ListN Up: Anaïs Maviel (June 12, 2020)

ListN Up is a series of weekly artist-curated playlists. Born from a desire to keep artists sharing and connected during times of isolation, ListN Up offers an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. This series is sponsored by American Composers Forum/innova Recordings with new releases every Friday on I CARE IF YOU LISTEN.

Anaïs Maviel is a sound and body based artist weaving utopia across water and lands.

Without Great Black Music, many contemporaries and I wouldn’t have means of expression or healing. I am an improviser, composer and iconoclast thanks to African American music, which not only feeds personal freedom, but also catalyzes societal transformation. In such a time, let’s deepen our listening of a culture that let the whole world warm to its fire. As musicians, curators, and devoted listeners, let’s reflect on the impact of Great Black Music on our perception of ourselves in relationship to the world. How do we reverberate the tremendous power that has been gifted to us? I am pairing each track of this playlist with a recommended reading, for people who recognize “jazz” as one of their influences. I invite you to engage with listening, without the filter of my personal stories, but of a whole web of thinking. I hereby hold space for you to hear this music with new ears, and for your intellect and independent thinking to sharpen with some literary references that resonated with me.

(Editor’s note: if you are interested in purchasing any of the titles listed below, we encourage you to support your local Black-owned independent bookstore, or a Black-owned online bookstore.)

Airmail Special (Live At The Newport Jazz Festival, 1957) by Ella Fitzgerald

Reading: Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness

The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady (Full Album) by Charles Mingus

Reading: Charles Mingus, Beneath the Underdog

Blasé by Archie Shepp and Jeanne Lee

Reading: Amiri Baraka, Blues People: Negro Music in White America

Space is the Place by Sun Ra

Reading: Graham Locke, BLUTOPIA Visions of the Future and Revisions of the Past in the Work of Sun Ra, Duke Ellington, and Anthony Braxton

Black Woman by Sonny & Linda Sharrock

Reading: Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

Mars by John Coltrane

Reading: Peter Mason, Deconstructing America: Representations of The Other

Morning Mantra by William Parker

Reading: William Parker, Who Owns Music & Conversations

Syntactical Ghost Trance by Anthony Braxton, performed by Tri-Centric Vocal Ensemble

Reading: George E. Lewis, A Power Stronger than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music

Coin Coin Chapter One (full album) by Matana Roberts

Reading: Stuart Hall, Foundations of Cultural Studies & Identity and Diaspora

Want More from Anaïs Maviel?

Read Bruce Russell’s interview with Anaïs on I CARE IF YOU LISTEN

Read Greg Nahabedian’s review of her album in the garden on I CARE IF YOU LISTEN

Learn more about Anaïs’ project in development with The Rhythm Method supported by American Composers Forum’s ACF | create program.