By George E. Lewis
Founded in 1965 and nonetheless lively at the present time, the organization for the development of inventive Musicians (AACM) is an American establishment with a global acceptance. George E. Lewis, who joined the collective as in 1971, establishes the entire significance and energy of the AACM with this communal background, written with a symphonic sweep that pulls on a cross-generational refrain of voices and a wealthy selection of infrequent images.
Moving from Chicago to big apple to Paris, and from founding member Steve McCall’s kitchen desk to Carnegie corridor, A energy more desirable Than Itself uncovers a colourful, multicultural universe and brings to gentle a big piece of the heritage of avant-garde song and art.
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Additional resources for A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music
Using narratives produced during the period, I examine the impact of the politics of gender and sexuality in the black community on the perception of the AACM in particular. I also recount the ambivalence of black intellectuals regarding the vanguardist sounds emerging from black experimental music scenes, as a militant African American cultural nationalism conditioned the Black Arts Movement’s search for authenticity. Here, I examine the roots of Amiri Baraka’s mid-1960s analysis of the black middle class, both in his 1963 Blues People and his highly infl uential 1966 essay, “The Changing Same (R&B and New Black Music)” in sociologist E.
18 Part of my task in this book, as I see it, is to bring to the surface the strategies that have been developed to discursively disconnect African American artists from any notion of experimentalism or the avant-garde. This effort, as Craft seems to have noticed, has now moved into the international arena. If Craft—and Ayler, for that matter—exist simply as oxymorons in an international consensus based on the presumption of pan-European intellectual dominance (a dynamic extending beyond the individual phenotypical to the collective institutional), the histories and analyses that I recount here are meant to shepherd young African American artists such as Craft through the convolutions and contortions that were needed to construct this ethnically cleansed discourse; to encourage younger African American artists to see themselves as being able to claim multiple histories of experimentalism despite the histories of erasure, both willful and unwitting; and to reassure young black artists that if you find yourself written out of history, you can feel free to write yourself back in, to provide an antidote to the nervous pan-European fictionalizations that populate so much scholarship on new music.
D. Parran, for making themselves, their photographs, and BAG documents available to me. Chapter 9: The AACM in New York One important aspect of my work has been to follow the example of the AACM musicians themselves in challenging the assumed centrality of New York City to every jazz narrative. In the place of this romantic ideal I have outlined a distributed, internationalist vision that recognizes the prominent place of both European and midwestern American metropoles in nurturing the AACM’s development and mediating its later notoriety.
A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music by George E. Lewis