Julius Eastman composing. Photo by Donald Burkhardt. Courtesy of Bowerbird.
In conjunction with the Center-supported discovery project, In Search of Eastman, exploring the possibilities associated with presenting the work of Julius Eastman (1940–90), Bowerbird presents a weekend of free events introducing the life and work of the composer. Eastman was active internationally in contemporary music in the 1970s and 80s, and died at the age of 49, leaving an incomplete but compelling collection of scores and recordings. The weekend seeks to not only introduce Eastman's music to audiences, but also to contextualize his identity as a gay African American in his time and ours.
October 16, 8 p.m.
Julius Eastman's Work for 4 Pianos (1979)
The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia
Joseph Kubera, who performed the work with Eastman in 1980, will lead this rare performance of Eastman's pulsating work for four pianos featuring Adam Tendler, Michelle Cann, and Dynasty Battles. Beginning the concert will be a recording of Eastman describing his work. Sound artist and poet Tracie Morris will provide a reflection on Eastman's work, re-contextualizing it for current times.
October 17, 7 p.m.
In Search of Eastman
The Slought Foundation, 4017 Walnut Street, Philadelphia
In the years following his death, the memory of Eastman's legacy started to slip away. It wasn't until recently, when composer Mary Jane Leech began searching for Eastman's work, that interest in (and information about) his life and career began to re-emerge. This program will include presentations by scholar Ryan Dohoney and artist Jace Clayton, followed by a panel discussion with Mary Jane Leech, Tracie Morris, and Kyle Gann, moderated by filmmaker and visual artist Tiona McClodden.