Meredith Monk and the Walker: A Chronology
For more than 50 years, interdisciplinary artist Meredith Monk has pushed boundaries within her practice, but her explorations of sound, time, and space, in whatever form they’ve taken, all bear her unmistakable signature. In commemoration of more than four decades of partnership with the Walker, we look back at her many commissions, performances, residencies, and gallery appearances.
Il Treno di John Cage
A 1978 trip to Bologna to witness “a prepared train”—a happening on wheels, featuring John Cage and a host of Italian collaborators.
Why the Hell Ornette Went All Up In Eden
“It’s hard to think of any musician whose sonic convictions have been so personally liberating for themselves and so determined to liberate others,” writes Greg Tate of Ornette Coleman, who passed away June 11. “His music did all the things jazz was supposed to do, but in ways that made everybody else, from Coltrane to Cage, sound like they were too fixed, ordered, calibrated and two-dimensional.”
In a time of digital hyperacceleration and an ever-shifting technocultural landscape, we encounter an influx of trends, microgenres, and fads. But how do we talk about music when so much of what we listen to feels transitory and historically inconsequential? Marvin Lin explores our critical voice in the face of such expiring aesthetics.
No !%@#s Given
“The web is where the exceptional force the hands of the famed and established to recognize they’ve been pushing things forward, without their blessing or awareness,” writes Andrew Flanagan of thestand4rd, the St. Paul independent hip hop/R&B quartet that has thrust itself into the limelight—even attracting the attention of Kanye West—in the 11 months since uploading its first single on SoundCloud.
Five Decades, Six Galaxies, and Counting: The AACM at 50
Musical revolutions tend to have a spontaneous outlier quality about them, writes Greg Tate. Fifty years ago in Chicago, far from the Manhattan clubs that drew jazz luminaries like John Coltrane, Sun Ra, and Ornette Coleman, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians was born. Since then the group has carried “freedom swang” around the globe and, through a new wave of visionaries, into the future.
Visceral Live Therapy: A Babes in Toyland Comeback
Paul M. Davis
“I said I’d never, ever do a reunion,” guitarist and singer Kat Bjelland told Rolling Stone recently. And yet this June, after a 14-year hiatus, her seminal punk band Babes in Toyland is returning to the city of its inception to play Rock the Garden 2015. Paul M. Davis looks at the obstacles the band overcame to get here and the “visceral live therapy”—in Bjelland’s words—the reunion represents.
Rock the Garden: 30 Facts about the 2015 Lineup
Modest Mouse’s UFO encounter. Belle & Sebastian’s children’s-hospital cover of “Don’t Stop Believing.” Babes in Toyland’s friendship with Cindy Sherman. thestand4rd’s Kanye connection. In announcing the Rock the Garden lineup we embraced the festival’s garden locale and did some digging. Here’s the full roster for 2015’s two-day festival, along with all the weird, wonderful facts we’ve unearthed.
Indeterminate Adventures with Cage
During his four-decade relationship with the Walker, composer John Cage visited Minneapolis numerous times. As Walker director emeritus Martin Friedman recalls, these visits often veered toward the unexpected—fitting for an artist closely associated with the musical concept of Indeterminacy—from a late-night reading of James Joyce with Tony Smith to Sunday-morning mushroom hunting in a church yard.