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.
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
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
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.