Ahead of “Coming Together,” a suite of texts and images launching online which focuses on the impact of the Attica uprising on music and politics, Blank Forms will present a May Day radio show of recordings commemorating the Attica rebellion. Celebrating the 50th anniversaries of both Archie Shepp’s Attica Blues and Frederic Rzewski’s compositions “Attica” and “Coming Together,” we will play key compositions and political recordings from the 1970s, including a rare concert of Rzewski’s Attica works featuring Julius Eastman as the reciter and Sonia Sanchez reading at the prison accompanied by incarcerated poets and musicians. Hosts Ciarán Finlayson and Lawrence Kumpf will interview Renée Levine Packer, author of This Life of Sounds: Evenings for New Music in Buffalo (Oxford University Press, 2010); Glo Harris, widow of drummer William “Beaver” Harris; Michael J. Hull, director of the film Betrayal at Attica (2021) and custodian of the digital archive of Elizabeth Fink’s Attica Brothers Legal Defense evidence collection; and Joshua Melville, son of Attica Brother Sam Melville. A full schedule with more details is forthcoming. This event was produced in conjunction with the New York University Steinhardt Department of Art and Art Professions.
Organized by managing editor Ciarán Finlayson.
Photo: A gathering of the Attica prisoners in September 1971 from the Attica Brothers Legal Defense Archive. Courtesy of the Elizabeth M. Fink Estate.