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DECODED Jameela F. Dallis Michaela Dwyer Bill Fick Laura S. Lieber Nathaniel Mackey


Mountain Man

Spring 2020

Laura Wagner

R. Larry Todd Brian Valentyn





An Introduction Eric Oberstein


Cosmic Prom Mountain Man


Ballet Futures Michaela Dwyer


Building Bridges Brian Valentyn

10 The Drum Never Stops Beating: Music as Resistance on Radio Haiti-Inter Laura Wagner 14 Overghost Ourkestral Brass Nathaniel Mackey 18 Beethoven's String Quartets R. Larry Todd 20 The Black Atlantic Jameela F. Dallis 22

A Stroll in the Garden: A Brief History of the Rose without Thorns Laura S. Lieber

24 Decode Bill Fick 25 Support 26 Spring Calendar 27 Footnotes

Cover illustration by Joel Peter Johnson with photography by Sarrah Danzinger, Rosalie O'Connor, Vincent Oshin.



s we approach the second half of Duke Performances’ Art Powered 2019/2020 season, we’re excited to introduce Decoded, a journal and literary platform for engagement with the artists and projects Duke Performances will present in the months ahead. Just as we aim to do in our programming, we’re excited to feature in this book a range of voices — including Duke faculty, Durham community partners, and Duke Performances staff — to delve into the people, ideas, cultures, and contexts at play in our current season, one committed to the exploration of the power of art and the simultaneous celebration of tradition and innovation. In the cover image of this book, you’ll find a crystal. The crystal has proven to be a useful metaphor for us to think about our work as a university presenting organization. Elements and qualities such as light, faces, contrast, refraction, structure, and beauty all come to mind. Through our work presenting world-class artists in a network of venues, hosting these artists for deep residency on campus and in town, and commissioning and developing new artistic projects, we are committed to a practice that, like a crystal, is multilayered and nuanced, allowing for many entry points and perspectives. The writers in this volume of Decoded exemplify some of these entry points and perspectives, and in the process, anticipate and enrich our encounters with this spring’s performances. These writers include Duke Performances staff members Brian Valentyn and Michaela Dwyer, who expertly manage our campus and community engagement efforts, and highlight our Building Bridges and Ballet Futures series, respectively. Duke English professor and renowned poet Nathaniel Mackey offers a poem, “Overghost Ourkestral Brass,” that serves as a companion piece to visiting ensemble-in-residence Imani Winds’ program, Revolutionary aka The Civil Rights Project, which we’ll present at Baldwin Auditorium in March with guest pianist Cory Smythe. Writer and educator Jameela F. Dallis connects Paul Gilroy’s landmark scholarship on “the Black Atlantic” to our weeklong music festival of the same name celebrating the African diaspora through the Americas, which we’ll present for the third year this April. Scholar Laura Wagner, archivist of the Radio Haiti Archive at Duke, provides insight on Radio Haiti, which served as both inspiration and source material for Haitian-American artist Leyla McCalla’s Duke Performances-commissioned project, Breaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever, which will premiere at the Rubenstein Arts Center in March. Duke Music professor and Beethoven scholar R. Larry Todd writes about Beethoven’s cycle of sixteen string quartets, which we’ll present in full over six concerts this spring on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, half by the Belcea Quartet in March and the second half by Quatuor Ébène in April. Duke Religious Studies professor and hymnography scholar Laura S. Lieber looks at the Virgin Mary, “the rose without thorns,” as the subject of The Tallis Scholars’ presentation on our Vocal Ensemble Series in April. And indie folk trio Mountain Man provides an open invitation to its three-night Cosmic Prom residency at The Fruit in downtown Durham in January, developed in collaboration with visual artist Nathaniel Russell. We are grateful for your support and hope you enjoy the voices and interpretations this book contains. We now welcome you to Decoded and our Spring 2020 season! Warmly, Eric Oberstein Interim Director Duke Performances 3

COSMIC PROM By Mountain Man


mong the more glorious elements of life on Earth is how our consciousness draws us to mystery and absurdity. It’s often hard to make space for the things we are striving for while grappling with constant connectivity. Cosmic Prom is a three-part exercise in bathing purely in creation. It is a reimagining of the structure and shape of musical performance, and an open-ended experiment that supports collective choice and channeling joy. Cosmic Prom will occur inside an unassuming building; and yet, this building may be more akin to an everexpanding charmed tent in the wizarding world of Harry Potter or to Mary Poppins’ bottomless carpet bag than to what you’d typically find when entering a music venue. Cosmic Prom is a transformative happening at The Fruit in downtown Durham: a beautiful, blank canvas of space, where the cavernous echoes of its emptiness and unassuming nature invite wild invention, imagination, and collaboration. In this case, the collaborators are the three-headed witch monster of the band Mountain Man, known independently as Amelia Meath, Molly Sarlé, and Alex Sauser-Monnig, along with forward-looking visual artist Nathaniel Russell: an imaginative maker of things whose body of work addresses our age’s existential angst, superbly bending it through a prism with whimsy, humor, and delight on its faces. Expect water sounds, seaweed, mystery, deep green and blue light, three-part harmony, shifting tones, corners filled with the idea of sand, jokes, purple feelings, unexpected encounters with neighbors, friends and strangers, and interpretive dance — inspired by trees or power lines, if there is an aversion to rapid movement. There will be a strong focus on inviting inner freaks to be outwardly expressive during a collective unclenching of metaphysical fists. And everyone is welcome. Mountain Man is the indie folk trio of Amelia Meath, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, and Molly Sarlé.

Illustration by Joel Peter Johnson Drawing by Nathaniel Russell

Mountain Man Friday, January 17 thru Sunday, January 19 | The Fruit 4


BALLET FUTURES By Michaela Dwyer


here is a moment that happens often in ballet class when, guided by the instructor, students turn from the semi-private world of barre exercise toward the mirror. “I want all of you to try this”: it’s the cue that bends the class’s energy from individual correction toward collective learning. On a Wednesday afternoon this past October, for ten Durham Public Schools dance educators, that pivot happened vis-à-vis a strategy passed on by Johanna Butow, former American Ballet Theatre (ABT) dancer and current educator through ABT’s training division. “Place fingertips lightly on the shoulder and have the lower arm parallel to the floor,” Butow instructed. The teachers, now students, produced the shape, trying tendus with their upper limbs bent into semicircles instead of the usual elongated downward slope. For a classical ballet dancer, this adapted arm placement encourages a straight back and posture. But an understanding of alignment — not only what it looks like, but also how it feels in the body — also trains dancers toward a state of perpetual readiness: a present-tense centering in space, whether studio or stage or street, that allows them to extend a foot or bound into a leap. Talking about the future of ballet means tapping into its unwinding present. Within this season’s Ballet Futures initiative and the second of Duke’s three-year partnership with ABT, Duke Performances programmed a series of complementary visits by a handful of ballet companies that represent a range of ways of moving within, around, and beyond the world of the classical art form. Onstage, audiences will see the elegant geometric arrangements of Alonzo King LINES Ballet, BalletX’s contemporary-leaning verve, and the Trocks’ formidable marriage of comedic play and technical rigor. The 12 members of ABT’s pre-professional Studio Company mold themselves into monumental shapes in collaboration with dance theater choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland. And over five days at the Durham Performing Arts Center, ABT’s Main Company — led by star principals including Misty Copeland — swing through the paces of the ghostly romantic masterwork Giselle.


