Julius Eastman composing. Photo by Donald Burkhardt. Courtesy of Bowerbird.
Julius Eastman singing, November 1, 1970. Photo by Jim Tuttle. Courtesy of Bowerbird.
Julius Eastman in Buffalo. Photographer unknown. Courtesy of Bowerbird.
Bowerbird's discovery project, In Search of Eastman, will explore the possibilities associated with presenting the work of Julius Eastman (1940–90), a composer who was active internationally in contemporary music in the 1970s and 80s, but who died at the age of 49, leaving an incomplete but compelling collection of scores and recordings. Eastman studied piano and composition at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and later relocated to Buffalo where he was a member of the Creative Associates, under the leadership of Morton Feldman, before moving to New York City, where he spent the remainder of his life. A series of misfortunes and personal struggles left Eastman homeless in the 1980s. Bowerbird's research and engagement with a range of experts will consider how to unlock Eastman's work to the wider public and what is possible to present in live performance, given the fragmented nature of his surviving work; as well as how to contextualize Eastman's identity as a gay African American in the late 1960s.
Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.