SAVVY Contemporary e. V.
The African-American composer, musician and performer Julius Eastman (1940-1990) was a leading figure of American minimal music of the 1970s and 1980s. Following his premature death, he was quickly forgotten, but as of late people have been rediscovering his works. The joint project “We Have Delivered Ourselves from the Tonal” comprised various formats which payed tribute to Eastman’s musical genius and personality. It investigated Eastman’s visionary musical concept that combines repetition with improvisation, and examined the social context in which the artist worked. Eastman had always regarded his work as a medium for addressing socio-political, economic and religious themes, gender issues, sexuality and racism.
Musicians, fine artists, performers and scholars have met to discuss Eastman’s legacy and reassessed its significance for the development of contemporary music. Selected participants had been commissioned to develop their own artistic and theoretical perspectives on works such as “Gay Guerrilla”, “Our Father” and “The Holy Presence of Joan d'Arc”. The exhibition by SAVVY Contemporary presented the results of the project along with handwritten scores, concert recordings, listening stations and private photos which offered a very personal view of the life and works of Julius Eastman. The MaerzMusik Festival 2018 has opened with one of Eastman’s compositions for four pianos.
A project by SAVVY Contemporary in cooperation with the MaerzMusik Festival in Berlin.
Artists: Hassan Khan (EG), Annika Kahrs, Barthélémy Toguo (CM/FR), The Otolith Group (UK/DE), Okwui Okpokwasili (NG, US)