But what’s revealed when we peel back the proscenium? (Not only what it looks like, but also how it feels in the body). Duke Performances’ artist residency programming, which takes place between studio and stage and street (or classroom, or sculpture garden, or downtown bar), aims to draw, and insist on, the connection between ballet and everyday life. Acknowledging this continuum means rigorously attuning to the ways in which historical, political, and cultural structures and systems shape the art form’s scope and accessibility — and, indeed, its onstage image. It is within these contexts that we can hear choreographer Alonzo King discuss how his upbringing within a circle of civil rights activists in Georgia informs his commitment to creative practice. Workshopping her piece with the ABT Studio Company, Stefanie Batten Bland asks public observers to instruct the teenage dancers to inhabit the shapes of notable physical monuments; a moment of seemingly low-stakes audience participation — a first for many of these young dancers — becomes a microcosmic examination of current contested sites. Organized in tandem with Duke Dance and African and African American studies professor Thomas F. DeFrantz, a multidisciplinary “queer happening” will herald the arrival of the Trocks, charting a trajectory from the troupe’s half-century of drag ballet to emerging choreographers’ efforts to queer ballet’s canon (or abolish the canon entirely). Public talks place artists in conversation with community leaders, practitioners, and academics. An ongoing series of visits by ABT instructors like Johanna Butow bring Duke and Durham dancers into the same studio, and, this year, Durham dance educators in contact with ABT’s pedagogical approach. These engagements also function as exchanges. They pivot around a central question: What brings us toward this art form, and what repels us against it? As a lifelong dancer, I have my answers. As a performing arts worker facilitating this series — and as someone who often hears and holds others’ reflections on this topic — I reframe, and rephrase, these answers into further inquiries. Do organizational initiatives aimed at deepening ballet’s commitment to racial equity, women’s empowerment, and socioeconomic consciousness hold promise for meaningful change? How can dance criticism lend depth, nuance, and accountability to these shifts? What would it take for me to feel truly comfortable — physically, emotionally — in a ballet class? The questions become a desire, a demand: I want ballet to be a site of questioning, a site of openness. Our hope is that Ballet Futures serves as a container for inquiry, interrogation, and celebration. This is why you’ll find a plural “future” within the title of this yearlong programmatic emphasis on ballet: not to summarize, but rather to gesture toward the art form’s complexity, and to acknowledge that the investigation is necessarily incomplete and ongoing. We carry it forward, and sideways. I think, here, of the Durham Public Schools teachers in class with their arms curved like the shape of a flattened sunset: a mnemonic device, but also a new horizon line. They’ll take this pedagogic trick back to their classrooms and adapt it for their particular students’ needs. They’re the holders and distributors of kinetic memory and invention, passing on and building, with their young students, a ballet we haven’t yet imagined. Michaela Dwyer, a dance and performance critic, is Community Engagement Coordinator at Duke Performances, where she develops and facilitates artist residency projects, including this season's Ballet Futures initiative.

Photo-illustration by Joel Peter Johnson Photography by Gabriel Bienczycki

BalletX Friday, January 31 & Saturday, February 1 | Reynolds Industries Theater American Ballet Theatre Studio Company with Stefanie Batten Bland Saturday, February 15 & Sunday, February 16 | Rubenstein Arts Center Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (The Trocks) Saturday, February 22 | Carolina Theatre of Durham American Ballet Theatre Giselle Thursday, March 26 thru Sunday, March 29 | DPAC




espite the strong Islamophobic undercurrents that have been circulating in US politics since the 9/11 attacks — and not just on the far right — the idea of a “Muslim Ban” seemed unimaginable before 2015, when the anti-immigration rhetoric at the core of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign legitimized for many Americans the typecasting of an entire religion. Signed as part of an executive order on January 27, 2017 and upheld in a 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court, the Travel Ban (as it is officially known) barred nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country. To date, it has separated over 15,000 US citizens from their spouses and children.


While the Trump administration has denied the racially discriminatory intent of the ban, the president has made little attempt to veil his feelings on this topic: take his suggestion earlier this year that four Democratic congresswomen of color, two of them Muslim, and all but one of them born in the United States, “go back” to their countries. A narrow majority of Americans agree that these statements are worthy of condemnation. But it is less clear how we navigate, as individuals, the ever-widening “red-vs-blue” divide that continues to drive a wedge between neighbors, coworkers, and family members throughout the country. How do we find connection with fellow Americans — folks with whom we might disagree — without reducing them to adversaries? Does art have a role to play in this search for shared understanding, connection, and healing? It was against this polarized social and political backdrop that Duke Performances launched a three-year initiative entitled Building Bridges: Muslims in America in the spring of 2017. A collaboration with the Duke Islamic Studies Center and Duke Middle East Studies Center, the project was conceived as an experiment in both presenting and community building. Through weeklong artist residencies and multi-day visits to local public schools, it has put a wide range of US-based Muslim artists into sustained contact with the Duke and Durham communities, fostering dialogue and respect around Muslim culture. Over the past three seasons, Building Bridges has chipped steadily away at the widespread perception of Islam as a monolithic, ideologically unified entity, showcasing for over 3,000 members of our community the aesthetic, cultural, and geographical diversity of the Muslim world. It has brought artists working across a range of genres — from jazz and hip-hop to indie rock, Iraqi maqam, and “East-African retropop.” And it has fostered robust discussions in public forums, classrooms, and intimate community spaces, including workshops with Durham-based nonprofits Girls Rock NC and Blackspace. All of these exchanges have touched in some way on the burden of marginalization, whether rooted in religion, race, or gender. They have addressed the challenges, but also the unique rewards, of having to navigate a hybrid cultural identity, both in life and in art. As Sudanese-born Alsarah, the first artist to participate in the series, reflected, “There is this constant pressure to perform your culture, and to try to justify your music within a cultural paradigm.” Instead, she insisted on the need for immigrants and others of diverse cultural backgrounds to reject this typecasting and learn to navigate their identities in “multiple lanes.” “There’s this weird conversation that’s happening right now that I don’t think is very productive,” mused Brother Ali, the iconic Muslim-American hip-hop artist based in Minneapolis, during his weeklong residency in Spring 2019. “People who want to be down with us — and also some Muslims who don’t know our religion very well — are promoting this idea that the most strict, authentic, fundamental way of practicing Islam means that you can’t sing and you can’t dance, and that you’re this joyless creature, and that the moderate Muslims, the Muslims who ‘don’t take their religion very seriously’... are the best members of a Western democratic society. And I vehemently reject that idea. There’s just no nuance in that.” For Ali, such attitudes reflect a basic misunderstanding of the Islamic tradition, central to which have always been the virtues of “truthfulness, honesty, dignity, respect, compassion, tenderness, generosity, mercy, courage, and love.” Although responsive to broader political currents, Building Bridges never had an overt political agenda — nor did its partners believe a single initiative of this kind could overcome deeply ingrained societal prejudices, which long precede the current administration. Yet in practice, Building Bridges has been a testament to the power of art to forge an emotional, human connection between performer and audience. It has affirmed how the vital confluence of religious and cultural influences alive in these artists’ work, far from being incompatible with “Americanness,” embodies the dynamism, diversity, and boundless innovation that have long defined this nation of immigrants and made it great.

