On Episode 1 of NOTES BETWEEN SESSIONS WITH MARY EDWARDS, I’m joined by composer and piano goddess Eleonor Sandresky, who talks about her new album release, Strange Energies, her role at The Leonard Bernstein Office, sound-as-architecture and her invention called the Wonder Suit, a remote set of wireless sensors worn and used to trigger sonic events during live performance.
How do we find sound in nature? When was the first time you found sound in nature? Were you of the age where your innocence and sense of wonderment were at the dawn of endless possibilities, or were you deep enough into your years to revisit the passion that led you past the landmarks of longing, and bring you to actualizing the healing power of sound and music that speaks of the Earth?
On this of NOTES BETWEEN SESSIONS, I talk with Endless Field, a collaborative instrumental duo featuring guitarist Jesse Lewis and bassist Ike Sturm. Drawing on inspiration from nature, the duo seeks to bring an interflow of structured and improvisational music to outdoor spaces, encouraging audiences to explore their own frontiers. Their latest album, ALIVE IN THE WILDERNESS recorded in the vast expanse of Utah, was released in the Summer of 2020 on Biophilia Records. Using a solar battery-powered mobile recording studio and National Geographic photographers and videographers, they documented their epic adventure. Lending their works elemental titles like, “Moon,” “Wind,” “Creature” and “White Pond Sun,” or ushering all living beings into a meditative space, with “Prayer for the earth,” Ike and Jesse invite each of us to consider how we can collectively steward nature with our individual aptitude, and that leadership is but an interval for us to do our best work from inward, out.
Composition is a process not limited to sound and music. It extends to all disciplines of art. It embodies making…collecting…curating…remembering. It takes on the act of memorializing, even if the original form is no longer. Its energy carries on, rebirthing through its next generation.
One particular legacy of renowned sculptor, teacher and Civil Rights champion Augusta Savage, is a prodigious commission that now exists in only in photographs and other documented remembrances. My late father, William Edwards would regale our family with stories about his visit to the 1939 New York World’s Fair, and his particular fascination with the artist’s 16-foot tall visual opus, "Lift Every Voice and Sing" (also known as “The Harp,”) inspired by James Weldon and Rosamond Johnson's Black National Anthem of the same name. Augusta Savage’s own influence has cycled through generations of artists and audiences, and it seems that she is having a renaissance on this early 21st Century cultural horizon of inclusion and representation in monument.
On this episode of NOTES BETWEEN SESSIONS, I talk with Tammi Lawson, Curator of the Art and Artifacts Division of The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. This Division of The New York Public Library houses a significant collection of Augusta Savage’s papers and works, which also galvanized Ms. Lawson to collaborate with Marilyn Nelson, poet Laureate of CT, on a children’s book about Augusta Savage’s studio and home that is now a National landmark. Tammi Lawson takes us full circle, from discovering the Schomburg in our early college days, and her continued journey with others through and towards understanding Augusta Savage’s shaping of a life.
On Episode 6, Jamara Mychelle Wakefield is a Black, queer writer and creative whose performance work is cross genre, combining music, poetry, theater and improvisation to create public performance. Going outside of herself and responding to her community in Newark and its surroundings, Jamara has spearheaded a filmic effort in restoring the history of the New Jersey House Music scene. She and her team of media makers Momotv, Dan Shiver and Cano el Nene bring us what will be an important document for our times: Black House, Black Joy.(Music credits: D.J. Beloved)
On Ep. 5 of NOTES BETWEEN SESSIONS WITH MARY EDWARDS, Singer/songwriter, Ondine PM and I take a trip back to 1980 --to our junior high school days--to talk about the influences that led to her recent single, "This Time Next Year." Stream on Anchor.fm, Spotify or Apple Music.
On Ep. 4 of NOTES BETWEEN SESSIONS WITH MARY EDWARDS, Emmy-nominated composer, songwriter and sound artist, Allison Tartalia discusses use of excerpts from our U.S. Constitution interwoven with Representative Adam Schiff’s closing arguments from this year's senate impeachment trial for her latest release, IF RIGHT DOESN'T MATTER. Stream on Anchor.fm, Spotify or Apple Music.
Join me for Ep. 3 of NOTES BETWEEN SESSIONS WITH MARY EDWARDS, where composer/ conductor Dr. Sarah Weaver—whose compositions invoke dimensionality of location—discusses her latest release, SYNCHRONY SERIES, as well as her Telematic collaboration with the NASA Kepler/K2 Mission, the gestural language of Soundpainting, and her meditative poem dedicated to the late “Deep Listening” composer, Pauline Oliveros.
On Episode 2 of NOTES BETWEEN SESSIONS WITH MARY EDWARDS, singer/songwriter Lori Lieberman speaks quite candidly of her relationship with the team of Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel—creators of themes such as Barbarella, Goodbye Columbus, Love, American Style, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Angie and Wonder Woman—who at once chaperoned her into the wider musical realm with “Killing Me Softly,” on which they collaborated. They were also the key figures in her decades-long struggle to reclaim rightful origin to a song delivered with as equal authenticity by Roberta Flack, Lauryn Hill and the Fugees, and of course, Lieberman herself. We had a good old fashioned phone conversation from her home in LA to my studio in NY, where we shared laughs, tears and truths about the song that at one time symbolically kept her hiding in plain sight, but now sets her free.