The Wire


Wadada Leo Smith exhibits Ankhrasmation scores

The University of Chicago to exhibit Wadada Leo Smith’s scores

The illustrated scores of jazz trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith go on display in Chicago this month. Mounted by The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, the exhibition will feature 45 of Smith’s scores, including his first to use non-standard visual directions. Called The Bell, the latter received its debut performance on Anthony Braxton's 1968 recording Three Compositions Of New Jazz. The exhibition, Ankhrasmation: The Language Scores 1967–2015, reveals the systematic musical language developed by Smith over a period of 50 years. He coined the neologism Ankhrasmation by combining the terms Ankh, the Egyptian symbol for life, Ras, the Ethiopian word for leader, and Ma meaning mother. Other events related to the exhibition include a panel discussion with Smith, Anthony Davis, John Corbett, and Hamza Walker, and a concert with The Golden Quartet, featuring Smith, Davis, John Lindberg and Mike Reed, with live visuals by Jesse Gilbert (both on 24 October); and a Smith solo performance (25). Ankhrasmation runs in parallel to MCA Chicago’s ongoing exhibition The Freedom Principle: Experiments In Art And Music, 1965 To Now, which features one of Smith’s four-panel scores (until 22 November).

Ankhrasmation: The Language Scores 1967–2015 runs between 11–29 October. More information can be found here.

Wadada Leo Smith score - The Dream, a panel from Kosmic Music (2009)