Brian Valentyn is Manager of Campus & Community Initiatives at Duke Performances, where he works with faculty and community partners to develop over 100 artist residency events annually. He has overseen the Building Bridges: Muslims in America project since 2018.

Illustration by Joel Peter Johnson

Gnawa LanGus Thursday, February 27 | Motorco Music Hall 9



reaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever is a multidisciplinary performance commissioned by Duke Performances, set to new music by Haitian-American singer-songwriter Leyla McCalla. It draws inspiration from Radio Haïti-Inter, the archive of which resides in Duke’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. (The title of McCalla’s performance refers to the violent silencing of the free press by those who wished to deny or conceal the information they reported.) Radio Haïti-Inter was Haiti’s first and most prominent independent radio station, and the first station to broadcast the news, investigative reporting, and in-depth interviews in Haitian Creole. The station was also a place where writers, poets, and playwrights performed their work; where painters and sculptors explained their craft; where Vodou adherents spoke of the sacred arts and the drumbeat; and where musicians played and recorded their songs. When Jean Dominique inaugurated Radio Haïti-Inter in 1971, he launched a political project. “That project was embodied by a single word, which I unleashed upon the ears of the pen-and-ink set, the intellectuals who read and write the big books: haïtianité,” Dominique explained to Michèle Montas, his wife and professional partner, who interviewed him for a special anniversary broadcast in 1991.1 “That project was to find our fundamental culture, our identity, that which makes us ourselves.” Dominique had been dismissed from his post as an agronomist and imprisoned in 1958, after his brother Philippe was killed in an attempt to overthrow François “Papa Doc” Duvalier. No longer able to work as an agronomist, Dominique became a journalist, but his passion remained with Haiti’s rural farmers and others who had long been excluded from power. Jean-Claude Duvalier succeeded his father in 1971, claiming to be more tolerant of human rights activism and free speech. But this “tolerance” was conditional, a ploy to ensure that foreign aid — particularly from the United States — would continue to flow. Though members of the independent press took some cautious steps forward during the early years of Duvalier fils, they could still pay with their lives if they were too critical of the regime. They had to be indirect in their resistance to the Duvalier government and his paramilitary forces, the Tontons Macoutes. “Don’t forget, in 1968, ’69, ’70, at the end of François Duvalier and the beginning of Jean-Claude, the problems facing the country were very difficult: the problem of Macoutes, the problem of all the European and American powers who were descending on the country, supposedly to provide aid. But everyone understood, everyone suspected, that that ‘aid’ would help us lose our essence,” Dominique continued in the 1991 anniversary broadcast. “In 1971, I wanted to focus on that disappearing essence, on the loss of national identity as a result of international aid. But I couldn’t say those things directly. I had to speak of those things andaki” — in veiled or coded ways. “That’s why, when I focused on haïtianité, it was a way for me to tell Luckner Cambronne, for me to tell Luc Désir, for me to tell Jean Valmé: ‘be careful! You’re selling the country.’” Cambronne, the Minister of the Interior, was infamous for selling Haitian blood and cadavers to medical schools in the United States. Désir, the chief of the secret police, kept one hand on his Bible and the other on his Uzi. Valmé, the Port-au-Prince police chief, would personally order the violent arrest of Radio Haiti’s journalists on November 28, 1980.



Political resistance and music have long gone hand-in-hand in Haiti, from the traditional Vodou drums and chants to the mizik angaje (engaged political music) that catalyzed opposition to the Duvalier regime in the 1970s and 1980s.2 Haiti’s peasant farmers sing chan pwen, “pointed” folk songs filled with coded mockery of powerful and repressive authorities.3 During Lent, rara processions allow poor people to “remember history, create publicity, and negotiate power under conditions of insecurity.”4 Urban bann a pye (street bands) perform politicized critique of the Haitian government and the international community during the Carnival season.5 Through music, Radio Haiti’s journalists could say what they could not say directly. In 1980, they set to music a text by Radio Haiti’s poet-journalist Richard Brisson, lamenting the plight of Haitian migrants at sea: dan reken pi dous pase kacho prizon (“the shark’s teeth are gentler than the prison cell”). Brisson would be executed by the Duvalier regime two years later. They played angaje music by the New York-based Atis Endepandan, whose songs conveyed messages that artists in Haiti did not have the freedom to sing. (Some of McCalla’s compositions for Breaking the Thermometer are inspired by Atis Endepandan songs.) In the 1991 anniversary broadcast, Radio Haiti played the chorus of the Atis Endepandan’s “Dodinen”: Dodinen monkonpè, w a dodinen. M a rale chèz la, w a va kase ren w (“Rock in your rocking chair, my friend, keep rocking. I’m gonna pull out the chair from under you, and you’ll go tumbling down”), and recalled how they used to play the song during the time of the dictatorship. “Do you remember, Jean?” asked Michèle Montas. “Sometimes when we received those songs from the dyaspora, saying things that we couldn’t say ourselves — sometimes we had to take out a line, or two words, three words, because otherwise we couldn’t play them. Do you remember that?” “Oh! I remember!” Dominique replied. “When I’d leave the post office, with the records tucked under my arm, I’d run to the studio, I’d lock the door, and I’d play the songs to see how I could use them in the Sunday InterActualités Magazine broadcast. But then I’d stumble across a line — woy! a line where they were point-blank accusing the Macoutes, pointing the finger directly at the river of blood that was Duvalier’s black-and-red flag. I’d say, ‘No way, I can’t play that, they’ll arrest me.’ When that happened, I’d have to take out that line. The struggle was an andaki struggle.”6 Radio Haiti’s theme songs also reflected Haitian national culture. They played a refrain by Haitian guitarist Amos Coulanges, “Nan fon bwa,” in their cultural program Entre Nous — a melody that McCalla echoes in Breaking the Thermometer. Many of Radio Haiti’s original jingles were based on folk songs. The station’s main theme, Toutes les nouvelles du monde entier, sur Haïti-Inter, et sur Haïti tout entier! (“All the news of the world, on Radio Haiti, and about all of Haiti!”) came from the melody of “Grenadye alaso,” a traditional song of resistance. “That’s what I thought haïtianité could represent, starting with those little songs,” Dominique explained. “But don’t forget: those little songs were battle songs, they allowed us to ascend the slopes of Vertières and the cliffs of Charrier, these are the songs that Comrades Charlemagne [Péralte] and Benoît Batraville sang in the Central Plateau, these are the songs the Haitian people have never forgotten, under the perestil, these songs filled with stories and riddles and combat strategies… All of that was part of haïtianité.”7 Radio Haiti continued to use music after Duvalier fell in 1986, through Haiti’s never-ending democratic transition, years filled with new and old forms of repression. They played songs by angaje singer Manno Charlemagne, who, in his rich and gravelly voice, drew on Haitian proverbs to describe the strength of the Haitian people: N ap lite tout lavi kont tout vye dan pouri ki kwè n sa bannann mi (“We have been fighting all our lives against those rotten teeth who believe we are nothing but soft ripe bananas”). After Dominique and station employee Jean-Claude Louissaint were slain in 2000, the station regularly played a song by the Vodou house Sosyete Grandra to call out the climate of impunity: Anvan ou touye mwen, fò w jije m sèt fwa (“Before you kill me, you must judge me seven times”). It is fitting, then, that Breaking the Thermometer, a performance by Leyla McCalla, a Haitian-American artist with activist roots, has emerged from the Radio Haiti Archive. For Radio Haiti, music was national identity, resistance, and a way to denounce and outwit the forces, from within Haiti and from abroad, that sought to exploit, crush, and destroy the Haitian people. “That’s the message contained in the songs,” Dominique declared. “That’s the message contained each beat of the drum. And that is why, on Radio Haiti, the drum never stops beating.” Laura Wagner was the Radio Haiti Project Archivist at Duke from 2015 to 2019. She has a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, and is the author of Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go (Abrams, 2015), a novel about the 2010 Haiti earthquake.


