I/O Ensemble and Chorus

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM Sun, Jan 19, 2020

Venue: The Clark Art Institute

225 South Street, Williamstown, MA 01267

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The Williams College Department of Music's I/O Fest 2020 presents a one-hour concert of immersive music in The Clark's Michael Conforti Pavilion, featuring Julius Eastman's The Holy Presence of Joan d'Arc. Eastman was a legendary figure in the world of American contemporary music whose work was largely lost after his death in 1990. He was an artist of tremendous range who, as a gay, black man, sought to create new spaces for creative expression in a predominantly straight white field. Not only was he a prominent member of New York's downtown scene as a composer, conductor, singer, pianist, and choreographer but he also performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, earned a Grammy nomination for his recording of Peter Maxwell Davies's Eight Songs for a Mad King, and recorded experimental disco with producer Arthur Russell. In the '80s, as Eastman descended into addiction and faced eviction and illness, his already cryptic scores were tossed away and neglected, and many disappeared. A recent flowering of interest in his music and his life has peaked alongside the discovery of previously lost recordings and manuscripts, and it is now clear that, "the canon of American contemporary music cannot be considered complete without the inclusion of Julius Eastman's compositions."

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