Counterstream Radio
Inspect the unexpected
Media on Demand
Browse Music and Interviews

The Black Composer Project

The Black Composer Speaks is a series of programs showcasing the range of new music by African American composers.

The Latest Update

Proclamation! The Black Composer Speaks Program

Posted on June 20, 2016 by Fulcrum Point New Music Project
Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

On Friday, April 29 Fulcrum Point New Music Project presented Proclamation! The Black Composer Speaks, the culminating program of The Black Composer Speaks series year 1, at The Promontory in Chicago. Based on the award-winning treatise by David Baker, the program featured three generations of brilliant African American musicians who are each masters of their genres. Showcasing these diverse artists, the program delved into new art music that ranged from neo-classical to Afro-centric free-improv, concerto to collaborative, and narrative to abstract.

A highlight of the evening was the World Premiere of the commissioned work by Jeffrey Mumford, “…becoming”, which is featured in the uploaded video and which was made possible by the generous support of New Music USA and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Program
Alvin Singleton – In our Own House (World Premiere)
Jessie Montgomery – Voodoo Dolls
Jeffrey Mumford – …becoming (World Premiere)
Kahil El’Zabar Ethnic Heritage Ensemble – improvised works

Featuring
Stephen Burns, Artistic Director, trumpet
Kathryn Flum, flute
Joel Benway, French horn
Jeff Handley, percussion
Allison Attar, harp
James Sanders, violin
Carmen Kassinger, violin
David Moss, viola
Christian Dillingham, bass

Guest Artists
Winston Choi, piano
Kahil El’Zabar, percussion
Robert Baabe Irving III, piano
Dennis Winslett, saxophone
Harrison Bankhead, bass

The Black Composer Speaks continues in 2016 with The Exhortation!, which focuses on the intersection of composition and improvisation from the creative perspective of Black, women composers. The commission of a new work by visionary composer Tomeka Reid provides a creative bridge between the traditional compositional devices of Alvin Singleton, Olly Wilson, and Jeffrey Mumford to Jessie Montgomery’s funky post-modern extrapolations on traditional West African music, creating a direct link to the dynamic improvisations of Kahil El’Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble in the AACM style.

More Updates ▼

The Black Composer Speaks: A Roundtable Discussion on Diversity, Inclusion and Access in Experimental New Music

Posted on April 27, 2016 by Fulcrum Point New Music Project

In partnership with The DuSable Museum
The Black Composer Speaks:
A Roundtable Discussion on Diversity, Inclusion and Access
in Experimental New Music
Thursday April 28th, 3-­‐4:30 p.m. FREE! 740 E. 56th Place

WHO: Saudia Davis is a social entrepreneur and will lead a discussion with Stephen Burns, Artistic Director of Fulcrum Point New Music Project; Kahil El’zabar, Artistic Director of Chicago Academy of Music; Rami Gabriel, fellow at the Center for Black Music Research, Jeffrey Mumford, composer and educator; Roberto Quinones, Managing Creative Director of Chicago Academy of Music; Augusta Read Thomas, composer University of Chicago and head of Ear Taxi Festival; and Seth Parker Woods, composer and cellist.

WHAT: The discussion will address diversity, inclusion, and access within the context of new music during a free public roundtable discussion co-­‐presented by The DuSable and Fulcrum Point. Inspired by the late David Baker’s treatise The Black Composer Speaks the conversation will address variety of topics concerning the black musical experience, compositional matters and aesthetics.

WHEN: Thursday, April 28 at 3:00-­‐4:30 p.m. (event)

WHERE: DuSable Museum of African American History (740 E 56th Place, Chicago)

MORE: This panel discussion is presented in partnership with The DuSable Museum and Fulcrum Point New Music Project, a Chicago leader of diverse new music by presenting multi-­‐media performances, generating educational programs, as well as commissioning and recording innovative works. See Fulcrum Point in concert with PROCLAMATION! The Black Composer Speaks at The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave, on April 29 at 7:30pm. For more information on Fulcrum Point and its programs visit www.fulcrumpoint.org.

Teaser Video for Proclamation! The Black Composer Speaks

Posted on April 22, 2016 by Fulcrum Point New Music Project

I'm sorry, this media seems to be unavailable.

One week from today Fulcrum Point New Music Project presents: 

Proclamation! The Black Composer Speaks
April 29, 2016, at 7:30pm
The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave., Chicago
Click HERE to purchase tickets

INTRO-IT! The Black Composer Project and CAM in Concert Held on February 28

Posted on March 2, 2016 by Fulcrum Point New Music Project

In celebration of Black History Month, Fulcrum Point New Music Project and the Chicago Academy of Music inaugurated two innovative series: The Black Composer Project, concerts showcasing the range of new music by African American composers, and CAM in Concert, concerts/master classes introducing the Artist Faculty.

The Fulcrum Point Brass, Stephen Burns (Trumpet), Robert Sullivan (Trumpet), Gregory Flint (French Horn), Andy Baker (Trombone), and Rex Martin (Tuba), performed:

Introit by Jonathan Bailey Holland
AC’s Turning by Trevor Weston
The Nebraska Plains by Kerwin Young (aka DJ Sleek of Public Enemy)
Brass Quintet by Anthony Davis
Saóko by Tania León

Following the performance, a community discussion on concert music from the Black perspective was held with composer Kerwin “Sleek” Young, Artistic Director Stephen Burns, Trombonist Andy Baker, and CAM Executive Director Michael Scott Carter.

The next program in the series will take place on March 9.