Illustration by Joel Peter Johnson Yo Touye Jando by Maxan Jean Louis

Leyla McCalla Breaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever Wednesday, March 4 thru Friday, March 6 | Rubenstein Arts Center 13

OVERGHOST OURKESTRAL BRASS —“mu” two hundred fourteenth part— We came to where tolls were to be paid, allegorical it seemed, Piers Plowman and the like had nothing on us. Love’s wayward hand hugged our hips it could’ve been said. There was getting to be more of a rapport. We were God’s trombones or God’s trumpets, unclear which. We blew intervals that reenacted the Fall, so hollow we were, skid and scree all bellow and bell. We were the Drop Choir, the Heartbreak Church again. We made it make itself up out of strain, striving, subsist on extenuation, not a broken song no matter it sang breakage… We gave it a righteous, get-right sound, a reverend sound, heuristic horns feeling out our prospects, heartbreak brass. We played pretty against playing pretty. To hear us was to be said goodbye to, to be told we were going, soon gone, to be privy to deathbed regrets. One sat bolt upright hearing it, yet another clime, another clinic, suspect inside body under scrutiny, we blew unassured of our next breath. We were living inside but close to outdoors. Winged insects crawled around inside our house, rummage our resources though we might or though we did, all that was ours at risk. We were imagining ourselves, pinching ourselves, not sure we were awake, the band we’d have been, pumped high, Heliopolis’s pitch… But we were not a band or we were a band in mind only, the best kind Andreannette said, a pretend band, make-believe brass, an Aladdin’s lamp we rubbed. We blew as the box dictated. Something we were gotten to by was on the box, the box that would foliate our book, be our book, a fine something we’d’ve one day learned to play •


Our way lay ahead, an open book. We had come to the tolling place, allegorical it only seemed. Toll was what bells did. We declared what we were not saying, said again and again we were not saying this or saying that, the chime of which rocked our jaws, rang like sirens, an ocean of champagne to our left, water with sun glint. We would work without looking up we told ourselves, in but not of it, not Nubbites, beautiful though the coast was, offshore brass ventriloquial, offshore salting our throats‌ We were farming, eyes on the ground in front of us, brass bells had they been silver no distraction, our feet slapped at by artichoke leaves. A low ride, a slow roll, had taken us there, toll to be other than it was what took us, rub and reconnoiter the book we were enlarging, aleatory tap’s kismet



We were saying what we were not saying, not saying what but by elimination. We were not Nubbites nor were we Nurians. Our whatsay said as much… In it but not of it, we knew too much. Sheaves of wheat were bales of cotton were bundles of rods, a recessed choir caroling the wrong rule of the world we brought brass against, would-be brass our diluvian bequest. Birdseed cracked our teeth as we blew… Benedictory bells chimed faintly behind us. Crackling blew, the horns’ breakdown our thought piece, what there was of what there would be



We crackled. Crackling said say fell short, we crackled. Cracked birdseed stuck to our lips that were now beaks, beaks that were suspect brass‌ In from offshore we crept, bugling taps, Lone Coast fog a shawl whose cover we moved under. Parrots and parakeets, ibises and herons, a conference of the birds crackling blueness, blown toll, the band’s own emic bay

Nathaniel Mackey is the author of many books of poetry, fiction, and criticism. His most recent book of poetry is Blue Fasa (New Directions, 2015). Forthcoming from New Directions in 2021 is Double Trio, a three-book set from which the poem in this issue is taken.

Imani Winds & Cory Smythe, Piano Revolutionary aka The Civil Rights Project Saturday, March 21 | Baldwin Auditorium




