May 20, 2024

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The rich heurts of Nicole Mitchell: Video

The American flutist will be on stage at the Sons d’hiver festival on Wednesday. First female president of the AACM, jazz institution in Chicago, she advocates the virtue of collisions between urban and rural, electrical and acoustics …

Can we believe at random? In 1967, the year Nicole Mitchell was born, Roscoe Mitchell released on Delmark Sound, her first solo album. But Delmark is the label that will house years later several projects of this younger.

At the time, the elder is one of the pillars of AACM, a creative cooperative in Chicago, which Nicole Mitchell will be forty years after her founding the first female president, with the challenge “to bring new ideas into an organization. where the elders are very respected. What she will do constantly, especially in 2012 by seizing three compositions of … Roscoe Mitchell on RogueArt.

To have no family connection, the saxophonist and the flutist have none the less the same aesthetic DNA: a millimetric writing at the service of improvisation, a requirement for collective interpretation that never erases the discursive originality of each one. , a sense of dramaturgy where melodic impulses are fractured by percussive chords. This intimate connection reminds us that the history of music is thus written in a continuum that allows the transmission of values, knowledge, and their necessary reformulation. “My approach is nevertheless more spherical than linear. Whenever I create, I imagine I’m going from a different angle to the same source. “And that’s all of that, of Mingus and Ellington, of Sun Ra and Eric Dolphy, of which the music of Nicole Mitchell, a musician trained by veteran Jimmy Cheatham, then by flutist James Newtown, since she appeared in the recorded disc world. It was at the turn of the millennium, with the predestined Vision Quest, the first milestone of the Black Earth Ensemble, an orchestra with variable configuration that celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018. “I did not really want to record, but I did not have a choice: I wanted to hear all the music I wrote!”

“Key of happiness”

Ten years earlier, in 1990, the native of Syracuse had just moved to Chicago. “It was like a rebirth, I had the impression of landing on my home planet. There were many other young African-American artists, painters and writers who shared the same vision and the same way of being in the world. Chicago, in terms of black culture, is very important because there is a spirit of experimentation. Here you do not have to do things in a “certain” way. And in terms of music, the AACM has worked hard in this direction, allowing its members not to play the game as predefined, but as they see fit. Nicole Mitchell, just after the birth of her daughter in 1994, will join this organization that has always advocated community outreach, as well as preached great speeches. “The community is the key to happiness and human well-being.” It’s also one of the keys to listening to this artist whose career commands respect.

Committed to the educational field (listen to her 2013 Tedx lecture), the flutist is a leading composer. Each of his records, each of his concerts is a piece both autonomous and constitutive of the great work that builds the one that multiplies on many fronts. She can pilot ensembles as solo, a formula that she now develops with electronic equipment, incorporating improvisation in real time, echoing the program she has taught since 2010 at a university in California.

If Nicole Mitchell does not refute the concept of avant-garde, she sees the objective limits: “I feel that this qualifier has limited the scope of my music to some.” And yet: his recent record, plebiscite on the other side of the Atlantic, is undoubtedly the best advocacy of this faculty to embrace everyone, everything and its opposite, in a jubilant momentum: it creates fascinating dissonant grooves. “In Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds, I collide urban and rural, electrical and acoustics, tradition with futurism. I am fascinated by duality because I think it is our human immaturity that creates this prism of duality as a vision of the world. I think we have a lot to understand, but we’re not there yet. ”

Afro-futuristic visionary

While waiting for this hypothetical revelation that could protect us from a collapse of the world, Nicole Mitchell plays with these “different musical languages, to create a new form of coexistence”. Improvisation and writing, popular culture and scholarly music, old strings and postmodern chords, these contradictions of facade are a constant in the one that many see as an Afro-futuristic visionary. They thus feed this collection which tells the story of a couple shared between two visions of the world: one vertical, the other horizontal. By playing on this dialectical thread, she impregnates so many ancient philosophers.

Nicole Mitchell, une écriture millimétrique au service de l'impro.

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