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George Lewis - Afterword

An Opera in Two Acts by George Lewis, released in 2023 on Tundra Records/New Focus Recordings. It premiered in 2015 in Chicago, and subsequently appeared in European and US venues.

The opera was created in conjunction with the exhibition The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now, as part of the 50th anniversary commemorations of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The opera presents the AACM not as a set of fixed characters and plot lines, but as an avatar for experimental Blackness itself. As the action unfolds, we witness young Black experimentalists interrogating issues of power, authority, identity, representation, culture, economics, politics, and aesthetics; self-fashioning and self-determination; personal, professional, and collective aspiration; and tradition, innovation, change, spiritual growth, death, and rebirth.

Acts and scenes

1. Act One: Prologue to Scene 1 01:07
2. Act One: Scene 1: Down South 11:55
3. Act One: Prologue to Scene 2 00:31
4. Act One: Scene 2: In Chicago 08:56
5. Act One: Scene 3: The Cemetery 07:22
6. Act One: Prologue to Scene 4 02:20
7. Act One: Scene 4: First Meeting 12:48
8. Act One: Prologue to Scene 5 00:52
9. Act One: Scene 5: Naming 03:06
10. Act Two: Improvisation: Remembrances 04:10
11. Act Two: Scene 6: Ariae 09:53
12. Act Two: Scene 7: The Split 10:30
13. Act Two: Scene 8: Death 08:41
14. Act Two: Scene 9: Departure 04:28
15. Act Two: Scene 10: Paris 09:33
16. Act Two: Interlude 05:22
17. Act Two: Scene 11: Afterword 16:01

Double CD in cardboard slipcase with booklet.


George Lewis, composer & librettist

Joelle Lamarre, soprano
Gwendolyn Brown, contralto
Julian Terrell Otis, tenor

Otis Harris, Zachary Nicol, Ninah Snipes, actor-movers

International Contemporary Ensemble:
David Fulmer, conductor
Joshua Modney, violin
Michael Nicolas, cello
Brandon George, flutes
Joshua Rubin, clarinets
David Byrd-Marrow, horn
Cory Smythe, piano
Ross Karre, percussion
Levy Lorenzo, audio engineering

Sean Griffin and Catherine Sullivan, directors

Label: Tundra Records / tun015
Artist: George Lewis
Medium: 2CD
Category: .


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