MCA Screen: Creative Music Summit

Presented in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Talk, 1–3 pm

Flutist/composer Nicole Mitchell, violinist/composer Renée Baker, media artist Ulysses Jenkins, film scholar Jacqueline Najuma Stewart, and film producer Don DiNicola discuss historical and current intersections of music, media, and social practice. Jenkins collaborated with Mitchell for her latest work for the Black Earth Ensemble, as part of her investigative reframing of progressive movements in history through music that transmits the voices of figures such as Harriet Tubman, Octavia Butler, and Michelle Obama. Baker, founder of Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, has composed a new score for DiNicola’s restored print of the race film Body and Soul (1925) by Oscar Micheaux. Stewart convenes them in a talk that considers black film and performance culture, lost and newly discovered, how its intersections with social progress movements change our received understanding of the role of the artist, and the extraordinary ways in which African Americans have staked their claim in advancing art and culture.

Screening, Ulysses Jenkins 3–4:30 pm

Jenkins introduces selections from his works, including Cake Walk, Two Zone Transfer, and Secrecy: Help Me to Understand. Jenkins created the expressionistic video and lighting for Nicole Mitchell’s Mandorla Awakening (MCA Stage, May 2), her latest experiment of sound, color, and movement imagery inspired by Afro-futurist pioneers such as Octavia Butler.

Screening, Oscar Micheaux, 4:30–6:30 pm

Film producer Don DiNicola introduces his restored print of Micheaux’s Body and Soul (1925), which features a new score by Renée Baker. Following the premiere screening, they engage the public in discussion. The MCA premieres Baker’s chamber opera Sunyata: Towards Absolute Emptiness on May 3.