omposed between 1798 and 1826, a span of not quite three decades, Beethoven’s sixteen string quartets have continued to exude their magic over the rich traditions of Western chamber music for now approaching two centuries. When Beethoven arrived in Vienna from Bonn in 1792, to receive, according to his patron Count Waldstein, Mozart’s spirit from Haydn, the young musician strove to establish himself as a pianist in order to gain entrance into the salons of the aristocrats who were the principal arbiters of musical taste in the Imperial city. But chamber music was never far from his mind; one of Beethoven’s treasured possessions was a matched set of string instruments from Prince Carl Lichnowsky, and Beethoven himself was an experienced violist, having played during his youth in the court orchestra of Bonn. It was just a matter of time before he tried his own hand composing for the genre of the string quartet — well established by the end of the century in European court culture, owing largely to the efforts of Haydn, who produced nearly four score examples of the genre, and Mozart, whose roughly two dozen quartets included a masterful set of six dedicated to Haydn. We know that the young Beethoven diligently copied out their quartets for detailed study, and not surprisingly, his earliest foray into the genre, the six quartets of op. 18 (1800), dedicated to Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz, drew heavily upon the models and forms of his predecessors. For the German poet Goethe, a well-crafted quartet was like an enlightened conversation between four rational participants, in which all could equally participate in the shifting dynamics of the music. Beethoven seems to have taken this metaphor to heart in op. 18, as he sought to assimilate the high Viennese classicism of the late eighteenth century. Be that as it may, op. 18 still anticipates Beethoven’s later determined rupture from the classical mold, intimated by his increasing tendency to position strategically dramatic interruptions in his scores that now and again mar their classical veneer, and to juxtapose sharply contrasting styles of music. Thus, in op. 18 no. 1, we find a deeply felt slow movement in a tragic vein, possibly inspired by the tomb scene in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, followed immediately and paradoxically by a rhythmically shifting, whimsical scherzo, which supplants the older, more dignified minuet and complicates the deeper emotional layers of what proceeded. Sometime around 1803, Beethoven was reported to have announced his intention to seek a “new way” forward in his music. He was now suffering from a progressive deterioration of his hearing, an affliction that by 1815 would leave him totally deaf. The five middle-period quartets, including the three dedicated to the Russian ambassador to Austria, Count Razumovsky — op. 59 (1808), op. 74 (the “Harp,” 1809), and op. 95 (“Serioso,” 1810) — dramatically reflect the external realities of the times, wracked as they were by the devastation of the Napoleonic wars, but they also turn increasingly inward, suggesting the intimate struggles of a composer confronting the loss of the one sense, in which, he lamented, he should have been whole. One result was that the stylistic discontinuities of the middle-period quartets challenged Beethoven’s audiences more and more. Critics found them difficult to comprehend, even if the appeal of the Razumovsky Quartets was enhanced by Beethoven’s use of Russian popular melodies (one of which Musorgsky later featured in the Coronation Scene of his opera Boris Godunov). In the case of op. 59 no. 1, after playing its scherzo, which begins with nothing more than a stubborn repetition of a single pitch, the cellist Bernhard Romberg threw his part on the floor and trampled it. The “Serioso” Quartet in F minor, which unfolds in four decidedly “serious” movements only to conclude with an utterly deflating, if ironic, coda in F major, drew from Beethoven the comment that he intended the piece for connoisseurs, not for public consumption. In effect, Beethoven had upturned Goethe’s polite, rational conversation of equals: the string quartet


genre now plumbed the interior world of the composer, the very depths of the human psyche, with all its unpredictability. The final phase for Beethoven was to enter the extraordinary and arguably irrational world of the five late quartets, opp. 127, 132, and 130 (dedicated to Prince Galitzin), together with opp. 131 and 135 — all composed in short order, in 1825 and 1826. The “Great Fugue,” originally conceived as the finale of op. 130 but released separately as op. 133, because of its scope and monumentality, must also be included on this list. Here, in the final years of his life, the heart and mind of the composer worked in tandem to generate unprecedented music of searing autobiographical intensity and abstract compositional logic, pointing the way to a transcendental, romantic language of pure tones. It was the ultimate Beethovenian paradox. On the one hand, this was music of a deaf composer that called out for words (the expressive cavatina of op. 130; the “Sacred Song of Thanks of a Convalescent to the Deity in the Lydian Mode” as the interior midpoint of op. 132; and the sphinx-like “Difficult Decision,” for the finale of op. 135). On the other, the late quartets also tested musical logic by returning to the chess-like patterns and combinations of cerebral counterpoint (e.g., using a fugue to open op. 131; incorporating a chorale fugue in the “Sacred Song” of op. 132; and compiling a compendium of fugal artifices in the “Great Fugue,” so dissonant and ahead of its time that Stravinsky later celebrated it as a work of contemporary music). Few of Beethoven’s contemporaries embraced the challenges of the late quartets; rather, it remained for the following generations to come to terms with them. Though traces of op. 130 did turn up as early as the finale of Schubert’s last piano sonata (1828), the quartets from the 1830s and 40s of Mendelssohn, his sister Fanny Hensel, and Robert Schumann were arguably among the first to attempt to absorb the idiosyncrasies of the late style. During the nineteenth century, none of Beethoven’s successors matched his output in the genre, though Dvořák was able to write fourteen; like Schumann, Brahms produced only three. Debussy, a “musicien français” who eschewed a reliance on Austro-Germanic traditions, wrote only one, though admittedly, it used cyclic thematic techniques between its movements that ultimately derived from Beethoven’s precedent. On the other hand, in the last century, several composers wholeheartedly took up the question, posed by Schubert shortly before he died in 1828, as to what, if anything, was left for them to write after Beethoven’s op. 131. Modernists endeavored to find answers. The Second Viennese School of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern, while abandoning tonality, continued to cultivate the string quartet. The six quartets of the Hungarian Béla Bartók are now often regarded as constituting a cycle worthy of Beethoven, and several other modernists were conspicuously prolific in the genre, including Milhaud (eighteen, of which two were designed to be performed either as quartets or together as an octet), Shostakovich (fifteen), Elizabeth Maconchy (thirteen), Villa-Lobos (seventeen), and Peter Maxwell Davies (ten). In 1972, the American George Rochberg, a confirmed serialist and composer of seven quartets, committed a controversial volte-face by reviving tonal triads in his Third String Quartet, alluding in a neo-romantic idiom directly to Beethoven’s late quartets, as if to bridge the wide historical gulf separating Rochberg from the 1820s. And finally, the ever-provocative Karlheinz Stockhausen, who dreamt since childhood of flying, realized a new vision of “transcendental” music in his Helicopter String Quartet (1995), in which the four musicians are airborne in as many helicopters, and, having escaped the gravitational pull of the earth, perform a kind of ethereal music which even the visionary Beethoven likely could not have imagined. R. Larry Todd is Arts & Sciences Professor of Music at Duke University, and co-author, with Marc Moskovitz, of Beethoven’s Cello: Five Revolutionary Sonatas and Their World (Boydell & Brewer, 2018).

