Julius Eastman / Seth Parker Woods
2220 Arts + Archives
Tickets on sale early 2024
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- Eastman The Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc (new version for solo cello and electronics)
Julius Eastman (1940-1990) was a composer, conductor, singer, pianist, and choreographer. A singular figure in New York City’s downtown scene of the 1970s and 80s, he also performed at Lincoln Center with Pierre Boulez and the New York Philharmonic and recorded music by Arthur Russell, Morton Feldman, Peter Maxwell Davies, and Meredith Monk. “What I am trying to achieve is to be what I am to the fullest,” he said in 1976. “Black to the fullest, a musician to the fullest, a homosexual to the fullest.”
Eastman was young, gay, and Black at a time when it was even more difficult to be young, gay, and Black. He swerved through academia, discos, Europe, Carnegie Hall, and the downtown experimental music scene. And in 1990, at age 49, Eastman died in Buffalo, New York, less than a decade after the New York City Sheriff’s Department threw most of his scores, belongings, and ephemera into the East Village snow.
Eastman’s music shines like a retroactive beacon to today’s musical creators. Any term used to characterize today’s musical landscape — “genre-fluid” or the like — was anticipated by Eastman decades before. Yet, he was punished for being ahead of his time, both in the treatment of his music and, tragically, his person. Eastman’s music flowed freely from — and through — his myriad influences and was terribly served by the musical infrastructure of his day. In our unique approaches to Eastman’s work, we’re pushing ourselves to work in dialogue with the composer’s creative impulses, channeling his individualistic spirit, augmenting the pieces with our ideas and concepts, and trying to stay true.
Seth Parker Woods
Hailed by The Guardian as “a cellist of power and grace” who possesses “mature artistry and willingness to go to the brink,” Grammy Award-nominated cellist Seth Parker Woods has established his reputation as a versatile artist and innovator. The New York Times describes him as “an artist rooted in classical music, but whose cello is a vehicle that takes him, and his concertgoers, on wide-ranging journeys.” He is a recipient of the 2022 Chamber Music America Michael Jaffee Visionary Award and was nominated for a 2023 Grammy Award with celebrated new music ensemble Wild Up.
In the 2022-2023 season, Woods premiered a new version of his Difficult Grace at 92NY, UCLA, and Chicago’s Harris Theater; curated and performed a program honoring composer George Walker at the Phillips Collection; premiered Freida Abtan’s My Heart is a River, commissioned by the Seattle Symphony; performs a world premiere by Anna Thorvaldsdottir at Carnegie Hall, part of Claire Chase’s Density Series; and The Great Northern Festival in Minneapolis presented Woods in his performance installation, Iced Bodies. He toured with pianist Andrew Rosenblum and the Chad Lawson Trio, performed a solo recital at Belgium’s Das Haus, and held residencies at Montclair State University and Oberlin Conservatory. The world premiere recording of Difficult Grace on Cedille Records came out in April 2023 to great critical acclaim.
He has appeared with the Ictus Ensemble (Brussels, BE), Ensemble L’Arsenale (IT), zone Experimental (CH), Basel Sinfonietta (CH), Ensemble LPR, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Atlanta and Seattle Symphonies, and in recitals with Hilary Hahn and Andreas Haefliger. A fierce advocate for contemporary arts, Woods has collaborated and worked with a wide range of artists ranging from Louis Andriessen to Sting and premiered concertos by Rebecca Saunders and Tyshawn Sorey. Woods has served as Artist in Residence with the Kaufman Music Center (2020-21) and Seattle Symphony (2018-2020). His debut solo album, asinglewordisnotenough (Confront Recordings-London), was released in November 2016.
Woods serves on the cello and chamber music faculty of the Thornton School of Music at USC. He holds degrees from Brooklyn College, Musik Akademie der Stadt Basel, and a PhD from the University of Huddersfield. Seth Parker Woods is a Pirastro Artist.
About Endless Season
Art in LA has been about freedom and an abundant eschewing of history. With intersecting methods and intentions, humble, aspiring, a city appealing to the aesthete and the mystic in all of her citizens. Here, famous artists are also street-side sign painters, our best restaurants drive or live in strip malls, and our landmarks are geographical before architectural or fleetingly experiential instead of permanent monuments to their own lineages. Here, our religious and secular musics sound the same.
Endless Season gathers around these uniquely West Coast traits. We ask lead artists to question, reinterpret, and challenge the past, modality, and genre. We hold a space of intersectionality and dialogue surrounding every aspect of our work. Together, we will explore the breadth of work and practices, discovering the many shapes of music and ideas in LA today.
Endless 2023 – 2024
This season puts Wild Up members at the center more than ever, showcasing the creative energy of this community of artists. There will be a dozen concerts featuring members not only as brilliant performers but also as composers and creators. The nexus is ENCLAVE, a weekend festival of Wild Up Composers and Creators in December, featuring Andrew Tholl, Shelley Washington, Jodie Landau, Sidney Hopson. Like most of the season, this weekend highlights the many shapes of music and ideas in Los Angeles today and starts codifying an LA school of composition.
Milestones run through the season, including revivals and seminal works from Julius Eastman and Gérard Grisey and more than a dozen World and West Coast Premieres, including workshops of three new large-scale works-in-progress: a new multi-disciplinary work by Sarah Hennies, with visual artist Susan Silton and L.A. Poet Laureate Lynne Thompson, portraits of genius emerging artists Leiliehua Lanzilotti, inti figgis-vizueta, and claire rousay, a new opera by David Longstreth, and the very beginnings of a deep dive into Arthur Russell.
In 2024, we welcome the return of Darkness Sounding, a festival that explores how listening, sound, and music shape our understanding of the world.