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Songs We Taught Your Mother #1

20 Apr 2018 - 20:30
Isabel Lewis, Stella Chiweshe, Mary Ocher, Moor Mother

Dialogues with Recordings From The Music´s Past  #1

Stella Chiweshe and Mary Ocher feat. Your Government in a special collaboration in dialogue with 1969 "The moving finger" by Dorothy Ashby and other pieces, of futuristic psychedelic synthesis, featuring mbira, two drum kits, percussion, synth and voice

Dorothy Ashby (* August 6, 1930) was an American jazz harpists and composer.  Ashby established the harp as an improvising jazz instrument, proving the harp could play bepop as adeptly as the instruments commonly associated with jazz, such as the saxophone or piano. Ashby had to overcome many obstacles during the pursuit of her career.[As a black woman musician in a male dominated industry, she was at a disadvantage. In a 1983 interview with W. Royal Stokes for his book Living the Jazz Life, she remarked of her career, "It's been maybe a triple burden in that not a lot of women are becoming known as jazz players. There is also the connection with black women. The audiences I was trying to reach were not interested in the harp, period—classical or otherwise—and they were certainly not interested in seeing a black woman playing the harp." "The Moving Finger" is a piece on her Album "The Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby" .  On this album, Ashby plays the Japanese musical instrument, the koto, demonstrating her abilities to successfully integrate another instrument into jazz.


Moor Mother in dialogue with "Ma Rainey´s Black Bottom" (1927)

Ma Rainey ´s Black Bottom" (1927) : Ma Rainey was the first popular stage entertainer to incorporate authentic blues into her song repertoire and did much to establish the "classic" blues in American musical life.. She performed during the first three decades of the 20th century and enjoyed mass popularity during the blues craze of the 1920s. Rainey's music has served as inspiration for such poets as Langston Hughes and Sterling Brown.In December 1923 Rainey began a five-year association with Paramount, becoming one of the first women to record the blues professionally, eventually producing more than 100 recordings of her own compositions with some of the finest musicians of the day. One of the few times her flair for comedy comes through is in her widely popular Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1927). Although these recordings scarcely do her vocal style justice, they do give a sense of her raw, "moaning" style and her exquisite phrasing. Her songs and vocal style reveal her deep connection with the pain of jealousy, poverty, sexual abuse, and loneliness of sharecroppers and southern blacks.


Isabel Lewis produces ambient yet rhythmic sound by sampling, layering, distorting, looping and morphing together fragments from a broad range of musical influences from medieval chamber music to Juicy J. The effect is like a slow tempo underwater rave where the music almost reminds of you something but then slips away from recognition. For ausland Isabel will sample from early jazz tracing histories and personal affinities with radical figures like Ma Rainey and others

Radio Shows by SissiFM auf rebootFM

Doors open 20:30, concerts start 21:00

Tickets 9 €


About the series:

Songs We Taught Your Mother


Dialogues with Recordings From The Music´s Past

Solo artists, bands and duos conceptualize a performative work in dialogue with a recording by one or more female jazz- and blues composers from 1920 until today. These works do not only consider the recordings sound and musical character, but also the circumstances under which they were made: The desire and necessity to play, obstacles in the way for black women in the music business, political and quotidian events which the composers thematized in their music themselves, etc. Since the early days of jazz and blues women have been part of the movement: Not only as singers, but as instrumentalists, band leaders, composers and arrangers. Often as ghost writers, often paid under the table. Never having been part of the jazz canon or already forgotten. Songs We Taught Your Mother focuses on these women, readdressing the question how gender and origin still influence music production here and now. 

mit freundlicher Unterstützung der Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa