Witness® VISION SIX : The Flow of Feeling
Going in, the theme of this Sixth Vision Festival was “A Vision Against Violence.” The glass case just inside the entrance to the Knitting Factory was filled with a few of the 400 ceramic Faces from my project CHILE NEW YORK. Beyond that, near the entrance to the main performance space was an 8-foot square photomural of an outdoor installation of Faces on a black wall at night spotlit, and Anne Humanfeld’s ziggurat conversation painting "Vapor."
On May 24th, performances began as they have each year with a Buddhist invocation to peace by Shaku Joseph Jarman, extended musically in his beautifully nuanced musical presentation with Douglas Ewart and Sabu Toyozumi. Joe Morris Trio intensified the musical mood and the David S. Ware—Rashied Ali Duo roared into major revelation.
Meanwhile, the handmade painting embodiment of music Witness® VISION SIX was being made live as Vision Festival performances extended over thirteen nights. Fifty original color pictures were made, each one 40” long. Together they unroll 170 feet in the original state. What you see on screen is a reduced selection of 23 of these images, 10 of them in color, presented here for the first time, ready to scroll out, roughly chronologically, into the long view:
A) Entrance Installation -Photo
B) CHILE NEW YORK Pit Shot -Photomural
(credit: John Begansky Jeffoto)
Vision Six Pictures continued [click to enlarge smaller images]:
1)* 6th Vision- (David S.Ware—Rashied Ali)- MAY 24
2) What You See-(Douglas Ewart,Joseph Jarman,SabuToyozumi)- MAY 24
3) Whail- (John Blum, piano—Diana Kurz, painting-projection)- MAY 30
4)* Thats-(Milford Graves Ensemble)- MAY26
5)* Dark Current—(Joe Morris Trio)- MAY 24
6) BlackMaleTango—(DaveBurrell,piano—StanleyWhitney,paintingprojection)- MAY 25
7)* Rev Wright—(Kidd Jordan, William Parker, Dave Burrell, Louis Moholo)- MAY 28
8)* Sweete—(Adam Rudolph, Hamid Drake, Fred Anderson, William Parker)- MAY 31
9)* Virginia—(William Parker, Warren Smith, Rob Brown)- JUNE 2
10) Josephine—(Other Dimensions in Music)- JUNE 2
11) Art Comes Out— (Jayne Cortez Fire Eaters)- JUNE 2
12) If Hunger Comes—(Wilber Morris, Michael Wimberly, Oluyemi Thomas, Ijeoma Thomas)- MAY 31
13)* Oluyemi—(detail of #12)
14)* Aola—(Mark Dresser, Marty Ehrlich, Andrew Cyrille)- MAY 29
15)* Hard Cell—(Craig Taborn, Gerald Cleaver, Tim Berne)- MAY 29
16) La Vie—(Cameron Brown, Sonny Simmons, Ronnie Burrage)- MAY 25
17) Just be Ready— (VISIONS Orchestra)- MAY 30
@ Orensanz Art Center:
18) Salvation—(Patricia Nicholson, ChristineCoppola-Maneri, Mat Maneri, Randy Peterson, Joe Maneri)- JUNE 6
19) Transcendance—(Charles Gayle Solo)- JUNE 7
20) Gone Too Long—(Billy Bang, William Parker, Patricia Nicholson)- JUNE 8
21)* Pyramid—(Aleta Hayes, Roy Campbell, William Parker, Hamid Drake)- JUNE 7
22)* Ready!—(Matthew Shipp, David S. Ware, William Parker, Guillermo E. Brown)- JUNE 8
23) Wedding—(Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Gerald Cleaver)- JUNE 8
(* = color image )
23 music Witness® pictures + 2 installation shots = 25 images
The Memorial Day Tribute to the late Reverend Frank Wright featured a magnificent calling of the spirit down into the room by the quartet of Kidd Jordan, Louis Moholo, Dave Burrell and William Parker. Two nights later, Fred Anderson powerfully extended the summoning, as did the direct-speaking music of Positive Knowlege spearheaded by the colorsound of Oluyemi Thomas.
On June 2nd, the last night at the Knitting Factory, poet Jayne Cortez and her crackling Fire Eaters declared to all those seeking creativity, “Art comes out when it comes Out !” and “Find your own voice and use it ! Use your own voice and find it !” She was followed immediately by the magnificent Other Dimensions in Music, by Amiri Baraka’s ferocious Blue Ark and by a sublime performance of new compositions by the Rob Brown trio stepping forward into a fresh musical space.
For the final three nights, theVisions were encouraged to expand into the lofty charged space of the Orensanz Art Center, formerly an historic synagogue on the Lower East Side. William Parker’s written words from “Document Humanum,” delivered by Patricia Nicholson, spoke of salvation, Joe Maneri’s trio sang of the nuances of sonic love and Charles Gayle’s solo, built succinctly from from the entire range of sonic possibilities in his tenor horn, soared up and out in transcendance.
In the days coming up to the 6th Vision Festival, my own personal world had had me shaking at odd moments with grief over my mother, Esther, who recently passed away. We just finished clearing out the apartment in which she had been living for over forty years. When chanting Joseph gently touched the kickoff gong vibrations that first night, spirits were invited to convene amongst us. A long caravan of poets, musicians, dancers and visual artists came from many regions to the two downtown social spaces in which we gathered. They offered us an intense rainbow-jeweled kaleidoscope of purifying fires in combination with healing balms and unguents of inspired harmonic community expression. No question, help was unavoidably on the way.
And by the last closing chord from the organic unity of Matthew Shipp, William Parker and Gerald Cleaver, a Wedding was going to take place. Beautiful Kristine was gazing across the wet colors of the last picture in the roll telling me tenderly that she and Abraham the poet would soon marry, a great blessing in Joe Maneri’s family and in the whole wide human community.
You just get up and go out and listen live. “Art comes out when it comes Out!” When it does come out, art can communicate and deliver healing transformation, survival possibilities, inspiration for a community vision of living peace.
© Jeff Schlanger, music Witness® 2001