On the Same Frequency as Milford Graves, Anne Wallentine, δημοσίευση στο Hyperallergic [3/3/2023]
The jazz drummer’s polymathic experimentation also spanned visual art, botany, and even an improvisational martial art he invented called Yara.
LOS ANGELES — Walking through downtown LA, you may not notice the percussion of the city around you — but walk into the ICA LA and you’re surrounded by sound. Milford Graves: Fundamental Frequency takes center stage as a multimedia exhibition highlighting the work of the late free jazz drummer and artist Milford Graves (1941–2021), whose polymathic experimentation spanned music, visual art, botany, and even an improvisational martial art he invented called Yara.
Born in Jamaica, Queens, Graves “liberated the drum kit” with his revolutionary approach to rhythm, as Mark Christman of the Ars Nova Workshop said at the exhibition’s open house. Graves performed and recorded with numerous other avant-garde jazz artists over his career, including Albert Ayler, Miriam Makeba, Sun Ra, and John Zorn, while also working as a professor in Bennington College’s Black Music Division for nearly 40 years.
The exhibition is a feast for the senses, between the soundtrack echoing through the gallery, Graves’s colorful assemblage sculptures, video footage and photos of him performing music and martial arts, and of course his records, some of which are hand-painted. This broad range could easily tip into cacophony, but effective curation brings out the resonances between the various art forms and objects. Each section’s wall texts articulate Graves’s philosophies of movement, music, and physicality, often in his own words.
A sense of spirituality permeates the show, as it presents Graves as an artist who lived holistically: every aspect of his art impacted his life. As a result, the show features an unexpected variety of material, from his patterned costumes — hanging simply and effectively on the wall — to numerous aural interactions, such as individual sound stations.
Η συνέχεια εδώ.