Feb. 28: INTRO-IT! The Black Composer Project

Posted on February 26, 2016 by Fulcrum Point New Music Project
Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

Fulcrum Point New Music Project
INTRO-IT!
The Black Composer Project
February 28, 2016
2-5:00pm
University Church of Chicago
5655 S. University Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Presenting INTRO-IT!, the concert kicking off “CAM in Concert,” a series of public concerts and master classes co-hosted by the Chicago Academy of Music (“CAM”). The event will celebrate Black History Month and feature African American composers.

The concert will be performed by the world-renowned musicians of the Fulcrum Point Brass:

Stephen Burns (Trumpet)
Robert Sullivan (Trumpet)
Gregory Flint (French Horn)
Andy Baker (Trombone)
Rex Martin (Tuba)

Featured composers:

Introit by Jonathan Bailey Holland
AC’s Turning by Trevor Weston
The Nebraska Plains by Kerwin Young
(aka “Sleek,” Former Producer
for Public Enemy)
Brass Quintet by Anthony Davis
Saóko by Tania León

A master class by CAM’s faculty will follow the concert from 3-5pm.

Composer Tania León’s Saóko will be close out the program. Check out this Composer Portrait and hear her talk about her work.

 

Black Composer Speaks Teaser

Posted on February 3, 2016 by Fulcrum Point New Music Project

I'm sorry, this media seems to be unavailable.

In December 2014, Fulcrum Point New Music Project had the pleasure of being a part of the inaugural Oracles of Humanity (OOH)  happening. Organized by Black Composer Speaks parter Kahil El’Zabar, it was an evening of music, art, fashion and conversation. The music we made that night played a critical role in the conception of the Black Composer Speaks.

The Black Composer Speaks on April 29 at Promontory Chicago

Posted on January 14, 2016 by Fulcrum Point New Music Project

The culminating program of The Black Composer Speaks will take place on Friday, April 29, 2016, at Promontory Chicago. The first half of the program includes Alvin Singleton’s striking “In Our Own House”, Jessie Montgomery’s funky “Voodoo Dolz”, Olly Wilson’s elegant piano trio, a work by Renee Baker, and “…becoming”, a world premiere by Jeffrey Mumford featuring Winston Choi. The second half will feature Kahil El’Zabar with members of Fulcrum Point and his Ethnic Heritage Ensemble in dramatic improvisatory works.

Overview

The Black Composer Project will feature music by African American artists utilizing styles from neoclassical to free improvisation, concerto to collaborative, Afrocentric to abstract. Based on the award-winning treatise by David Baker, the program features three generations of brilliant African American musicians who are masters of their genres. Alvin Singleton, Jessie Montgomery, Jeffrey Mumford, and Kahil El’Zabar are among the artists who have been invited to participate. A series of concerts, salons, panels and discussions will culminate with a program at The Promontory in Chicago, IL.

With the intention of showcasing the richness of this tradition, our program delves into new art music that is both composed and improvised, acoustic and electronic, academic and intuitive.  The idea is to take the community on an adventure through the creative landscape of contemporary African American concert music.

As the cornerstone of this series, Fulcrum Point has commissioned composer Jeffrey Mumford to write a concerto for piano and ensemble, “becoming…”, which will have its World Premiere at the evening program. “becoming…” is a 15-18 minute virtuosic work for solo piano and ensemble, (specifically, solo piano, flute, French horn, harp, percussion, and string quartet) that explores the abstract, sonic expression of the composer’s childhood memories of light, clouds, and atmosphere. The solo piano, in multilayered relationships with the accompanying ensemble, will express the composer’s personal experience of the majesty, beauty, and evanescence of atmospheric phenomenon. Photographic installations and projections will complement the music to enhance the accessibility of the presentation.

Program at The Promontory
“In Our Own House” by Alvin Singleton
“Voodoo Dollz “by Jessie Montgomery
“becoming…” by Jeffrey Mumford
World Premiere by Kahil El’Zabar and Robert Baabe Irving III

All major components of The Black Composer Speaks will be video recorded and edited by Daniel Christmas. This documentation is a critical way to ensure that the performances, panels, discussions and educational outreach are preserved for archival and dissemination purposes.

Project Media

Two Rhapsodies for Cello and Strings, movement 1
Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.
Features: Jeffrey Mumford

‘Two Rhapsodies for Cello and Strings’ are the first two of an
ongoing set of works for cello and string orchestra or ensemble. Each
rhapsody is dedicated (in the case of the first rhapsody, co-dedicated) to
a particular cellist with whom Mr. Mumford worked and whose playing he finds
profoundly inspiring. It was revised in February of 2013, and this version
was premiered that same month by cellist Julia Bruskin and members of the
National Gallery Chamber Players at the National Gallery of Art in
Washington, D.C.

Raga Fields, movements 1 and 3
Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

Param Vir’s ‘Raga Fields’ was co-commissioned by Fulcrum Point and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. The challenge was to create a new work for sarod and chamber orchestra that highlighted the strengths and inspiration of both traditions while melding them into a new system that didn’t subsume one or the other. In the first movement, Vir creates musical mobiles that hover in space, over which the soloist improvises. In the third movement, the call and response lends a drama to the traditional concerto style of interplay.

Start and End Dates

04/25/201604/29/2016

Location

Chicago, Illinois

7 updates
Last update on June 20, 2016

Project Created By

Chicago, Illinois
Founded in 1998 by Stephen Burns, a world-class trumpeter and renowned teacher, performer, conductor and composer, Fulcrum Point New Music Project is dedicated to being a leader in diverse new music that boldly straddles the barriers between new art music and traditional music from around the world.   In the words of the Chicago Tribune’s John…

In Collaboration With

Composer of commissioned work
Oberlin, Ohio

Comments

One response to “The Black Composer Project”

  1. Megan O'Donoghue says:

    This makes me heart just soar and fall and roll over again and again

Leave a Reply