, not least , and of course, any conversation with delights. Also in need of your attention: Mr. Smith performing his back in 2017.
: Last week marked Sonny Rollins's 90th birthday, and to celebrate, Nate Chinen (I loved his !) put together . For those of you who don't know, WBGO is a premier jazz radio station of longstanding. You might dig around elsewise at their site -- you'll no doubt find something you'll enjoy.
: Did you know that John Cage wrote a piece of music whose performance is intended to last until 2640? , the first such change since 2013.
Item 7: "The heart is more than a pump." --
: Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island was a sight to behold. As I recall, plans to close it were already in motion by the time I moved here in 1997 but it was at that time still very much in use, and very much part of the landscape, especially crossing the Narrows from Brooklyn. did on Fresh Kills’ evolution into a planned network of parks and reclaimed wetlands.
I’ve been listening to music on , and although it’s fulfilling it’s promise as an easy-to-use, better-sounding alternative to other online music platforms. I find that none of them quite satisfies every listening itch but Tidal seems to come closest with two caveats: first, subscribing through the Apple App Store will result in a more expensive subscription rate as Tidal passes their cost of doing business with Apple on to the subscriber. It’s cheaper ($5/month less for a hi-fi subscription) to sign up at the Tidal website and then download the apps and log in. Having signed up on my iPad, I’ll have to jump through a hoop or two when my free trial ends but they encounter this issue often enough that it’s a Frequently Asked Question. The second caveat is that I can’t tell if I know anyone else who uses Tidal. It looks like I can “find friends” once the trial is over but in the meantime, do you use Tidal? Let me know.
Item #1: There's more Day's Plays up at my blog. If you're looking for some musical fortification, inspiration, investigation, or emancipation, have a look. The series is ongoing for the foreseeable future.
, Flutist continues her journey with . It follows among her works derived from and directly inspired by 's novels.
Hello, subscriber! I planned to describe this newsletter with a kind of apology or qualification for or of what I include here. But the fact is, it's just a gathering of things that have caught my attention recently, or that I've hung onto for a bit. and how could I apologize for or further qualify that? I could not and so do not. I trust you will find some of what follows to be of interest, at least for the the time being.
gathers 22 films of varied length and technical achievement. There’s more than a few here that eluded me for many years, usually due to a lack of consistent distribution. They might surface occasionally but without the benefit of video release. In any case, landmarks of the Women’s Movement abound, crossing and class, race, and heritage. If there seems to be a concentration on the 1970s and 1980s, it’s because there is. Much of the work was carried out under the dual auspices of Second Wave Feminism and federal and state grant programs, both distinct production forces that perished under the first Reagan administration.