I/O Ensemble and Chorus

I/O Ensemble and Chorus


January 19, 2020

4:00 PM-5:00 PM

Michael Conforti Pavilion

The Williams College Department of Music’s I/O Fest 2020 presents a one-hour concert of immersive music in The Clark’s Michael Conforti Pavilion, featuring Julius Eastman’s The Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc. Eastman was a legendary figure in the world of American contemporary music whose work was largely lost after his death in 1990. He was an artist of tremendous range who, as a gay, black man, sought to create new spaces for creative expression in a predominantly straight white field. Not only was he a prominent member of New York’s downtown scene as a composer, conductor, singer, pianist, and choreographer but he also performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, earned a Grammy nomination for his recording of Peter Maxwell Davies’s Eight Songs for a Mad King, and recorded experimental disco with producer Arthur Russell. In the ’80s, as Eastman descended into addiction and faced eviction and illness, his already cryptic scores were tossed away and neglected, and many disappeared. A recent flowering of interest in his music and his life has peaked alongside the discovery of previously lost recordings and manuscripts, and it is now clear that, “the canon of American contemporary music cannot be considered complete without the inclusion of Julius Eastman’s compositions.”

“What I am trying to achieve is to be what I am to the fullest . . . black to the fullest, a musician to the fullest, a homosexual to the fullest.” —Julius Eastman


Julius Eastman: The Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc (1981)
for ten violoncellos

Casey Anderson: snow (2009)
for ensemble and radios

Caroline Mallonée: Songs of Crystal (2017)
for chorus

About I/O Fest

I/O Fest is the Williams College Department of Music’s annual immersion in the music of today. Over the course of four days and nights, students, faculty, guest performers, and audiences take a deep dive into new and adventurous music from around the world and down the street. Performances, talks, and workshops are held in the ’62 Center for Theatre & Dance and The Clark Art Institute, with a special interest in unconventional spaces and creative modes of performance. Featuring renowned guest artists and performances by the I/O Ensemble, IOTA, and many others, I/O invites listeners to explore the music of now.

I/O Fest was founded in 2010 by Matthew Gold, Steven Bodner, and David Kechley.