Enkutatash እንቁጣጣሽ is a large-scale public choral work by Jace Clayton, transforming security threats into spiritual renewal. The piece debuted on September 11th 2014, the Ethiopian New Year (Ethiopia uses its own calendar system), and featured a choir singing a musical rendition of the color-coded Homeland Security Threat Level changes superimposed with seasonal African songs.
Enkutatash እንቁጣጣሽ treats the changing threat-level data as a musical score to be sung by a D.C. choir and audience participants, using the five-note (pentatonic) Ethiopian musical scale. Accompanying the choir are modified East African harvest songs for masinqo (one-string lute) and voice, performed by Gezachew Habtemariam and Kalkidan Woldermariam. The D.C. area is home to the largest Ethiopian community outside of Ethiopia.
After the performance there was music by all-lady DJ crew Anthology of Booty and complimentary vegetarian Ethiopian food in tribute to the holiday, from which the piece takes its name and inspiration.
The free outdoor event, commissioned by the 5x5 Project, was staged at the Gateway Pavilion at St. Elizabeth’s East, in the Anacostia neighborhood. St. Elizabeth's is the former national mental institution that currently houses, among others, the Department of Homeland Security.
Gbadu is an experimental musical composition and performance piece for four vocalists and the stock market. The performance will be staged in New York near Wall Street, with singers representing the Moirai (the three Fates) and Gbadu (their West African counterpart). Each singer’s vocals are processed and transformed by real-time financial data, mapped to character-appropriate stock market indexes. Due to market fluctuations, although the score is fixed, each performance will sound radically different. This project is supported by Creative Capital, with debut slated for summer 2016.
The Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner is a 60-minute performance piece for grand pianos, live electronics, and voice. An album version of the project was released on New Amsterdam Records. For booking, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUFI PLUG INS is a free suite of music-making software tools based on nonwestern notions of sound & a poetic interface. This brief demonstration video shows version 1 in action. For more information, please visit the project site.