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Mitchell, Nicole / Lisa E. Harris: Earthseed [VINYL 2 LPs] (FPE Records)

Continuing her series of large works inspired by the dystopic writings of Octavia E. Butler, composer and flutist Nicole Mitchell assembles Chicago improvisers including cellist Tomeka Reid, percussionist Avreeayl Ra, trumpeter Ben LaMar Gay and interdisciplinary artist Lisa E. Harris to explore facets of Butler's Parable of the Sower.
 

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product information:


UPC: 857827004380

Label: FPE Records
Catalog ID: FPE027
Squidco Product Code: 29523

Format: 2 LPs
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: USA
Packaging: Vinyl LP in a Gatefold Sleeve (2 LPs)
Recorded live at Fullerton Hall, at the Art Institute of Chicago, in Chicago, Illinois, on June 22nd, 2017, by Caleb Willitz.


Personnel:

Lisa E. Harris-vocals, theremin, electronics

Nicole Mitchell-flute, electronics

Julian Otis-vocals

Zara Zaharieva-violin

Ben Lamar Gay-trumpet, electronics

Tomeka Reid-cello

Avreeayl Ra-percussion

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Artist Biographies:

"Lisa E. Harris, Li, is an interdisciplinary artist, performer and composer from Houston Texas, USA. Li is a trained classical voice/opera singer from Manhattan School of Music and is certified as a facilitator of DEEP LISTENING, the sonic philosophies of composer Pauline Oliveros, from the Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute.

Li's work focuses on the energetic relationships between body, land, spirit and place. She uses voice, theremin, movement, text and new media to explore healing in performance.

Recognized by the Huffington Post as "One of Fourteen Artists that are Transforming Opera", Lisa E. Harris is a creator. From Houston,Texas, this American soprano and composer who often creates with media, performance, and installation, is a filmmaker, singer/ songwriter, writer, educator, community organizer, environmental transformer and Mother Earth advocate as well. Harris clarifies her artistic voice through experimental film, improvisational performance and compositional practices, and further translates her music through the application of natural sciences, spirituality, popular song, melody, harmony, ritual and ceremony. She recently performed "Work Songs" at the 52nd Venice Biennale. In 2007, Harris founded Studio Enertia, a multi-media production collective and in 2013 began the artists run Studio Enertia Artist Residency Program in Houston. A collaborative artist with Jason Moran presents A Fats Waller Dance Party, Harris is a featured vocalist along with Meshell N'degecello on the Grammy nominated album All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller. She is a 2015 Valiante Award recipient, a 2016 inaugural artist in residence at The New Quorum and a 2017 MANCC Forward Dialogues Fellow at FSU. Her two new opera films "Cry of the Third Eye" and "Children of the Lost" use vocal composition and film to amplify the quelled voices of youth and displaced people due to rapid gentrification in Houston's Third Ward. Harris attained a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Mannes College and a Master of Music Degree from Manhattan School of Music."

-Lisa E. Harris Website (https://lisaeharris.com/BIO%20CV)
10/19/2020

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"Nicole Mitchell (b. 1967) is a creative flutist, composer, bandleader and educator. As the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Ice Crystal and Sonic Projections, Mitchell has been repeatedly awarded by DownBeat Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association as "Top Flutist of the Year" for the last four years (2010-2014). Mitchell's music celebrates African American culture while reaching across genres and integrating new ideas with moments in the legacy of jazz, gospel, experimentalism, pop and African percussion through albums such as Black Unstoppable (Delmark, 2007), Awakening (Delmark, 2011), and Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler (Firehouse 12, 2008), which received commissioning support from Chamber Music America's New Jazz Works.

Mitchell formerly served as the first woman president of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and has been a member since 1995. In recognition of her impact within the Chicago music and arts education communities, she was named "Chicagoan of the Year" in 2006 by the Chicago Tribune. With her ensembles, as a featured flutist and composer, Mitchell has been a highlight at festivals and art venues throughout Europe, the U.S. and Canada.

