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EASTMAN, JULIUS: Femenine
One of the very rare recodings of Eastmanís music, recovered through dedicated research by Mary Jane Leach. Eastman was an extraordinary character, who has mostly disappeared from the record, his scores mostly lost or indecipherable, and whose recordings were few. A pianist and singer - he made an early recording of Maxwell Davisís 8 songs for a Mad King, and was a principle singer with Meredith Monk - he also conducted most of Arthur Russellís orchestra works as well as running the S.E.M. ensemble, for whom he wrote many works. He also played in a jazz ensemble and was a dancer. His compositional style was organic-minimal, often incorporating rock elements, sometimes disco, featuring accumulations of materials and varying appearing and disappearing layers. Volubly black and gay, he declined to obey the niceties, would happily call a piece Evil Nigger, seriously upset John Cage and grew increasingly dissatisfied with his creative opportunities, although they were considerable and he was abundantly talented, took to drugs, became homeless and died of a heart attack when he was 49. This piece was recorded at a concert in 1973, during which soup (made by Eastman) was served. Eastman played the piano in this ensemble of 12-15, details of which are now lost. Worth your time, I think.