George Lewis (CRF 1998) writes on the experience of being a Black composer and the history of Black composing movements for the Times. He says, “A cone of silence hangs over the work of Black composers from Africa and its diaspora. It is not that Black men and women have not written music, but too often it has been ignored — and thus assumed not to exist at all…. The work of Black composers is more often heard if they are working in forms thought to exemplify “the Black experience”: jazz, blues, rap. However, as the composer and pianist Muhal Richard Abrams once said, “We know that there are different types of Black life, and therefore we know that there are different kinds of Black music. Because Black music comes forth from Black life.”
He mentions soon-to-be Fellow Courtney Bryan, and Civitellians Anthony Davis (CRF 2011), Tania Léon (CRF 2003), Alvin Singleton (CRF 2000), and Wadada Leo Smith (CRF 2003). Read the full piece, here.