Ms. Mitchell is a recipient of the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts (2011) and has been commissioned by Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Chicago Sinfonietta Orchestra and Maggio Fiorentino Chamber Orchestra (Florence, Italy). In 2009, she created Honoring Grace: Michelle Obama for the Jazz Institute of Chicago. She has been a faculty member at the Vancouver Creative Music Institute, the Sherwood Flute Institute, Banff International Jazz Workshop and the University of Illinois, Chicago. Her work has been featured on National Public Radio, and in magazines including Ebony, Downbeat, JazzIz, Jazz Times, Jazz Wise, and American Legacy.

Nicole MItchell is currently a Professor of Music, teaching in "Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology," (ICIT) a new and expansively-minded graduate program at the University of California, Irvine. In November 2014, ICIT was approved for the unleashing of a new MA/PhD program, which will be offered starting fall 2015. Mitchell's recent composition, Flight for Freedom for Creative Flute and Orchestra, a Tribute to Harriet Tubman, premiered with the Chicago Composers' Orchestra in December 2011 and was presented again with CCO in May 2014. She was also commisisoned by Chicago Sinfonietta for Harambee: Road to Victory, for Solo Flute, Choir and Orchestra in January 2012. Her latest commission was from the French Ministry of Culture and the Royaumont Foundation in October 2014, which supported the development and French tour of Beyond Black - a collaboration with kora master Ballake Sissoko, Black Earth Ensemble and friends. Currently Mitchell is preparing her next commission supported by the French American Jazz Exchange, entitled Moments of Fatherhood, featuring Black Earth Ensemble and the Parisian chamber group L'Ensemble Laborintus, to premiere at the Sons d'hiver Jazz Festival in late January 2015.

Among the first class of Doris Duke Artists (2012), Mitchell works to raise respect and integrity for the improvised flute, to contribute her innovative voice to the jazz legacy, and to continue the bold and exciting directions that the AACM has charted for decades. With contemporary ensembles of varying instrumentation and size (from solo to orchestra), Mitchell's mission is to celebrate the power of endless possibility by "creating visionary worlds through music that bridge the familiar and the unknown." She is endorsed by Powell flutes."

-Nicole Mitchell Website (http://nicolemitchell.com/)
10/19/2020

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Julian Terrell Otis is proud to reunite with "this trio of impressive vocal soloists" (New York Times) in the West Coast premiere of Afterword. His vocal improvisations have been called 'instrumental' and highly sensitive to the ensemble's texture. He has become an enthusiastic interpreter of contemporary music most recently lending his ringing tenor sound to Anthony R. Green's ...I Shall Shake His Hand... curated by Fulcrum Point New Music Project and Nkeiru Okoye's Harriet Tubman: When I Cross That Line to Freedom (South Shore Opera Company). As a student Julian was able to explore the choral works of Ted Hearne, James MacMillan, Sebastian Currier and other contemporary composers under the baton of Donald Nally. Julian wishes to explore the limitless possibilities of his instrument's expressive capacity through song, improvisation, and theatrical works."

-Julian Otis Website (https://sites.google.com/view/julianterrellotis/bio)
10/19/2020

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Zara Zaharieva was born in Pleven Bulgaria and started studying the violin at the tender age of 3. There was always great music playing in her childhood and youth. ... Later, she continued her education at Northern Illinois University where she studied classical violin and chamber music under Shmuel Ashkenasi."

-Zara Zaharieva Website (https://www.zaraviolin.com/bio)
10/19/2020

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Ben Lamar is a prolific composer, vocalist, trumpeter, producer, and music educator. Lamar began his musical journey with the initial influence of his father's diverse vinyl collection and his family's unique music listening rituals. He has been creating music professionally for over 20 years now - performing, recording, producing for, and studying with a number of vital figures in the world of music, including Jazz, Blues, Hip-Hop and Electronic."

-Discogs.com (https://www.discogs.com/artist/1001345-Ben-Lamar)
10/19/2020

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Chicago based cellist, composer and educator, Tomeka Reid has been described as "a remarkably versatile player," (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune). Equally adept in classical and jazz contexts, Ms. Reid predominantly finds herself in experimental and improvisatory settings and composes for a wide range of instrumentation, from big band to chamber ensemble. Ms. Reid's music combines her love for groove along with freer concepts.

Ms. Reid is an integral part of Dee Alexander's Evolution Ensemble, Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble/Strings, Mike Reed's Loose Assembly, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) Great Black Music Ensemble, and co-leads the internationally recognized string trio, Hear in Now with performances in Poznan, Poland; Paris, France; Rome, Venice, Milan, Italy; Soazza, Switzerland; and in the US: Chicago, New York and Vermont. In addition to the aforementioned ensembles, Ms. Reid performs with many of today's forward thinking musicians in the world of jazz and creative music including Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell, Jeb Bishop, Myra Melford, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Mary Halvorson, Denis Fournier, Edward Wilkerson and Harrison Bankhead. Ms. Reid also leads her own trio featuring guitarist Matt Schneider and bassist Josh Abrams, for which she composes. Ms. Reid can be heard on numerous studio recordings.

As an educator, Ms. Reid has led string improvisation workshops in Italy and the US. Most recently she co-directed the 2012 Vancouver Jazz Festival’s High School Jazz Intensive. For seven years, Ms. Reid co-directed the string program at the University of Chicago’s Laboratory School for students grade 5 thru 12. Ms. Reid is also an ABD doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign.

As a composer, Ms. Reid has been commissioned by the AACM, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and has had several opportunities to showcase her work abroad at festivals such as Umbria Jazz, An Insolent Noise and Vignola Jazz. She has been nominated and awarded residencies for composition with the Ragdale Foundation and the 2nd Annual Make Jazz Fellowship hosted by the 18th Street Arts Organization. Ms. Reid was selected as a 2012 participant in the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute held at the University of California: Los Angeles."

-Tomeka Reid Website (http://www.tomekareid.net/)
10/19/2020

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"Chicago master drummer/percussionist Avreeayl Ra was born in Chicago and still lives there today. He is a renowned musician always in demand among visiting jazz artists in Chicago. Avreeayl's father, Arthur 'Swinglee' O'Neil, was a tenor saxophonist who was mentor to many young Chicago musicians, including John Gilmore, later the mainstay of Sun Ra's Arkestra. Avreeayl is a long-term member of the Chicago AACM, and has performed and/or recorded with Fred Anderson, Amiri Baraka, Fontella Bass, Lester Bowie, Ari Brown, Oscar Brown, Jr., Henry Butler, Henry Byrd ('Professor Longhair'), Hamid Drake, Nicole Mitchell, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Malachi Thompson, and many more."

-Ragdale (http://ragdale.org/residency/resident/avreeayl-ra/)
10/19/2020

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track listing:


SIDE A



1. Evernascence / Evanescence 2:38

2. Whispering Flame 6:24

3. Biotic Seeds 3:55

SIDE B



1. Yes and Know 6:41

2. Ownness 6:36

SIDE C



1. Moving Mirror 6:55

2. Whole Black Collision 5:56

3. Phallus and Chalice 6:51

SIDE D



1. Fluids of Time 5:18

2. Elemental Crux 5:47

3. Purify Me with the Power to Self Transform 5:25
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The work of award-winning African American science fiction author Octavia E. Butler becomes increasingly prophetic as we move through the challenges of the new century. Her novels Parable of the Sower (1993) and Parable of the Talents (1996) use fiction to illuminate a horrific unraveling of 21st-century America into a despotic chaos where its once-middle-class citizens struggle to survive in an incredibly violent and fragmented reality, void of normalcy, family, and resources.

In the 1990s, Butler's Parables warned readers about a possible disintegration of American culture and infrastructure, among the many risks of tyrannical rule. Within Butler's storyline, the character Lauren Oya Olamina, a preacher's daughter of African heritage, helps to rebuild her community through offering Earthseed, an egalitarian philosophy and spiritual practice which honors inquiry, independent thinking, and realistic acceptance of constant change.

