Category Archives: MUSIC

CARRIE MAE WEEMS — PAST TENSE

“As much as I’m engaged with it, with violence, I remain ever hopeful that change is possible and necessary, and that we will get there. I believe that strongly, and representing that matters to me: a sense of aspiration, a sense of good will, a sense of hope, a sense of this idea that one has the right, that we have the right to be as we are.” — Carrie Mae Weems*

The timeless themes of political power, social justice, gender oppression, and valiant persistence are brought to life in a modern context in PAST TENSE, Carrie Mae Weems’ multimedia take on Antigone.

Combining music, spoken word, video, and projected images, PAST TENSE—presented this week in Los Angeles by CAP UCLA—includes works by poet Carl Hancock Rux and composer Craig Harris, and will be performed by Weems, Eisa Davis, Francesca Harper, David Parker, Imani Uzuri, and Alicia Hall Moran, who brought the house down at Disney Hall earlier this week in Bryce Dessner’s Triptych.

CARRIE MAE WEEMS—PAST TENSE

Friday, March 8, at 8 pm.

Theatre at Ace Hotel

929 South Broadway, downtown Los Angeles.

*Megan O’Grady, “Carrie Mae Weems,” T: The New York Times Style Magazine, October 21, 2018, 140.

From top: Carrie Mae Weems, Past Tense, in performance; Past Tense production photographs (2) by William Strugs; Carrie Mae Weems, portrait by Jerry Klineberg; Past Tense, in performance with, from right, Alicia Hall Moran, Imani Uzuri, and Eisa Davis. Images courtesy CAP UCLA.

BRYCE DESSNER’S TRIPTYCH PREMIERE

In TRIPTYCH (EYES OF ONE ON ANOTHER), composer and guitarist Bryce Dessner of The National has collaborated with playwright Korde Arrington Tuttle, the LA Phil New Music Group, Roomful of Teeth, videographer Simon Harding, lighting designer Yuki Nakase, and the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation for an musical-visual investigation into the ways the photographer’s works “compel an audience’s complicity and characterizes them in the act of attention.”*

Tuttle’s libretto integrates the poetry of Mapplethorpe detractor Essex Hemphill and advocate Patti Smith, and the featured vocalists for this world premiere are Isaiah Robinson and Alicia Hall Moran, the latter of whom will perform later this week in Carrie Mae WeemsPast Tense at the Theatre at Ace Hotel.

TRIPTYCH is directed by Kaneza Schaal and conducted by Sara Jobin. Music direction is provided by Brad Wells.

BRYCE DESSNER

TRIPTYCH (EYES OF ONE ON ANOTHER)*

Tuesday, March 5, at 8 pm.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

111 South Grand Avenue, downtown Los Angeles.

From top: Bryce Dessner, photograph by Shervin Lainez; Robert Mapplethorpe, Dorothy Dean, © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; Korde Arrington Tuttle, courtesy of the artist; Robert Mapplethorpe, Alistair Butler, 1980, © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Images courtesy LA Phil and the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

THE PASSION OF MCQUEEN

The opera-in-development THE PASSION OF MCQUEEN imagines the last hours in the life of Alexander McQueen.

A staged concert of the forthcoming work—with music by Kentaro Kameyama, libretto by William Nedved, and direction by Diana Wyenn—will feature mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell as Isabella Blow, and baritone David Castillo as Lee.

THE PASSION OF MCQUEEN concert

Friday, March 1, at 8 pm.

Boston Court

70 North Mentor Avenue, Pasadena.

From top: David Castillo, courtesy the artist; Peabody Southwell, courtesy the Metropolitan Opera, New York; Alexander McQueen, photograph by Ann Deniau, courtesy the photographer and Bleecker Street.

BILL TRAYLOR BLUE

As part of the Smithsonian exhibition BETWEEN WORLDS—THE ART OF BILL TRAYLOR, musicians Jason Moran and Marvin Sewell will improvise a musical conversation between the art of Traylor—who was born into slavery in 1853, and took up art in his eighties while living on the street in Montgomery, Alabama—and the music of his time.

BILL TRAYLOR BLUE—JASON MORAN and MARVIN SEWELL

Friday, March 1, at 7 pm.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

McEvoy Auditorium

8th Street and G Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

BETWEEN WORLDS—THE ART OF BILL TRAYLOR

Through April 7.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

8th Street and F Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

From top: Bill Traylor, Truncated Blue Man with Pipe, circa 1939–1942, courtesy Louis-Dreyfus Family Collection; Bill Traylor, Untitled (Yellow and Blue House with Figures and Dog), 1939, colored pencil on paperboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Bill Traylor, Red Man, circa 1939–1942, collection Jerry and Susan Lauren, © Smithsonian Institution; Bill TraylorUntitled (Seated Woman), circa 1940–1942, pencil and opaque watercolor on paperboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Margaret Z. Robson Collection, © 1994, Bill Traylor Family Trust.

THE SPIRITS REFUSE WITHOUT A BODY

The performance THE SPIRITS REFUSE WITHOUT A BODY will activate the garments and helmets Jeffrey Gibson produced for his New Museum residency and exhibition THE ANTHROPOPHAGIC EFFECT.

Gibson’s work in the show is directly inspired by Indigenous handcraft techniques and aesthetics, and reflect his research into Southeastern river cane basket weaving, Algonquian birch bark biting, and porcupine quillwork.

THE SPIRITS REFUSE WITHOUT A BODY

Thursday, February 21, at 7 pm.

JEFFREY GIBSON—THE ANTHROPOPHAGIC EFFECT

Through June 9.

New Museum

235 Bowery, New York City.

From top: Jeffrey GibsonMx. Oops and Xavier, 2018, digital photograph; Jeffrey GibsonWendell, 2018, digital photograph; Jeffrey GibsonChristine Garcia with Love l , 2018, digital photograph. Images courtesy the artist, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Kavi Gupta, and Roberts Projects.