A project of the Painted Bride Art Center, Re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia is building an expanded archive of cultural memory that includes multiple histories, re-place-ing the established with new narratives and understandings. In October, Re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia brought together Heru Shabaka-ra, Tim Motzer, Anthony Tidd, and King Britt for an improvisation session with choreographer and dancer Faustin Linyekula. This outstanding evening resulted in a magical piece of music that is now available for download! And be sure to join us in April, when these musicians join together with Faustin Linyekula again for a series of performances.
Here’s what King Britt has to say about the collaboration:
Painted Bride Art Center: I understand that the other musicians who participated were Heru Shabaka-ra, Tim Motzer and Anthony Tidd. Can you tell me what each of them played?
King Britt: This project brought four internationally revered musicians into the conversation with Faustin. Heru Shabaka-ra, on trumpet who has been working with the Arkestra of late, Tim Motzer, best known for his work with Ursula Rucker and his label 1k Recordings, Anthony Tidd, who is touring now with Steve Coleman and King Britt, electronic music composer and globetrotter. To have an evening with all of them in one place was magical. Luckily it was caught on recording.
PBAC: I am told that this performance was total improvisation. Did you have a particular theme or direction in mind when starting out?
KB: We all have worked together in one capacity or another. As one unit this was the first time. We are all very good at each of our instruments do the conversation was really inspired by what Faustin was doing!
I had a palette of sounds that I thought would work with the ideas that Faustin presented in conversations about the project. These were the starting point for the direction musically. Rhythmically I combined African influence into experimental electronics.
The rest was divine order.
Both Tim and Tidd work a lot with dancers as well so the dynamics coincide with Faustin. I feel that was the magic
PBAC: What would you like listeners to take away from this project?
It’s open ended and as with any art, open to interpretation based on point of view. Sonically just immerse yourself in it and let it take over.
King Britt is a Re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia Free Radical. This collaboration is part of his ongoing work with Re-PLACE-ing Artist/Thinker Faustin Linyekula. Their work will be shared again through a series of performances in April.
Re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.