Inspired by and in tribute to Octavia E. Butler, composers Nicole M. Mitchell and Lisa E. Harris have created their own sonic Earthseed, also in response to the real chaos and horrific nature of our times. Earthseed is the third of Mitchell's projects inspired by the literature of Butler and marks a first compositional collaboration between Harris and Mitchell."-FPE



"Before Earthseed, flutist and composer Nicole Mitchell had already composed two large-scale works inspired by the work of sci-fi novelist Octavia Butler. This third one, a collaboration with opera composer and multimedia artist Lisa E. Harris, is different on multiple levels-but most glaringly in its humor. Where Mitchell's Xenogenesis Suite and Intergalactic Beings could crush the listener with their heavy content, Harris leavens the proceedings; on one piece, "Yes and Know," she even turns laughter itself into a motif. That alone makes Earthseed, if no less abstract than its predecessors, a more accessible and fun listen.

The laughter is part of a vast array of vocal noises, timbres, and techniques that form the album's dominant element. "Phallus and Chalice" finds Harris and male vocalist Julian Otis wordlessly conversing/bickering, with interjections from an uncredited third voice (probably Mitchell's), to the delight of the audience. (The album was recorded live at the Art Institute of Chicago.) Their exchanges are shadowed by Mitchell and a chamber ensemble of violinist Zara Zaharieva, trumpeter Ben LaMar Gay, cellist Tomeka Reid, and percussionist Avreeayl Ra. It's a fascinating juxtaposition: The instruments play the kind of atonal counterpoint one expects from free jazz, but the context of the vocals gives them a sense of focus and purpose.

Still, Harris and Otis offer plenty of operatic performances and text recitations between the strange noises and expectorations, while the ensemble plays some consonant, often delicate arrangements and improvisations-though usually in service of the vocals, as on the lovely "Ownness"-between its outside excursions. (Notably, Mitchell's flute is among the least prominent voices; one wonders if she similarly took a secondary place in the work's creation.) In toto, it forms a whole that is unearthly but also familiar and compelling, much like Butler's tales of strange universes that uncannily reflect our own."-Michael J. West, JazzTimes

Also available on CD.
Related Categories of Interest:


Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Spoken Word
Unusual Vocal Forms
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers


Other Releases With These Artists:
Recommended & Related Releases:
McPhee / Rempis / Reid / Lopez / Nilssen-Love
Of Things Beyond Thule Vol. 2
(Aerophonic)
Rempis / Abrams / Ra + Baker
Apsis
(Aerophonic)
Douglas, Dave
Showing Up / The Power of the Vote [7" VINYL]
(Greenleaf Music)
Bruckmann, Kyle Degradient
Dear Everyone [2 CDs]
(Not Two)
Reid, Tomeka
Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Rempis / Abrams / Ra
Aphelion
(Aerophonic)
Other Recommended Releases:
Mitchell, Nicole / Lisa E. Harris
Earthseed
(FPE Records)
Hawkins, Alexander / Tomeka Reid
Shards & Constellations
(Intakt)
McPhee / Reid / Lopez / Nilssen-Love / Rempis
Of Things Beyond Thule Volume 1 [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(Aerophonic)
Reid, Tomeka / Kyoko Kitamura / Tyler Ho Bynum / Joe Morris
Geometry Of Distance
(Relative Pitch)
Tiger Trio (Leandre / Melford / Mitchel)
Map of Liberation
(RogueArt)
Reid, Tomeka / Filippo Monaco
The Mouser
(Relative Pitch)
Shipp, Matthew Trio / Nicole Mitchell
All Things Are
(RogueArt)
Rempis, Dave / Tomeka Reid / Joshua Abrams
Ithra
(Aerophonic)
Mitchell, Nicole
Maroon Cloud
(FPE Records)
Reid, Tomeka / Kyoko Kitamura / Taylor Ho Bynum / Joe Morris
Geometry of Caves
(Relative Pitch)
Mitchell, Nicole Sonic Projections (Mitchell / Taborn / Boykin / Taylor)
The Secret Escapades Of Velvet Andersen
(RogueArt)
Mazurek, Rob Exploding Star Orchestra Featuring Roscoe Mitchell
Matter Anti-Matter, Sixty-Three Moons Of Jupiter & Electronic Works [2 CDs]
(RogueArt)
Morris, Joe
Perpetual Frontier The Properties of Free Music [BOOK]
(Riti Publishing)
Mitchell, Nicole Sonic Projections
Emerald Hills
(RogueArt)

Search for other titles on the FPE Records label.