Belcea Quartet, Beethoven Cycle Friday, March 13 thru Sunday, March 15 Baldwin Auditorium

Quatuor Ébène, Beethoven Cycle Friday, April 24 thru Sunday, April 26 Baldwin Auditorium




n 2020, Duke Performances will present its third annual Black Atlantic festival welcoming distinct musicians from the Congo to Colombia. The voices, sounds, influences, and instruments hold history, invoke memory, sustain tradition, and illuminate the threads that connect us all. We are reminded of the resilience and genius of the African diaspora, and the people impacted by transatlantic routes past and present. What is the Black Atlantic? Published in 1993, scholar Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic significantly impacted cultural studies and how we think about the African diaspora, hybridity, and the relationship between Africa, Europe, and the Americas. He proposed a culture simultaneously African, European, American, Caribbean, and Latin American that transcends racial, ethnic, and national categories. Gilroy, the 2019 recipient of Norway’s Holberg Prize, writes that the history of the Black Atlantic “yields a course of lessons as to the instability and mutability of identities which are always unfinished, always being remade."1 The Black Atlantic is as dynamic and expansive as the ocean that connects Africa, the Americas, and Europe. The Black Atlantic is theoretical, physical, and generative. It is a site where new diasporic identities are born and evolve. This generative nature extends to the realm of music. Gilroy explains that “the history and practice of black music point to other possibilities and generate other plausible models."2 The music of the Black Atlantic transmits and riffs on centuries-old sonic traditions and gives performers space to imagine all that is possible. Genre explodes and bleeds into new spaces. New sounds emerge that tie us to a reality where black people — black philosophy, black art, black innovation — have always been a part of modernism, shaping what came before and what will come after. Black Atlantic Music: Hybridity and Journeys through Sound and Spaces Music with origins in the Black Atlantic tells a story of hybridity and the resilience, ingenuity, and influence of the black diaspora. Take danzónes, Cuba’s national dance. Its history is a Black Atlantic narrative. Many Haitians and French colonists fled to Cuba after the Haitian revolution and brought the contradanza — a popular, European dance music. Contradanza led to danza, and from danza, danzón was born. Danzón continues to evolve, but much of its original form — informed by both West African and European styles, instruments, and rhythms — remains. Then there is Joropo — a genre birthed in the Orinoco River plains of eastern Colombia and western Venezuela — which blends Andalusian, Indigenous American, and African music styles. The Joropo-playing Colombian band Cimarrón incorporates maracas, a harp, a cuatro guitar, an Afro-Colombian tamboro, an Orinoco ocarina, and its stomp dancing speaks to what Gilroy terms the “inescapable hybridity and intermixture of ideas” that informs the Black Atlantic.3 Congolese rumba, an unexpected combination of words, tells the story of movement and musical influence from the Caribbean to the African continent. By way of Cuba, rumba came to the Congolese basin in the 1930s and ’40s and blossomed in the 1950s and continues to evolve to this day. Another Americasinfused genre is benga. Born on the shores of Kenya’s Lake Victoria in the 1950s, benga is the result of Luo musicians adapting traditional dance rhythms and instruments like the lyre (nyatiti) and fiddle (orutu) for the acoustic guitar.


Feminism and the Black Atlantic Music is connective tissue. It supports innovation while protecting history, memory, and heritage. With its rhizomatic roots, the music of the Black Atlantic knits together disparate bodies into an amalgam of potential and inspiration. The late, great Toni Morrison knew that “you can range all over the world and [music’s] still black."4 In an interview with Gilroy, Morrison declared: Black Americans were sustained and healed and nurtured by the translation of their experience into art above all in the music. That was functional… My parallel is always the music because all of the strategies of the art are there. All of the intricacy, all of the discipline. All the work that must go into improvisation so that it appears that you’ve never touched it. Music makes you hungry for more of it. It never really gives you the whole number. It slaps and embraces, it slaps and embraces. This movement — this “rang[ing] all over the world” — is essential to conceptions of the Black Atlantic, and throughout history, it has been easier and more acceptable for men to travel, roam, and move freely throughout the world while women are often still expected to inhabit and manage the domestic realm. Many scholars have pointed out the lack of female and feminist representation in Gilroy’s text. Yet, the role of women and feminism in the realm of the Black Atlantic is important to consider because of the movement Black Atlantic suggests. In Difficult Diasporas: The Transnational Feminist Aesthetic of the Black Atlantic (2013), Samantha Pinto introduces Trixie Smith’s 1924 blues hit, “Freight Train Blues.” Smith’s lines, “When a woman gets the blues, she goes to her room and hides / But when a man gets the blues, he catch a freight train and rides.”5 Pinto reminds us that while many working-class black women were constrained to “domestic and private spheres, the blues as a commodified skill set gave black women performers the ability to literally travel, to break the very dichotomy that the song’s lyrics suggest."6 Thus, music has the potential to open doors and collapse boundaries for women in ways that other professions may not. An artist such as Sona Jobarteh embodies the spirit of Smith’s boundary-crossing lyrics. Born in London to a prominent Gambian griot family, Jobarteh bears the distinction of being the first female virtuoso of West Africa’s twenty-one stringed harp, the kora. In West African tradition, only the offspring of griot families are permitted to play the kora professionally, and then it is only the men, as the craft has passed from father to son for seven hundred years. Jobarteh broke tradition and at four years old began learning the kora from her brother. She later attended London’s Royal College of Music where she studied Western classical music and orchestral composition. Now, internationally renowned for her ethereal voice, graceful playing, and compelling compositions, Jobarteh, who sings in Mandingo, honors both her ancestral homeland and breaks gendered barriers. She infuses revolutionary, feminist energy into an age-old tradition. The Black Atlantic continues to evolve. It is a space of iteration where known categories are disrupted and new possibilities are created. When Duke Performances presents its third annual Black Atlantic festival in April, it presents the possibilities of a culture rooted and mobile, specified and infinite. Jameela F. Dallis is a writer, artist, and educator with a Ph.D. in English. Her publications range from dance reviews to book chapters on Gothic literature.


Sona Jobarteh | The Gambia/UK Monday, April 6 | Motorco Music Hall

David Virelles | Cuba/USA Tuesday, April 7 | Motorco Music Hall

Cha Wa | USA Wednesday, April 8 | Motorco Music Hall

Etienne Charles Creole Soul | Trinidad/USA Thursday, April 9 | Motorco Music Hall

