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  • Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner (2013-)

    Conceived for twin pianos, live electronics, and voice, Clayton's The Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner brings fresh insight to the artistic legacy of the mercurial gay African American composer Eastman, and contributed to Eastman's newfound popularity. ("...will advance [Eastman's] cause with an eclectic young audience" - Russel Platt, The New Yorker, 2013) The Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner is built around new arrangements of Evil Nigger (1979) and Gay Guerrilla (1980), two of Eastman's most important, if rarely performed, piano compositions. Clayton uses his own custom-designed 'Sufi Plug Ins' software to live-process the pianos of David Friend and Emily Manzo, and also intersperses musical vignettes and new compositions – performed by neo-Sufi vocalist Arooj Aftab – to lend context and nuance to the composer's saga, which was cut short in 1990 at age 49.  JEMD debuted in 2013 and continues to be performed. An album version of the project was released on New Amsterdam Records.