theory

Loren Stillman & Bad Touch @ Cornelia Street Cafe

The music of Brooklyn-based saxophonist and composer, Loren Stillman, has found acclaimed reviews in such publications as The New York Times, Downbeat Magazine, Jazziz, Jazz Times, and National Public Radio, marking him as an innovative voice of modern jazz. Stillman has performed, recorded, and educated throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. Alongside an impressive record of performances, recordings, and masterclasses with his own ensembles, Stillman has performed alongside Charlie Haden, Paul Motian Trio 2000+2, Carla Bley, John Abercrombie, Andy Milne’s DAPP Theory, Michele Rosewoman Quintessence, Joe Lovano, Eivind Opsvik, John McNeil, Brad Shepik, Russ Lossing, Vic Juris, and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

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CORNELIA STREET CAFÉ

29 Cornelia Street, NYC, New York | 212-989-9319

Ornette Coleman Receives Honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Michigan

Music legend Ornette Coleman received an honorary doctorate of music from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  The Department of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance congratulates Mr. Coleman on this great honor, his 80th birthday, and for being one of the most important musicians and innovators of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  The event also included a commencement address by President Barack Obama.

THE OFFICIAL CEREMONY TEXT

“Mr. Coleman, your performances and your path-breaking theories of jazz and music have transformed how musicians play and what listeners hear.  Your self-taught musical education blossomed into a radically novel sound, giving the world musical styles it had never heard before.  In your long career of ongoing creativity, you have played a vital role in preserving and enhancing America’s cultural legacy, and you have cultivated the talent of the future.  The University of Michigan is proud to present you with the honorary degree, Doctor of Music.”


MORE ABOUT ORNETTE COLEMAN

Ornette Coleman is a leading composer and performer of jazz, whose remarkable artistry is admired around the world.  Born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1930, he taught himself how to play the saxophone and had formed his first band by the age of fourteen.  After touring with a traveling ensemble, he moved to Los Angeles and began to teach himself music theory while working as an elevator operator.  During this period, he performed with a rehearsal ensemble that allowed him to experiment with the new theoretical concepts he was developing.  The result of his self-study was a new freedom in jazz performance that has been described as a radically new concept and style that originated from his musical intuition, combining southwestern country blues and his own highly personal interpretations of music theory.  The compositional voice that Mr. Coleman developed in the 1950s would remain his trademark style and sound throughout his career.  The first of his many influential albums was recorded in 1958, released under the title Something Else, which launched him as a major innovator of jazz, leading to many more albums and a famous breakthrough engagement at the Five Spot Café in New York City, where he moved permanently.  His music, freed from the conventions of harmony, rhythm, and melody, both polarized and transformed the jazz community, and he devoted decades to understanding and discovering the shape of not just jazz, but all music to come.  At the core of his music is his theory of Harmolodics, which addresses the question of the sound and performance of music beyond the melody.  Beyond the twenty albums he released in the 1960s, Mr. Coleman also began to write string quartets, woodwind quintets, and symphonies based on his pioneering theories of musical composition.  His remarkable contributions to music have been recognized by a multitude of honors, including several honorary degrees, appointment as a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the presentation of the prestigious Praemium Imperiale Award of the Japanese government.  In 2007 he was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and won the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2007 for his album Sound Grammar.  In 2009 he became the 16th musician in history to be presented with the Miles Davis Award, in recognition for his regeneration of the jazz idiom.  His recent 80th birthday in March was marked with a variety of tributes, from articles, to concerts, to all-day broadcasts of his music.

The Connecticut Theory

- for the Grateful Web

 

By Emily Crocker

 

Cut into: a girl walking in a dark city, alleyways lead her to, lanes shifting and digging back into, through and around small buildings of Dublin, crammed on twisted streets.  She arrives at an old movie theater the afternoon before she returns to America.

 

 

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Her father grew up in Connecticut under 200 mile-an-hour winds.  It would rain and freeze under his feet.  He still holds the ice, implants it into their lineage. In thirty years she will watch a movie where a tall thin actor plays him, does him perfectly, better then he ever could.

 

 

 

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To dissect the code in her consciousness it will take repeated beatings of films, curtains separating, coke commercials into trailers into, lights. The picture splits, tape flips over and over in her head.  A story cast across the back of her scull decayed and full of holes.

 

 

 

***********

 

 

 

During the winter of 1973 Connecticut's railway stations were shut down along with the highways and bridges.  It rained all day and when the sun set, everything froze.  Parking lots mirrored images, passengers sat stuck in train cars commuting back from New York, trucks in ditches off the sides of the road.

 

 

 

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She left the movie theater, took two air planes back home.  Over the counter drugs calm nerves.  She quits drinking three times before it sticks, studies the lines that cross in her head, wave back and forth and spark behind her eyes.  Thinks about uncovering Connecticut.  The provocation of the ice storm makes thoughts separate into line breaks.  Narrator dies on the page, in-between the space.  A story she'll write for seven years until the curtain reopens: screen fades out.