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About this conference

The late Cecil Taylor was a giant in the arts, a unique figure not only within jazz, but one of the most genuinely protean artists of our times. This 4-day conference aims to build upon Taylor scholarship in jazz and American music studies, and also to expand it into a broader range of disciplines in order to reflect more accurately the scope of Taylor’s own praxis. The conference will celebrate Cecil Taylor the educator by hosting three concerts, including a large ensemble workshop led by bassoonist/improviser Karen Borca, who will pass on a composition dictated to her by Cecil Taylor.

REGISTRATION & RSVP:

Click here to RSVP, and if you would like a name tag, click here to register for Unit Structures: Art of Cecil Taylor Conference.

This 4-day conference is free and open to the public, but please RSVP if you plan on attending. To RSVP for any of the three concerts on Thu, Fir & Sat, please click the RSVP links below in the Schedule.

SCHEDULE:


Wednesday, Oct. 23 at the Graduate Center, CUNY, the James Gallery, 6:00-8:00pm


Poetry Listening Session with Brent Hayes Edwards and Fred Moten in the James Gallery



Thursday, Oct. 24 at Brooklyn College & The Graduate Center, CUNY, 7:30pm-9:30pm

Brooklyn College, Studio 312 Roosevelt Extension
9:00-12:00 pm, Big Band rehearsal

12:00-1:30 pm, Lunch

1:30-4:30 pm, Big Band rehearsal

The Graduate Center, Elebash Recital Hall
5:00-7:00 pm, Registration at the Elebash Lobby

7:30-9:30 pm, Opening & Andrew Cyrille/William Parker/Matthew Shipp Concert
Click here to RSVP to this Concert.

 

Friday, Oct. 25 at The Graduate Center, Elebash Hall, 9am-9:30pm


Session 1the 1950s & 60s in context

9:00-9:30 am, Eric Charry, “The Development of Cecil Taylor’s Musical Language in the 1950s and 1960s”

9:30-10:00 am, Lewis Porter, “The Consistency of Cecil Taylor’s Outlook From His First Recorded Interview in 1959 Through the Years”

0:00-10:30 am, Christopher Meeder, “‘I listen every day to Marvin Gaye’: Self-Characterization, Formal Education, and Cultural Affiliation in the Formation of Cecil Taylor’s Early Musical Style”

10:30-11:00 am, Matthias Mushinski, “Critical Amplitudes: Cecil Taylor in Jazz-Hot and Jazz Magazine (1965-1968)”

11:00-11:15 am, Break

11:15-12:00 pm, Fumi Okiji

12:00-1:30 pm, Lunch

Session 2: genealogies, becomings, gestures

1:30-2:00 pm, Chris Stover, “‘As gesture jazz became…’: the genealogical role of Cecil Taylor’s standards”

2:00-2:30 pm, Anthony Caulkins, “Musical Gesture in Analysis: Gesture-Class as a Formal Structure” 2:30-3:00 pm, John Rufo, “Geologies of Cecil Taylor+Billie Holiday+Mary Lou Williams”

3:00-3:30 pm, Ramsey Ameen, “Cecil Taylor: Two Encounters”

3:30-3:45 Break 

Session 3: listening, structures, intermediality

3:45-4:15 pm, Charles Sharp, “Structures becoming / Becoming structures”

4:15-4:45 pm, Jeff T. Johnson, “Indent: Body as Paragraph”

4:45-5:15 pm, Magdalena Dukiewicz, “Equilibrium”

5:15-5:45 pm, Scott Gleason, “Re-sounding Collaborative Improvisation in Morgan O’Hara’s LIVE TRANSMISSION: Movement of the Hands of Cecil Taylor”

5:45-6:00 pm, Break

6:00-6:20 pm, David Grubbs, “‘The Scented Parabola’: Occasions of Cecil Taylor’s Poetry”

6:20-8:00 pm, Dinner

7:30-9:30 pm, In Sonic Discourse with Cecil Taylor’s Unit Structures Concert
Click here to RSVP for this concert.

The program will feature performances by Lewis Porter, Sandow Sinai, Chris Stover, Imri Talgam & Michelle Yom, Anne Waldman & Devin Braja, and Mayakov-sky Platform with Sean Benjamin, Dusan Chae, Nicholas Komodre, and Kevin CK Lo.



Saturday, Oct. 26 at Brooklyn College, Buchwald Theater, 9am-10pm


Session 4: memories, decoding, improvisation

9:00-9:30 am, Jeff Schwartz, “The Influence and Significance of Cecil Taylor’s Letter Notation: From the Mills Archives”

9:30-10:00 am, Jessie Cox, “Cecil Taylor’s Posthumanistic Musical Score” 1

0:00-10:30 am, Mark Micchelli, “Decoding Cecil Taylor: Transcription and Analysis of an Improvisation from Imagine the Sound

10:30-11:00 am, Scott Currie, “With Blazing Eyes: Structuring Orchestral Improvisation as Compositional Realization”

11:00-11:15 am, Break

11:15-12:15 pm, Ben Young

12:15-1:15 pm, Lunch

Session 5: Encounters: the voice, confrontation, documentation

1:15-1:45 pm, Chris Funkhouser, “improvised is how the voice is used”

1:45-2:15 pm, Jeannette Lambert, “Meeting Cecil Taylor in the Rockies”

2:15-2:45 pm, Dominic Lash, “The inexpressible inclusion / of one within another”: Cecil Taylor on film – intermediality, negotiation, and confrontation”

2:45-3:15 pm, Chris Felver

3:15-3:30 pm, Break

Session 6: poetics, subculture, ritual

3:30-4:00 pm, David Grundy, “With blazing eyes and opened mouth”: The Poetry of Cecil Taylor

4:00-4:30 pm, Kehinde Alonge, “Documenting the ‘Subculture Becoming’ through liner notes”

4:30-5:00 pm, Ammiel Alcalay

5:00-5:30 pm, Steve Dalachinsky, “Mantis”

5:30-5:45 pm, Break

5:45-6:45 pm, Nahum Chandler, “Air Above Mountains (Buildings Within): A Meditation”

6:45-8:00 pm, Dinner

8:00-10:00 pm, Closing & Big Band Concert directed by Karen Borca plays "Womb Water" and other Cecil Taylor Compositions
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to this concert.



Click here to visit the official conference website and more info. This conference was organized by Michelle Yom.

Co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities, Advanced Research Collaborative, the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC), PublicsLab, Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, the James Gallery, the Baisley Powell Elebash Fund, the PhD Program in English, the PhD Program in Music at the Graduate Center, CUNY; and the Hitchcock Institute for the Study of American Music at Brooklyn College, and Constance Old.

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