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Posts Tagged ‘Julius Eastman’

Music Library Presents Julius Eastman Exhibit

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The Music Library is pleased to announce its new exhibit, Performing the Music of Julius Eastman, currently on display in the library.  A summary of the exhibit is available online at

Julius Eastman portrait

Photograph by Chris Rusiniak

The exhibit contains writings about the multi-talented Julius Eastman (1940-1990) by three musicians who worked with him in Buffalo and New York City: Jan Williams, Joseph Kubera, and Bobby Previte. It also includes text by Eastman scholar Jeff Weston about the challenges presented by the notational practices of Eastman in his scores and text by John Smigielski about the three works presented on a famous concert at Northwestern University in 1980. The exhibit also features rarely-seen photographs of Julius Eastman by former Buffalo resident Chris Rusiniak.

Eastman’s music remained in relative obscurity until recently. Renée Levine-Packer and Mary Jane Leach co-edited a collection of writings about Eastman titled Gay guerrilla : Julius Eastman and his music in 2015 and the level of attention to Eastman’s life and career has greatly increased since then. While the Music Library does not hold a single Julius Eastman collection, it does hold extensive documentation about Eastman’s career here in Buffalo and at UB, both as a Creative Associate and as a faculty member.

The exhibit complements the Burchfield-Penney Art Center’s night of Julius Eastman events  Friday, Feb. 10th.   The program of events  is listed online at: ,

New Book about Creative Associate Julius Eastman

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Multi-talented UB Creative Associate (1969-1975) and former music department faculty member Julius Eastman (1940-1990) is the subject of a new book, Gay Guerrilla: Julius Eastman and His Music (University of Rochester Press, 2015) co-edited by Renée Levine-Packer (Coordinator and Managing director of the Center of the Creative and Performing Arts 1965-1978 and author of This Life of Sounds: Evenings for New Music in Buffalo) and Mary Jane Leach. The text includes chapters by both editors, David Borden, R. Nemo Hill, Kyle Gann, John Patrick Thomas, Ryan Dohoney, Andrew Hanson-Dvoracek, Matthew Mendez, and Luciano Chessa.

Julius Eastman

Julius Eastman rehearsing Peter Maxwell Davies’s Eight Songs for a Mad King, Nov. 1 1970
Photograph by Jim Tuttle

Eastman was perhaps best known for his vivid performances of Peter Maxwell Davies’s Eight Songs for a Mad King. His performance with the Fires of London under the direction of the composer has remained in print since its release in 1971. However, there were no commercial recordings available of Eastman’s own compositions until Paul Tai and Mary Jane Leach produced the 3-CD compilation Unjust Malaise for New World Records in 2005 (including two archival recordings from the University at Buffalo Music Library).

The new book provides the most exhaustive examination to date of the many facets of Eastman’s life and career. Congratulations to Mary Jane and Renée on their collaborative effort to keep the legacy of Julius Eastman alive for a new generation of listeners, performers, and researchers.