Cimarrón | Colombia Friday, April 10 | Motorco Music Hall

Orchestre Les Mangelepa | Kenya/Congo Saturday, April 11 | Motorco Music Hall 21

A STROLL IN THE GARDEN: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ROSE WITHOUT THORNS By Laura S. Lieber According to Ambrose of Milan, the Church Father who lived in the fourth century (over a millennium before English composer Thomas Tallis), roses first grew in the Garden of Eden, and those first roses were entirely without thorns. Only after Adam and Eve disobeyed God and were expelled from the Garden did these blossoms acquire their prickly defenses. Rose blossoms, with their beauty and aroma, serve as enduring reminders of Paradise, even as roses’ thorns remind us that Paradise has been lost. According to Ambrose, the Virgin Mary is “the rose without thorns”: born free of Original Sin, she was free of the thorns — the sins — that had pricked humankind since Eve ate from the apple. Over the centuries after Ambrose, Mary’s association with the rose grew stronger and people found new ways to express the symbolism. In the twelfth century, cathedrals came to include a rose window at the end of a transept or above the entrance, dedicated to the Virgin. A century later, according to tradition, Saint Dominic instituted the Rosary, a series of prayers to the Virgin (prayed using beads which may be made of or scented with rose petals), named for the garlands of roses worn in heaven. As Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1153) wrote, “Eve was a thorn, wounding, bringing death to all; in Mary we see a rose, soothing everybody’s hurts, giving the destiny of salvation back to all.” The rose, of course, possessed rich and evocative symbolism centuries before Ambrose linked it to the Virgin Mary. Among the Greeks, the five-petaled rose was a symbol of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, while among the Romans it became associated with both Venus and the goddess of spring, Persephone. The Roman funerary festival of Rosalia or Rosaria, sometimes called dies rosationis (“day of rose-adornment”) was celebrated in early summer (usually in May); graves and memorials would be decorated with garlands of roses (or, alternatively, violets), in part because of the association of blood and blossoms in Greco-Roman tradition, such as the legend that roses bloomed from the blood of Adonis — a mythical figure whose name, related to the Hebrew for “Lord” (adon), indicates his Semitic roots. Roses thus became associated with heaven and the afterlife in Christianity, and red roses specifically symbolized martyrs. By the sixth century CE, we have records of celebrations of a “Day of the Roses” — a descendant of the Roman Rosalia — among the mixed Christian and nonChristian population of Gaza. For all its rich history of symbolism in the Greco-Roman world, the rose is not a common flower in the Hebrew Bible. Indeed, the Bible does not mention flowers often — thorns are a far more common symbol. This relative lack of floral imagery makes the sensual imagery in the Song of Songs (also known as the Song of Solomon or Canticles) that much more striking. In the Song, the female speaker compares herself to a rose: “I am a blossom of the Sharon, a rose (or: lily) of the valley” (Song 2:1), a self-image which her lover affirms: “like a rose among thorns, so is my darling among the maidens” (Song 2:2). The woman also compares other women to roses, imagining her rivals as a kind of garden in whose midst the male lover has roamed and sampled: “My beloved is mine and I am his, he who browses among the roses” (Song 2:16; see also Song 6:2-3). Finally, both lovers compare parts of their bodies to roses: the woman describes her lover as having “lips like roses, dripping flowing myrrh” (Song 5:13); and, just as suggestively, the male lover tells his beloved, “Your belly is a heap of wheat, hedged about with roses” (Song 7:3). The rose, with its thorns, appeals to the senses of scent, sight, and touch, and is not limited to a single sex — or to virgins. In post-biblical Jewish sources, the rose often symbolizes the people of Israel, and while the thorns symbolize hostile nations. It is striking that the Zohar (“the book of Splendor”), the central work of medieval Jewish mysticism, opens with an explication of Song 2:2, “Rabbi Hezekiah opened his discourse, ‘It is written, “Like a rose among thorns” — Who is the rose? That rose is the Assembly of Israel.’” Among Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Middle Ages, the rose (with its thorns) was a potent symbol of love — its ephemeral pleasures and hidden


pains. Poetry emerging from these traditions can often challenge the distinction between the “secular” and the “sacred,” as poets often playfully blur the boundaries between the God they worship and the mortals they desire. An entire genre of “flower poems” emerged in medieval Andalusia, written in Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic, and Arabic; these works in turn shaped the European tradition of the troubadours and the Christian courts of Europe, including their music and art. It seems likely that roses themselves — and what might be termed “rosegarden culture” — found their way into the European landscape along this pathway from southern Spain. The famed gardens of al-Zahra and al-Hambra, and the broader Mediterranean world, held the seeds, both real and metaphorical, for the transmission of the rose blossom and its rich tradition of symbolism. Thomas Tallis’ song, “Ave, Rosa Sine Spinis,” participates in a long tradition of flower poetry, which, in the Christian tradition of hymnody, tends to focus on Mary, herself an object of love and desire. Ambrose of Milan in the fourth century and the poet Coelius Sedulius, writing a century later, both composed hymns celebrating Mary as the “antidote” to Eve: Eve, through sin, endowed the rose with thorns; Mary, born in and giving birth to the essence of purity, offered a thorn-free image of redemption. The bloom of the rose represents the triumph of life over the suffering and doom of mortality’s thorns. Tallis’ hymn, growing from the soil of early Christianity and nourished by the inspiration of medieval tradition, now brought to Durham by Duke Performances, represents a distinctive blossoming of this imagery in the arts. From the third century of the common era to the present day, the symbolism of the rose endures and inspires. Examples abound. In the Jewish imagination, floral poetry lives on in the lyrics of “An Evening of Roses” (erev shel shoshanim). This popular song’s lyrics are written in modern Israeli Hebrew set to a Middle Eastern (mizrachi) melody; every line resonates with allusions to the Song of Songs, and the sacred and secular blur together. The Moroccan Arabic folksong, “The Young Rose” (al-warda as-sghira), likewise employs the symbolism of rose and thorns, applying them to a human love affair that is ending. It opens, “It’s all over now — you’ve grown thorns; it’s done, and you’ve forgotten my goodness.” In western Christianity, “floral poetry” lives on, as well; the imagery abounds in contemporary Gospel songs, country music, and bluegrass ballads. Of all “modern” works, however, the lyrical poem “Rosa Mystica” by the Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) perhaps offers the finest book-end to Ambrose of Milan, our first Christian rose-poet; here the first, fourth, and final stanzas are quoted: The rose in a mystery, where is it found? Is it anything true? Does it grow upon ground? — It was made of earth’s mould but it went from men’s eyes And its place is a secret and shut in the skies. In the gardens of God, in the daylight divine Find me a place by thee, mother of mine. Tell me the name now, tell me its name. The heart guesses easily: is it the same? — Mary the Virgin, well the heart knows, She is the mystery, she is that rose. In the gardens of God, in the daylight divine I shall come home to thee, mother of mine. Does it smell sweet too in that holy place? — Sweet unto God, and the sweetness is grace: O Breath of it bathes great heaven above In grace that is charity, grace that is love. To thy breast, to thy rest, to thy glory divine Draw me by charity, mother of mine. Here, as in Ambrose, we find Mary identified as her signature flower: “She is that rose.” A maiden in the Garden, her breath is that of heaven and her touch brings only healing and relief. As we stroll with Hopkins, we glimpse a bit of paradise, and we encounter only the lovely grace of heavenly scent and tender petals, and are spared the familiar, painful prick of the thorn. Laura S. Lieber is Professor of Religious Studies at Duke University, and author of A Vocabulary of Desire: The Song of Songs in the Early Synagogue (Brill, 2014).

