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Matana Roberts


Matana has been commissioned for Density 2036: part viii (2021). Her new work will be premiered on December 9–11, 2021 at The Kitchen in NYC.

Matana Roberts is an internationally renowned composer, band leader, saxophonist, sound experimentalist and mixed-media practitioner. Roberts works in many contexts and mediums, including improvisation, dance, poetry, and theater. She made two records as a core member of the Sticks And Stones trio in the early 2000s and has gone on to release a diverse body of solo and ensemble work under her own name on Constellation and Central Control over the past decade. She is perhaps best known for her acclaimed Coin Coin project, a multi-chapter work of “panoramic sound quilting” that aims to expose the mystical roots and channel the intuitive spirit-raising traditions of American creative expression while maintaining a deep and substantive engagement with narrativity, history, community and political expression within improvisatory musical structures. Constellation began documenting the Coin Coin project in 2011 and has released the first three of a projected twelve album-length chapters to date, with a fourth chapter arriving this October.



Program Notes


Auricular Hearsay is a conceptual sound work that uses a mixed media framework Roberts is currently developing called “Endless Score.” The work a visual and sonic exploration of the brains of the neuro diverse. Neuro diverse brains operate in starts, stops, spurts. They never rely on a linear track, often flowing in the moment, taking risk, using improvisation as a root for inquiry and

organization of various realms of logic. Endless Score is at its foundation a sonic experiment in real time, a tool for infinite performative iteration of a set of guided sounds/instruction, not unlike the models of music restatement, theme and variation that exist within many types of music traditions worldwide, the difference here being the use of a key foundational physiological phenomena to anchor all that will be explored by composer, performer and listener in real time.

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