UK cinema premiere of the Otolith Group’s latest film, an essay about the work of Julius Eastman, the queer African-American avant-garde composer, pianist, vocalist and conductor.
Sunday 25 March 2018, 14:30
Cinema One, ICA: [book here]
The Third Part of the Third Measure, The Otolith Group, UK, 2017, HD video, 43 minutes – UK cinema premiere.
Having previously shown their work at the inaugural Essay Film Festival in 2015, the Otolith Group return this year with the UK cinema premiere of their latest film, The Third Part of the Third Measure, an essay about the work of Julius Eastman, the queer African-American avant-garde composer, pianist, vocalist and conductor. From the late 1960s until his death in 1990 at the age of 50, Eastman wrote and performed compositions whose ecstatic militant minimalism initiated a black radical aesthetic that revolutionized the East Coast new music scene of the 1970s and 1980s.
No recordings of Eastman’s compositions were released during his lifetime. In January 1980, Julius Eastman was invited by the Music Department at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, to present his compositions Crazy Nigger (1978), Evil Nigger (1979), and Gay Guerrilla (1979) at the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. A number of African-American students and one faculty member at Northwestern University objected to the titles of Eastman’s compositions. These titles were redacted from the concert programme printed by the Music Department, but before the concert, which took place on 16 January 1980, Eastman delivered a public statement that responded to these objections. The speeches delivered by Dante Micheaux and Elaine Mitchener in The Third Part of the Third Measure are based on each performer’s modified verbatim transcriptions of Eastman’s Northwestern University statement.