Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre
Three visionary artists unite for an incandescent collaboration of cosmic Afrofuturist jazz and uplifting anthems of resistance.
For those who are yet to be acquainted with the creative chemistry and sonic provocations of poet, musician and activist Moor Mother, visual artist and musician Lonnie Holly and jazz collective Irreversible Entanglements, a spellbinding inauguration into their rapturous sound world awaits. Moor Mother’s poetic lyrics and experimental electronica interlaces harmoniously with Lonnie Holley’s rousing compositions and is complemented by the musical stylings of free-jazz radicals Irreversible Entanglements. Discover Lonnie Holly and Moor Mother’s sound world here.
For those familiar with these revolutionary artists and their powerful, prolific work, this is an unmissable chance to witness a thrilling musical rendezvous, where Moor Mother, Lonnie Holly and Irreversible Entanglements oscillate between performing together and on their own, live and mesmerisingly intimate on the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall stage.
Experience music from Moor Mother’s ‘Jazz Codes’, hailed by The Guardian as ‘a stunning continuum of Black music’, Lonnie Holly’s acclaimed recent releases including ‘Oh Me Oh My’, which was named ‘Best New Music’ by the authority that is Pitchfork magazine and material from Irreversible Entanglement’s new release Protect Your Light.
The interwoven energies of the three artists culminate in a truly magical evening of life-affirming cosmic jazz, Afrofuturist poetry, folk, blues and uplifting anthems of resistance and triumph.
Praise for the artists
‘Lonnie Holley has held a cult status among the art cognoscenti for a long time as a visual artist and performer.’ – New York Times
‘A stunning continuum of Black music… whatever its form, Ayewa lives and breathes it.’ – The Guardian (for Moor Mother)
‘One of the most emotionally affecting delineations and reimaginings of resistant Black art you’re likely to hear. Essential listening.’ – The Wire (for Irreversible Entanglements)
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About the Artists
‘Oh Me Oh My’ is both elegant and ferocious. It is stirring in one moment and a balm the next. It details histories both global and personal. Lonnie Holley’s harrowing youth and young manhood in the Jim Crow South are well-told at this point — his sale into a different home as a child for just a bottle of whiskey; his abuse at the infamous Mount Meigs correctional facility for boys; the destruction of his art environment by the Birmingham airport expansion. But Holley’s music is less a performance of pain endured and more a display of perseverance, of relentless hope. Intricately and lovingly produced by LA’s Jacknife Lee (The Cure, REM, Modest Mouse), there is both kinetic, shortwave funk that call to mind Brian Eno’s ‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’ and the deep space satellite sounds of Eno’s ambient works. But it’s a tremendous achievement in sonics all its own.
It’s also an achievement in the refinement of Holley’s impressionistic, stream-of-consciousness lyrics. On the title track which deals with mutual human understanding”, Holley is able to make a profound point as ever in far fewer phrases: “The deeper we go, the more chances there are, for us to understand the oh-me’s and understand the oh-my’s.” Illustrious collaborators like Michael Stipe, Sharon Van Etten, Moor Mother and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver serve as not only as choirs of angels and co-pilots to give Lonnie’s message flight but as proof of Lonnie Holley as a galvanizing, iconoclastic force across the music community.
Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) is a national and international touring musician, poet, visual artist, and Professor of Composition at the USC Thornton School of Music. Her work speaks to many genres from electronic to free jazz and classical music. Camae’s work has been featured at the Guggenheim Museum, The Met, Carnegie Mellon and Carnegie Hall, Documenta 15, the Berlin Jazz Festival, and the Glastonbury Festival. Through the lens and practice of Black Quantum Futurism the art she makes is a statement for the future, as well as a way to honour the present and its historic connections to a multitude of past realities and future outcomes. She specialises in practical concepts but works in speculation and historical concepts. Moor Mother creates soundscapes using field sounds and archival sound collages in order to create sonic maps that allow us to journey to our buried histories and futures. She is an artist who, through writing, music, film, visual art, socially engaged art, and creative research, explores personal, cultural, familial, and communal cycles of experience, and solutions for transforming oppressive linear temporalities into empowering alternative temporalities. Her work seeks to inspire practical techniques of vision and agency against a forever expanding re-conquering of land, housing, and health in Black communities. Camae is a Pew Fellow, a The Kitchen Inaugural Emerging Artist Awardee, a Leeway Transformation Award, a Blade of Grass Fellow as part of Black Quantum Futurism, and a Rad Girls Philly Artist of the Year. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at West Philadelphia Neighborhood Time Exchange, WORM! Rotterdam residency, and the Creative Capital and CERN collide residency with Black Quantum Futurism.
Irreversible Entanglements (IE) is a free – jazz quintet with an experimental punk mentality, that consists of poet/vocalist Camae Ayewa (often known as Moor Mother), bassist Luke Stewart, trumpeter Aquiles Navarro, saxophonist Keir Neuringer, and drummer Tc heser Holmes. It is a community band playing deeply improvised, rhythm music full of love and social commitment. IE came together spontaneously, organically, in April of 2015 at ‘Musicians Against Police Brutality,’ a day of protest sound and discussion in Brooklyn. All were artists and activists of varying degrees: Philadelphia – based Ayewa and Neuringer, and D.C. – based Stewart as veterans of the Mid – Atlantic noise – hardcore – experimental scene, while Holmes and Navarro as recent New England Conservatory grads. Each of the studio albums that followed — 2020’s Who Sent You? and 2021’s Open The Gates — developed this legend further.
In 2023, IE signed to the fabled Impulse! Records, and will release its most accomplished work to date, Protect Your Light, on September 8, 2023, primarily recorded at New Jersey’s historic Van Gelder Studios.
See three visionary artists unite in a truly inimitable and important musical collaboration
Hear a fusion of cosmic jazz, Afrofuturist poetry, folk, blues and uplifting anthems of resistance and triumph
Think about the role art, poetry and music play in weaving intimate stories of survival, endurance and triumph
Feel the music in your heart and soul, invigorated, mesmerised, awe.
This production is part of the following series:
Wednesday 28 February 2024 7.30pm
Duration: 2 hours 30 mins (incl. interval) Please note, running times are approximate and subject to change.
A reserve $65
B reserve $55
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Mobtix are available for this concert.
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