The Tallis Scholars Rose Without Thorn Wednesday, April 22 | Baldwin Auditorium 23

DECODE By Bill Fick




rom contemporary ballet to Muslim-American hip-hop — and from celebrated Beethoven compositions to the premiere of a newly commissioned piece inspired by the archives of a former radio station in Haiti — Decoded is a testament to the variety and breadth of the work Duke Performances presents throughout our season. Whether your interest lies in jazz, chamber music, theater, or dance, Duke Performances is here to help you discover something new — or enjoy something familiar — in a dozen venues, grand to intimate, on campus and in town. Unlike a one-night tour stop, artists visiting Duke Performances are often in residence for days or weeks beyond the performance itself. Our artists spend significant time engaging with both Duke and Durham to offer context on their work and expert training on their craft — and in this season alone, we’re proud to be coordinating over one hundred distinct artist residency events that directly enrich the life of our campus community and vibrant city. When Duke Performances brings world-class artists to Durham, we rely on philanthropy to help us provide more meaningful opportunities for our constituents to engage with these visiting artists. None of the artistic endeavors chronicled and interpreted in this journal would be possible without the generous support of our donors — organizations and individuals just like you. As Jameela F. Dallis wrote in “Black Atlantic,” “Music is connective tissue.” Thank you for supporting Duke Performances in our mission to connect our community at Duke, in Durham, and throughout the region to the world’s finest artists. To give a gift to Duke Performances, please visit supportdukeperformances.org



Chamber Arts Series #4 St. Lawrence String Quartet & Anne-Marie McDermott, Piano Saturday, January 25 Chamber Arts Series #5 Doric String Quartet Saturday, February 8 Chamber Arts Series #6 Belcea Quartet, Beethoven Cycle Friday, March 13 thru Sunday, March 15 Chamber Arts Series #7 Calefax Reed Quintet Saturday, April 4 Chamber Arts Series #8 Quatuor Ébène, Beethoven Cycle Friday, April 24 thru Sunday, April 26


Piano Recital Series #3 Jan Lisiecki Friday, January 31 Piano Recital Series #4 Seong-Jin Cho Sunday, February 23 Piano Recital Series #5 Nelson Freire Friday, April 3 Piano Recital Series #6 Igor Levit Saturday, May 16


Vocal Ensemble Series #4 Chanticleer Faith of Our Fathers Friday, March 6 Vocal Ensemble Series #5 The Tallis Scholars Rose Without Thorn Wednesday, April 22


BalletX Friday, January 31 & Saturday, February 1 American Ballet Theatre Studio Company with Stefanie Batten Bland Saturday, February 15 & Sunday, February 16 Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (The Trocks) Saturday, February 22 American Ballet Theatre Giselle Thursday, March 26 thru Sunday, March 29



Sona Jobarteh | The Gambia/UK Monday, April 6 David Virelles | Cuba/USA Tuesday, April 7 Cha Wa | USA Wednesday, April 8 Etienne Charles Creole Soul | Trinidad/USA Thursday, April 9 Cimarrón | Colombia Friday, April 10 Orchestre Les Mangelepa | Kenya/Congo Saturday, April 11


Still Dreaming with Joshua Redman, Ron Miles, Scott Colley & Dave King Friday, February 14 Mary Halvorson Code Girl Friday, May 1


Gnawa LanGus Thursday, February 27


Jeremy Denk, Piano & Stefan Jackiw, Violin Ives Violin Sonatas with New York Polyphony, Voices Friday, January 17 Mountain Man Cosmic Prom Friday, January 17 thru Sunday, January 19 Curtis Symphony Orchestra with Osmo Vänskä, Conductor & Jonathan Biss, Piano Thursday, February 6 Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin Beloved Baroque Saturday, February 15 Wye Oak JOIN Friday, February 28 Leyla McCalla Breaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever Wednesday, March 4 thru Friday, March 6 Imani Winds & Cory Smythe, Piano Revolutionary aka The Civil Rights Project Saturday, March 21 Ciompi Quartet featuring Molly Morkoski, Piano Songs, Games & Messages Sunday, April 5 Zakir Hussain Thursday, April 16 Lila Downs Tuesday, May 5

FOOTNOTES The Drum Never Stop Beating: Music As Resistance On Radio Haiti-Inter By Laura Wagner | Page 10-13 1. “Emisyon espesyal: 56 zan Radyo Ayiti.” Radio Haiti Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. 2. Averill, Gage. A Day for the Hunter, a Day for the Prey: Popular Music and Power in Haiti. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997. 3. Smith, Jennie. “Singing Back: The Chan Pwen of Haiti.” Ethnomusicology 48, No. 1 (Winter, 2004): 105-126. 4. McAlister, Elizabeth. Rara! Vodou, Power, and Performance in Haiti and Its Diaspora. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002: 6. 5. Kivland, Chelsey Louise. “On Rituals of Governance: An Inquiry into the Performative Logic of Sovereignty, Sparked by the Contemporary Practices of Bann a Pye in Bel Air, Haiti,” Journal of Haitian Studies 15, no. 1/2 (2009): 318-332. 6. “Istwa Radyo Ayiti, Emisyon espesyal 56 zan, Jean L. Dominique.” Radio Haiti Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. https://repository.duke.edu/dc/radiohaiti/RL10059-RR-1224_01 7. The Battle of Vertières was the decisive final battle of the Haitian Revolution, upon the hillside of Charrier in northern Haiti, in November 1803. Charlemagne Péralte and Benoît Batraville were two leaders of the Cacos, guerrillas who took up armed resistance against the US occupation of Haiti and were executed by the US Marines in 1919 and 1920. A perestil is a Vodou temple.

The Black Atlantic By Jameela F. Dallis | Page 20-21 1. Gilroy, Paul, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 1993), xi. 2. Ibid., 77. 3. Ibid., xi. 4. Ibid., 78. 5. Qtd. in Pinto, Samantha, Difficult Diasporas: The Transnational Feminist Aesthetic of the Black Atlantic (New York: New York University Press, 2013), 2. 6. Ibid., 2.


D U KE PERFORMAN CE S STAF F Jamila Belk / Business Manager 919-660-3356 / jamila.belk@duke.edu Maggie Brandt / Development 919-660-3314 / maggie.brandt@duke.edu Suzanne Despres / Director of Artist Services & Production 919-660-3379 / suzanne.despres@duke.edu Michaela Dwyer / Community Engagement Coordinator 919-660-3374 / michaela.dwyer@duke.edu Joel Peter Johnson / Art Director 919-660-3371 / joel.johnson@duke.edu Sibyl Kemp / Artist Services & Engagement Coordinator 919-660-8121 / sibyl.kemp@duke.edu King Kenney / Marketing Director 919-660-3348 / king.kenney@duke.edu Eric Oberstein / Interim Director 919-660-3359 / eric.oberstein@duke.edu Brian Valentyn / Manager of Campus & Community Initiatives 919-660-3175 / brian.valentyn@duke.edu


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Decoded: 2020 Duke Performances Spring Arts Journal  

An annual academic and literary journal of arts presented by Duke Performances.

Decoded: 2020 Duke Performances Spring Arts Journal  

An annual academic and literary journal of arts presented by Duke Performances.