Friday, May 3, 2013

Sound States

Sonny Rollins
±14" x 9", oil on wood, 2005
Sound States: Innovative Poetics and Acoustical Technologies (1997) is a book compiled by Adelaide Morris that contains articles by some leading scholars in the field of musicology. The sound cd that accompanies the book, is an anthology of some of the most innovative sound works of the 20th century. Some of my favorite music collections are on cds tucked into academic research works. In book stores and libraries these are the first items I look for. In 2005 I got my hand on a copy of Sound States and in the top 100 that year the cd was my highest ranking album. The list of my 100 favorite songs that year featured a score of tracks from that cd: La Niña de los Peines, Prince Buster, and Henri Chopin are just a few of these. The books also places (free) jazz at forefront of the avant-garde in the latter half of the 20th century. It inspired me to paintings that in retrospect belong to the best musician’s portraits I’ve ever made. The images here of the performance poet Kamau Brathwaite, and the Sonny Rollins painting, are some the most enduring of all top 100 paintings.  

Edward Kamau Brathwaite
11.5" x 7.75", oil on wood, 2010

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