I celebrate women. I like women and I support the rise of their settlement into legitimate social, business and – in this case – musical positions based on merit. Strictly speaking, I suspect we will all gain from an increasing prominence of women in all our worldy affairs.
This is a ten minute video (which suffers from a visible glitch at the outset but which clears quickly) of a live performance by a group called Material, doing a song called Mantra. The group was formed under the leadership of bassist Bill Laswell, who has an amazingly eclectic history, especially considering he played with the controversial experimental guitar great Sonny Sharrock, a weird and unconventional electric guitarist. Needless to say, a favorite of mine.
Well, the dominant figures in this unusual piece are the two women – Amina Claudine Myers on the Hammond Organ and Lily Haydn on the violin. I think both ladies get more from their instruments than most of us even knew existed, I really do.
Women are making inroads into acquiring the celebrations they deserve in more creative forms of modern music. When I see what passes for (radio-played) music over the past billion years, I find a restriction of talent and of creation which, most of the time, lodges a mud ball in my brain, just with lipstick. Prepackaged stuff grates on me like nobody’s business.
In a performance such as this, we get to watch them stretch out some and be who they can be. The organ work and the violin work are two of the most creative uses of those instruments I have ever seen – and all in one concert piece!