Online event

In conversation: Vijay Iyer, Andrea Giunta, Brinda Kumar & Kevin LeGendre

Jazz Musician Vijay Iyer and Art Historians Andrea Giunta & Brinda Kumar in-conversation with IN·FLO·RES·CENCE host Kevin Le Gendre about the inspiration of art, modernism, and minimalism in jazz expression.

This discussion includes an introduction to IN·FLO·RES·CENCE’s focus on the cross-modality of art and sound and the three speakers: American jazz pianist Vijay Iyer and Curators Brinda Kumar hailing from New York City and Andrea Giunta who’s based in Buenos Aires. Journalist Kevin Le Gendre (Broadcaster and Writer of Don’t Stop the Carnival: Black British Music, 2019) proceeds to moderate a conversation around Vijay’s ground-breaking album with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, A cosmic rhythm with each stroke, that was deeply inspired by artist Nasreen Mohamedi’s artist practice and journals, which Vijay studied during his artist-in-residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2016. He was greatly inspired by the coinciding inaugural exhibition of Nasreen Mohamedi and presented two events during its run: a Durational Performance and a MetLiveArts Commission.

Nasreen Mohamedi was an Indian artist well-known for her modernist work full of minimal linear gestures creating infinity imaginary landscapes. She had a travelling retrospective in 2016 at The Met Breuer in NYC, Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, Kiran Nadar Museum in New Dehli. The two participating art historians have both engaged deeply with Mohamedi’s practice: Brinda Kumar, an Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Met worked on this retrospective, and Andrea Giunta, an Art History Professor at the University of Buenos Aires wrote an essay Simultaneous Abstractions for the catalogue of this exhibition.

A cosmic rhythm with each stroke. Album by Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith , 11 March 2016, ECM Records.

A cosmic rhythm with each stroke features pianist Vijay Iyer and the musician he has described as his “hero, friend and teacher”, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. Vijay has previously played extensively with Wadada in Smith’s Golden Quartet, but the present album is the first documentation of their duo work, produced by Manfred Eicher at New York’s Avatar Studios in October 2015. The centre-piece of the album is the spellbinding title suite, dedicated to Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990), the innovative Indian artist whose improvisatory imagery evokes abstracted rhythms. Trumpet and piano interact here with a creative sensitivity to tone, texture, and space.

Vijay and Wadada premiered A cosmic rhythm with each stroke at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in March 2016 in the context of a major exhibition dedicated to Mohamedi’s art and writings. The “suite for Nasreen” is framed on the album by Iyer’s composition “Passage” and Smith’s concluding piece “Marian Anderson”, inspired by the great US contralto.’ – ECM Records



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