Matana Roberts

Coin Coin Chapter Three

4 NOV 2016
Upper Stage
50 minutes
An innovative audio-visual performance for voice, saxοphone, loops, and digital images. A new reading of African-American history by a true avant-garde artist.
Full price: 20 €
Reduced, Friend & Small groups (5-9 people): 16 €
Large groups (10+ people): 14 €
People with disabilities & Unemployed: 5 €
Companions: 10 €
Composer, performer, and improviser, Matana Roberts is one of the most important artists of contemporary Avant Garde. Her work uniquely brings together a strong sense of her African-American identity, with a wider range of influences from the innovative artistic scene of North America. 
Chicago-born, Roberts is self-taught and has worked in music and mixed media. A member of the renowned jazz and avant-garde Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, she later relocated to New York, where is currently based. She has been a fellow of such institutions as Brecht Forum, Copeland, ICASP and Van Lier. However, she credits her main training to free arts programs in the American Public School System. Working in many contexts and mediums, her writing is composed of many layers. She made two recordings as a core member of the group Sticks and Stones. She has released a wide range of solo and ensemble work, and has worked with poetry, theatre, and dance (Merce Cunningham). Coin Coin could be considered as her ‘life work’, for which she is best known.

A multi-chapter work, Coin Coin is inspired by a legendary figure of African-American history. A freed slave (nicknamed Coin Coin), she organized an exceptional community in Louisiana, in which many years later Roberts’ grandfather was raised. The three instalments of Roberts’s planned 12 recordings have been released by the independent company Constellation (Godspeed You! Black Emperor): namely, Gens de couleur libres (2011), Mississippi Moonchile (2013), and River Run Thee (2015). In this work, she creates a rich musical tapestry consisting of acoustic recordings, texts, electronic effects, while the song and the saxophone voice a response. According to Robers, her last album is mainly vocal; its experimental structure is characterized by an unflinching use of narrative.


Matana Roberts: saxophone, voice, electronics and video

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Friday 4 November
After-performance talk with Matana Roberts
Moderated by Eric Lewis, Director of IPLAI (Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas), Professor of Philosophy at McGill University

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