Queer African-American avant-garde composer, pianist, vocalist and conductor, Julius Eastman (1940–1990) wrote and performed compositions whose ecstatic militant minimalism initiated a black radical aesthetic that revolutionized the East Coast new music scene of the 1970s and 1980s. Facing racist and homophobic opposition throughout his career, Eastman notably faced censorship on the occasion of a 1980 performance when the titles of his compositions Crazy Nigger (1978), Evil Nigger (1979) and Gay Guerrilla (1979) were redacted from concert programs, prompting an eloquent pre-concert statement by Eastman. The Third Part of the Third Measure (2017), by British collective The Otolith Group, dramatizes this statement while celebrating the complex ecstasy of Eastman’s music. Additional works to screen.
This program is presented by San Francisco Cinematheque in association with Old First Concerts, who will present a program of Eastman’s music on January 13. Full details on screening and concert: www.sfcinematheque.org.