Combining polyrhythmic layered electronics with contemporary classical percussion, Jlin has been a whirlwind of innovation in the musical landscape throughout the past years. But Jerilynn Patton never struts too far away from organic, classical sounds: that’s why the Dutch Ragazze Quartet and the Grammy-winning, Chicago-based percussion outfit Third Coast Percussion bring Jlin’s tracks to the world of chamber music. First, the Ragazze Quartet will perform Little Black Book, originally commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, followed by the world premiere of Jlin’s Summon for string quartet and percussion.
After that, Third Coast Percussion will perform a 7-piece suite entitled Perspective. The composer herself can be heard in the grand finale of the event: a live set featuring selected works from Akoma (The heart): a performative installation she will craft together with visual artist Florence To.
The American electronics pioneer is currently entering the ‘art world’. For example, Jlin’s work was featured last year at the Venice Biennale and she recently laid the foundation for her new album Akoma at the illustrious The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), one of the world’s most renowned centers for the creation of contemporary art that appeals to the imagination. Composer Remy Alexander talks to Jlin about her music and tonight’s program.
A video playlist of four cross-genre artists whose work grounds Jlin’s practice and serve as deep wells of inspiration: jazz singer Eartha Kitt, soul-funk singer Curtis Mayfield, classical composer Igor Stravinsky, and director Wong Kar-wai.
A performance by Jlin recorded in the remarkable Met Cloisters at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in July 2021 as part of ‘Sonic Cloisters’: a series of site-specific electronic music performances created specifically for digital platforms.
Jlin has long been inspired by movement, and has created new compositions in collaboration with legendary choreographers Wayne McGregor (2017) and Kyle Abraham (2021). Explore excerpts from these collaborations, as well as the music video for Jlin’s Carbon 7 (161) featuring an explosive original dancework from performer-choreographer Corey Scott-Gilbert.
“Jlin can get lumped into the blurrily defined genre of electronic dance music, but if you try to dance to some of her work, you might tear a ligament.”
“Jlin says she doesn’t think about the dance floor when she’s composing. ‘What I’m looking at is movement — and movement can be anything for me: [it] can be the way a woman moves her arm, the way a man blinks his eyes… One of the movements that I’ve seen that inspired me [is] from the movie Memoirs of a Geisha — when she first became a geisha and it was her premiere performance. When I saw that, I remember making ‘Carbon 12.’ That did something to me.’
(Phil Harrell for NPR)
Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth
Choreographed by Kyle Abraham
Autobiography – Company Wayne McGregor
Choreographed by Wayne McGregor
Carbon 7 (161) – Black Origami
Directed by Joji Koyama // Choreographed by Corey Scott-Gilbert
Jlin’s seven-movement composition Perspective was written for acclaimed percussion ensemble Third Coast Percussion and is featured on their GRAMMY®-nominated album Perspectives (on Cedille Records). TCP will perform Perspective in its entirety at Birds of Paradise. TCP writes:
“The process to develop Jlin’s Perspective highlights the specialized skills of the artists involved. Jlin composed each of the seven movements as electronic tracks, without any use of music notation. She then shared these sonic renderings with the ensemble members, who set about creating a version of these movements that they could perform live as a quartet. Diving into each of the tracks, the percussionists found a beautiful complexity—myriad stems in each track, unexpected patterns, and outrageous sounds. While some of TCP’s versions follow Jlin’s original creations on a note-by-note basis, others reimagine them in ways that the composer herself enjoys.”
In this in-depth interview, Third Coast Percussion’s David Skidmore interviews Jlin about her artistic work and the process of creating Perspective.
Akoma is a West African symbol that derives from the Asante (or Ashanti) peoples of modern-day Ghana. The symbolism of Akoma represents endurance, understanding, tolerance, and intention. The literal translation is “the heart”. Akoma is one of many Adinkra symbols widely used in the traditional fabrics, and historic architecture in Ghana.
“Akoma is a symbolic presence of heart and drum, a rebirth that is rarely seamless, embarking on a journey through multiple realms and spaces. We are collaborating on a rhythmic conversation in which sound and light will create a resonance that absorbs and brings energy into the space. This constant motion of expression leaves moments of delicate shifts while exhibiting modes of control and unpredictability. Balance, erraticness, and fluidity require a consistent state of patience while working against the counterbalance of instability. The installation performance is a creation of intentional action and loss of flow, maintaining a balance similar to how human bodies raise questions about which rhythms we want to keep hidden.”
Jlin & Florence To
Here’s an audiovisual teaser of Akoma, a brand-new live audio visual project by Jlin and spatial designer Florence To. Jlin will preview tracks from Akoma at Birds of Paradise.
A wide-ranging playlist curated by Jlin for Apple Music listeners featuring the tracks that serve as Jlin’s “everyday anthems” – spanning hip-hop, jazz, classical, experimental electronic, and more.