Video Premiere: Michael Malis and Kaleigh Wilder Perform We Shake With Joy

Today’s video by Matt Lima features composer-pianist Michael Malis and saxophonist Kaleigh Wilder performing Malis’ “We Shake With Joy” from Two Devotions: In Memoriam Mary Oliver.

The work is one of three compositions included in Malis’ Dualisms project, a multimedia collection of audio and video recordings, sheet music, and a limited edition zine with writings by Malis and prints of hand-carved linocuts by Zara Teicher. A digital download of the album, sheet music, zine, and prints will all be available exclusively through Bandcamp.

Here’s what Michael had to say about “We Shake with Joy:”

We shake with joy
We shake with grief
What a time these two have, housed as they are in the same body
— Mary Oliver

When I read Mary Oliver’s beautiful poem in the summer of 2019, it immediately arrested my attention. “We Shake With Joy,” featuring Kaleigh Wilder on baritone saxophone, is an ecstatic dance, spinning out a trance-like groove, morphing subtly as the tonality shifts incrementally. The piece captures a feeling of a cup overflowing; of uncontrollable abundance; of revolutionary joy.

The times that we are living through presently are dark, but not unprecedented. In the spirit of supporting black joy, black grief, and black lives, I am donating 20% of the revenue of all Dualisms album and merch sales to the Detroit Justice Center. I encourage anyone reading this message to do everything in their power to bring a greater sense of justice to our world. Black Lives Matter.

Dualisms will be releases on July 3, 2020, but you can pre-order the album now.

About Michael Malis

Michael Malis is a composer, pianist, and music educator based in Detroit, Michigan. A multi-faceted musical artist, he works across genres in improvisational, concert music, and interdisciplinary settings. His March 2020 release, Three Pieces for Piano, was praised by the Southeast Michigan Jazz Association as “thrilling music, with shifting harmonic and rhythmic qualities that require prodigious precise technique and the kind of generic versatility that few pianists achieve.” His duo project with saxophonist Marcus Elliot, Balance, has been praised as “contemporary jazz of the highest order, a benchmark for where the genre can go” (Detroit Metro Times.)

As a composer, Malis has been commissioned by Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Detroit Composers’ Project, Virago, Hole in the Floor, and others. As a pianist, he has shared the stage with such luminaries as Marcus Belgrave, Gerald Cleaver, Jaribu Shahid, John Lindberg, William Hooker, A. Spencer Barefield, Tyshawn Sorey, Ken Filiano, J.D. Allen, Andrew Bishop, Dennis Coffey, and Marion Hayden.

About Kaleigh Wilder

Kaleigh Wilder is a baritone saxophonist, bass clarinetist, and improviser based in Michigan. She performs primarily as a free improviser, but considers her artistry to be a web of connections born of her classical, jazz, improvisation, and Ghanaian musical training, alongside R&B, neo soul, alternative, and rock influences. Her most active current project is Virago, a contemporary classical and improvising quintet that blurs the line between completely notated and freely improvised music. She is also a member of Gnostikos, a genre-bending quartet of improvisers and composers that pull from various musical backgrounds, personal influences, and spiritual practices.

Wilder has performed with noteworthy musicians such as Marion Hayden, Tia Fuller, Ellen Rowe, Allison Miller, Ingrid Jensen, Andrew Bishop, Frank Moka, Cleon Edwards, and more. She has performed in Europe, Central America, West Africa, and throughout the United States, at notable festivals such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Strange Beautiful Music, and Sidewalk Festival, and at renowned venues such as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s “Cube,” Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Hill Auditorium, and Vertigo Jazz Club.