“It’s about creating the conditions for a moment.”
Two improvisers and composers discuss their involvement in New York’s experimental music scene.
“I think that creative improvisation music models the democratic principle. Heads of state and legislative bodies could learn a lot from this practice.”
“Oh no, this is sounding too beautiful, too seamless, and too much like it was planned. I have to unravel it.”
“I was doing some plumbing work for a living and picked up a piece of pipe, blew into it, and it created a very good sound. So, I began building instruments.”
“I don’t have a specific idiom that I’m aspiring to, and I’m not creating some sort of homage or giving a reference point for people to hang onto. I’m just playing whatever’s in my head, literally.”
“Asymmetry is part of what makes us human, and it’s what makes our actions feel human. And we only know that because we can have a programmer make something play ‘perfectly,’ and it sounds terrible.”
“The records I don’t listen to are as important as the ones I do.”
“As to the church organ itself, it seemed almost like a sample machine, like it could tap into sounds from different eras.”
“I still seek for eternity, which maybe is like a rainbow-colored butterfly flying away, suddenly in front of your face.”
Saxophonist and composer Matana Roberts combines music, storytelling, and political activism. On the occasion of the release of Chapter Three in her ongoing Coin Coin series, Christopher Stackhouse prompts her to talk about her background and vision.
Into the mystic with the Chicago-based guitarist and songwriter.
Dawn in Manhattan. In the first, tentative light, a black prostitute is walking back to her room after a night’s work.