A night from the past is rebellious music by the Afro-American gay musician Julius Eastman! His compositions are based on repetitions and aggressive, mass-sound minimalism. His politically radical message (as he was a representative of double minority), and his turbulent story in the background – a life which he could not control – all that has made his oeuvre largely forgotten. He was expulsed from his apartment and his scores as most of his other belongings were discarded by the landlord and thrown into garbage (he was unable to pay rent for several month). He died as a homeless drug addict in the streets of Buffalo. He struggled with racism. In the era of AIDS he called for equal rights to gays. Now he returns thanks to Mary Jane Leach, who meticulously re-creates Eastman’s legacy. His music now gains in popularity and returns on the stage, also at major European festivals, such as Maerzmusik Berlin and London Contemporary Music Festival. On the programmes of four concerts we will hear 9 Eastman’s compositions, some of them for the first time in last 30 years (Macle, Joy Boy, Our Father), almost all of them the Polish premieres. The concert of S.E.M. Ensemble directed by Petr Kotik, a friend and collaborator of the composer, will be a special event. Julius was one of the founding members of the S.E.M. Ensemble and performed with the group from 1970 to 1874 and wrote many of his compositions for SEM. Together with Kotik, we developed a programme with which the group toured Europe with Eastman in the 1970s. His music will resound in the natural context of John Cage’s Song Book, which Julius often sang as a skilful vocalist, as well as Kotik’s compositions, with the original vocal part written specially for Julius. The initiate composition Piano 2 on solo piano will be performed by Joseph Kubera, who was also a friend of the composer. Before the concert, Kotik and Kubera will tell us the story of Eastman first-hand.
Julius Eastman – Joy Boy 20' (1972) [Polish premiere]
Petr Kotik – There is Singularly Nothing 30' (on text by Gertrude Stein) (1971-72) [Polish premiere]
Julius Eastman – Piano 2 10' (1986) [Polish premiere]
*** / 20'
John Cage – Song Books I, II 30' (1970)
Julius Eastman – Macle 15' (1971-72) [Polish premiere]
Petr Kotik - flute, voice
Christopher McIntyre - trombone, voice
Joseph Kubera - piano, voice
Jeffrey Gavett, Charlotte Mundy, Nathan Repasz - voice
Petr Kotik - artistic director
Presented with the permission and license of Gerry Eastman
On behalf of Eastman Music Publishing Co and the Estate of Julius Eastman