May 3, 11 am-11:30 am EDT – Register for Livestream
The inaugural MM Performer-Composer class will perform Wadada Leo Smith‘s Symphony No. 2 Winter in a live streamed, multi-location presentation. The performance is part of the Performer-Composer Stone Lab, a workshop led by artists-in-residence at The Stone, “a not-for-profit performance initiative dedicated to the experimental and avant-garde.”
The new Performer-Composer Master of Music (MM) degree at The New School’s College of Performing Arts is designed for musicians whose passion lies at the intersection of composition, performance, and improvisation.
Ankhrasmation Score: Symphony No. 2: Winter
The surface of the winter panel has a spike crossing its center, the top right-end of the spike is pointed upward and it’s bottom left-end is pointed downward. Also the surface has a sonic-belt that starts in the back of the Sun and loops over across the front surface of the Sun. Then it descends just under the center of the spike and turns a bit to the left. And it further descends downward until it passes the Sun’s thermal flares at the bottom of the score. Afterwards it enters back into the Sun’s surface.
The sonic-belt enters Sun’s surface from above the Sun’s thermal flares and its descent beginning at the color spectrum with the yellow-gold going through to the light blue color. The yellow-gold ribbon descends in a curl shape, looping around the spike.
The gold white blue ribbon on the left side descends from the bottom of the color spectrum at the light blue color point; and descends, creating a loop that connects the yellow-gold ribbon just above the spike at the dark blue color point. This is the first of three loops and is the largest of the three.
The Sonic-belt continues its downward movement descending below the spike as it bellows out forming the second loop. The left side of the loop is formed with gold and purple color lines, which connects the right and left ends of the loop. The third and the smallest of the loops also bellows out from the right side and is constructed in an arch like curve with the color silver and has a six-point black star near the top of the loop.
There are two satellites positioned opposite of each other, one in the West and the other one in the East.
There are two sonic-strings, one constructed with purple dots coming from the left side of the Sun near the western satellite and it moves upward and disappears into the Sun’s surface near the top of the Sun. The second sonic-string is constructed with gold dots and is located to the right of the purple sonic-string. It too descends into the Sun surface. Notice that from the top of the Sun’s surface on the right side of the yellow-gold ribbon are gold shaped patterns with large and small dots that form different types of loops.
This sonic-belt and the sonic-strings are used as major musical sources and its elements, which are: colors, shapes, and symbolic image-formations. These elements are spontaneously transformed into music by the musicians.
Frist the performers must map their musical instruments to all the elements i.e. colors, shapes, symbolic image-formations, Sonic-belt, Sonic-string, spike, satellites, rim, thermal flairs and the surface of the Sun. And in order to enhance the quality of the music it is required that each source composed on the panel must be mapped differently and secretly by the musicians in the ensemble.
About Wadada Leo Smith
Trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist and composer Wadada Leo Smith is one of the most boldly original and influential artists of his time. Transcending the bounds of genre or idiom, he distinctly defines his music, tirelessly inventive in both sound and approach, as “Creative Music.”
For the last five decades, Smith has been a member of the legendary AACM collective, pivotal in its wide-open perspectives on music and art in general. He has carried those all-embracing concepts into his own work, expanding upon them in myriad ways.
Throughout his career, Smith has been recognized for his groundbreaking body of work. A finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music, he received the 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award and earned an honorary doctorate from CalArts, where he was also celebrated as Faculty Emeritus. In addition, he received the Hammer Museum’s Mohn Award for Career “honoring brilliance and resilience.” In 2018 he received the Religion and The Arts Award from the American Academy of Religion, and in 2019 he received the UCLA Medal, the University’s highest honor.
Smith regularly earns multiple spots on the DownBeat International Critics Poll. In 2017 he topped three categories: Best Jazz Artist, Trumpeter of the Year and Jazz Album of the Year, and was featured as the subject of a cover story in August 2017. The Jazz Journalists Association also honored Smith as their 2017 Musician of the Year as well as 2017 Duo of the Year for his work with Vijay Iyer. The JJA named him their 2016 Trumpeter of the Year, 2015 Composer of the Year, and 2013 Musician of the Year, and he has earned top billing in two categories in the JazzTimes Critics Poll as Artist of theYear and Composer of the Year.
In October 2015 The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago presented the first comprehensive exhibition of Smith’s Ankhrasmation scores, which use non- standard visual directions, making them works of art in themselves as well as igniting creative sparks in the musicians who perform them. In 2016, these scores were also featured in exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and Kadist in San Francisco.
Born December 18, 1941 in Leland, Mississippi, Smith's early musical life began at age thirteen when he became involved with the Delta blues and jazz traditions performing with his stepfather, bluesman Alex Wallace. He received his formal musical education from the U.S. Military band program (1963), the Sherwood School of Music (1967-69), and Wesleyan University (1975-76).
Smith has released more than 50 albums as a leader on labels including ECM, Moers, Black Saint, Tzadik, Pi Recordings, TUM, Leo and Cuneiform. His diverse discography reveals a recorded history centered around important issues that have impacted his world, exploring the social, natural and political environment of his times with passion and fierce intelligence. His most recent recording is 2019’s Rosa Parks: Pure Love, an Oratorio of Seven Songs. His 2016 recording, America’s National Parks earned a place on numerous best of the year lists including the New York Times, NPR Music and many others. Smith’s landmark 2012 civil rights opus Ten Freedom Summers was called “A staggering achievement [that] merits comparison to Coltrane’s A Love Supreme in sobriety and reach.” Writing about Smith’s 2017 album Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk in the New York Review of Books, Adam Shatz notes: “For all the minimalism of his sound, Smith has turned out to be a maximalist in his ambitions, evolving into one of our most powerful storytellers, an heir to American chroniclers like Charles Ives and Ornette Coleman.”