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ZACHARY JAMES WATKINS: AFFIRMATIVE ACTION (from AFFIRMATIVE ACTION) (10:42) Contact: Zachary James Watkins. Web: This piece was commissioned and performed by The Living Earth Show. Zachary writes: “Affirmative Action. Affirmative in power and Action in movement. When invited to compose for The Living Earth Show, my confident response was to curate short pieces by composers of color whose work I am inspired by and feel deserve action. I immediately knew who I wanted to invite due to past collaborations brought about by an interest in connecting with a community of diverse artists. I titled my composition and program “AFFIRMATIVE ACTION.” My piece “AFFIRMATIVE ACTION” is written for electric guitar in my own unique just intonation tuning and percussion consisting of vibraphone, floor tom, metal and a struckmounted electric guitar. My initial interest was to set my just intonation in fuzzy harmony with equal tempered guitar fretboard and vibraphone with the intent to explore rich timbre and play with the beautiful potential of shared harmonic/cultural space. In college we learned Western harmony and I always felt outside. This feeling will need more context in later writing. However, I recognized the genius and invention. Early on in my artistic learning and experimentation, I was drawn to synthesis, black music and noise! As I began to research music of the world, I found an inviting and challenging space that deeply moved me and will always. I was especially influenced by my Gamelan studies and by Persian-tuned pianist Ramin Zoufonoun. Percussion is powerfully complex and infinite in instrumentation . This opportunity to compose for the excellent Living Earth Show gave me a platform to continue exploring my interests in sound, composition, culture, healing and radical diversity.” As a composer and founding member of experimental music ensemble Black Spirituals, Oakland-based Zachary Watkins crafts work in pursuit of psychedelic experience, where sonic and compositional focal points are self-guided by the listener and acoustic phenomenon is at the center of the narrative . Zachary has received commissions from Kronos Quartet , Cornish College of The Arts, The Microscores Project, the Beam Foundation, Somnubutone Radio Series free103point9 .org, sfsound and the Seattle Chamber Players. Zachary releases music on the labels Sige, Cassauna, Confront (U.K.), The Tapeworm and Touch (U.K.). Novembre Magazine (Germany ), ITCH (South Africa), Walrus Press and the New York Miniature Ensemble have published his writings and scores. Zachary has been an artist in residence at the Espy Foundation , Djerassi Resident Artists Program and the Headlands Center for the Arts. DAVIA SPAIN: Hello (3:59) Contact: Davia Spain. Web: Performers: Davia Spain and Peekaboo (cello). Production: Amanda Yamate. On a foundation of ambient textures and cello, the electronically manipulated voice of Davia Spain is looped on itself. Drawing from the classical art song and pop traditions in equal measure, “Hello” sets Spain’s text to craft a beautiful and haunting sonic meditation on rebirth and renewal. Davia Spain is an electronic, free jazz and blues artist. Greatly influenced by her background in chamber music, Spain strives to blend the new with the old. Steeped in Afro-futurist traditions of nonlinear time, Spain seeks to reimagine the past, make predictions of the future and pull possible outcomes into the present through her music. While she is grateful for a traditional foundation in classical voice, dance and acting training she also values the room for experimentation afforded her in California’s underground performance art and club scene. Recently she has shown work at Berkeley Art Museum, REDCAT, The Regent (LA) and The Broad Museum, where she played music from her debut album, Dawning. A forthcoming visual work that accompanies her music will be available soon. lmj30 audio Sonic Commentary: Who the Hell Do You Think You Are? Curated by Andy Meyerson See for full access to LMJ30 audio tracks. 126 LEONARDO MUSIC JOURNAL, Vol. 30, pp. 000–000, 2020 doi:10.1162/LMJ_a_01106 © ISAST mitlm16_MusicJournal-pages.v1.indd 126 9/3/20 2:41 PM LMJ30 Audio 127 RAVEN CHACON: Tributary (from AFFIRMATIVE ACTION) (4:43) Contact: Raven Chacon. Web: This piece was commissioned and performed by The Living...


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