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Charlottesville, VA, Tomorrow Night! Musical/Poetic Collaboration "In Our Name" Based on Gitmo Detainee Writings
Days before torture memo architect John Yoo speaks at University of Virginia (protest plans), two New York artists are to present a new composition in Charlottesville built around excerpts of poetry written by prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
Composer Annea Lockwood and new music baritone Thomas Buckner will perform their latest collaboration, In Our Name, in a concert at The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative on Saturday March 13, 8pm.
In Our Name draws upon poetry by three prisoners, Jumah Al Dossari, Emad Abdullah Hassan and Osama Abu Kabir, whose work first came to prominence through the publication of 2007 anthology, Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak, edited by Marc Falkoff, University of Iowa Press.
Forbidden access to pen or paper, some of the Guantanamo prisoners wrote poetry using toothpaste or by scratching onto styrophone cups with pebbles. The US military has declared that poetry coming from Guantanamo "presents a special risk", and that allegorical imagery might convey coded messages to outside militants. But speaking to the Independent, Falkoff argued that the poems' real potency lies in the "power of words to make people outside realize that these are human beings who have not had their day in court."
Annea Lockwood is a composer and sound artist known for her use of environmental sound and life narratives, from her infamous piano burnings of the 60s and 70s to her recordings of volcanoes, earthquakes and the Hudson and Danube rivers. In 2000 Lockwood was included in the Whitney Museum's major sound art retrospective, I Am Sitting in a Room: Sound Works by American Artists 1950-2000. Her numerous compositions include Jitterbug, commissioned by Merce Cunningham Dance Company for the dance eyeSpace.
Thomas Buckner, a former student of legendary Metropolitan Opera baritone Martial Singher, and trained in the classical tradition, has for the last forty years dedicated himself to the world of new and improvised music. Along the way, Buckner has performed with many of the world's top musicians, including Roscoe Mitchell, Phill Niblock, Gerald Oshita, Borah Bergman, Wu Man and Earl Howard. More than 70 composers have created works for him, including Robert Ashley, Morton Subotnick, Annea Lockwood and Alvin Lucier.
To request more information or arrange interviews, please contact Raymond Beegle at firstname.lastname@example.org.