Julius Eastman Anthology
Wild Up’s Julius Eastman Anthology is a portrait and response to one of our favorite composers. It is an ongoing GRAMMY® nominated multi-volume recording project and a series of performances, dialogues, and public programs, launched in 2021. We’re delving deep into Eastman’s oeuvre as we explore his inimitable compositions and idiosyncratic ways of communicating musical ideas.
Something about the identity and presence of Eastman’s music engages us and makes us obsessed. It’s music that lives in the minds of audiences unlike anything else Wild Up has performed. With this Anthology, we are discovering how to carry his music and ideas forward.
Eastman sometimes gifted copies of his musical scores. Now, over three decades since his death, his work is being regifted by those whose lives he touched. For us, to play Eastman’s music is to feel we are in, of, and visiting his world simultaneously. Though the band worked with scrupulous care to realize this project, part of the joy of performing it is accepting that Julius Eastman’s precise intentions for these elusive scores will always remain a mystery — just a little out of reach. Still, in the frenzied ecstasy of performing his work, we feel a little more alive, a little more connected, and a little more free. And by embarking on this anthology, we endeavor to carry this freedom forward.
The recorded performances reflect a blend of strict adherence to Eastman’s specific instructions with an embrace of individual and collective decision-making within the ensemble, a continuous three-way conversation between Eastman, our individual performers, and the group as a whole.
Julius Eastman Vol. 3: If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?
Releases June 2023
With Julius Eastman Vol. 3: If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich? Wild Up creates three new versions of Eastman’s compositions, with each delving into entirely different stylistic modes of composition. From the brutal ascending chromatic clusters, of brass, winds, and voices in If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?. Through the stark 60’s Avant-Garde in this first recording of The Moon’s Silent Modulation. To the elation of his organic music masterpiece Evil N– led by brilliant pianists Devonté Hynes and Adam Tendler. We see Julius Eastman at his utmost depth. His most massive. His essential.
Andrew Tholl, violin
Adrianne Pope, violin
Mona Tian, violin
Rachel Iba, violin
Andrew McIntosh, viola
Linnea Powell, viola
Derek Stein, cello
Mia Barcia Colombo, cello
Jonathan Richards, bass
Marlon Martinez, bass
Erin McKibben, flute
Michael Matsuno, flute
Breana Glicher, oboe
Archie Carey, bassoon
Brian Walsh, saxophones / clarinets
M.A. Tiesenga, saxophones
Shelley Washington, saxophones
Pat Posey, saxophones
Patrick Shiroishi, saxophones
Amy Sanchez, horn
Danielle Ondarza, horn
Drew Ninmer, trumpet
Jonah Levy, trumpet
Mattie Barbier, trombone
William Roper, tuba / animal bones
richard valitutto, piano
Matt Cook, percussion
Sidney Hopson, percussion
Jodie Landau, percussion / voice
Anna Schubert, voice
Laurel Irene, voice
Molly Pease, voice
Chloe Vaught, voice
Eliza Bagg, voice
Catherine Brookman, voice
Odeya Nini, voice
Sharon Chohi Kim, voice
Fahad Siadat, voice
Saunder Choi, voice
James Hayden, voice
Scott Graff, voice
Devonté Hynes, piano / leader
Adam Tendler, piano / leader
Christopher Rountree, conductor / artistic director
Produced, recorded and mixed by Lewis Pesacov
Engineered by Lewis Pesacov and Clint Welander
Assisted by Harriett Tam
Recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders and United Recording
Mixed at Ahata Sound
Mastered by Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering, Los Angeles, CA
Album Designer: Andrea Hyde
Website Designer: Traci Larson
Cover Photo: Christine Rusiniak
Session Photos: Glen Hahn
Executive Producer: Elizabeth Cline
Production Associate: Glenna Adkins
- 04.21.2023 The Music of Julius Eastman: Femenine
- 04.22.2023 The Music of Julius Eastman: Chamber Music
- 04.22.2023 The Music of Julius Eastman: Buddha
Julius Eastman Vol. 3 Release Party
Los Angeles, CA More Info
A Portrait: Julius Eastman
National Gallery Washington, DC More Info
Wild Up plays Julius Eastman’s Femenine
Segerstrom Center for the Arts Costa Mesa, CA More Info
Julius Eastman’s Buddha (LP Release Show)
all day long 2220 Arts + Archives, Los Angeles, CA More Info
Femenine: Julius Eastman + Wild Up
The Broad Los Angeles, CA More Info
Julius Eastman: Femenine
University Musical Society Ann Arbor, MI More Info
About Julius Eastman
Julius Eastman (1940-1990) was a composer, conductor, singer, pianist, and choreographer. A singular figure in New York City's downtown scene of the 1970s and 80s, he also performed at Lincoln Center with Pierre Boulez and the New York Philharmonic and recorded music by Arthur Russell, Morton Feldman, Peter Maxwell Davies, and Meredith Monk. “What I am trying to achieve is to be what I am to the fullest," he said in 1976. "Black to the fullest, a musician to the fullest, a homosexual to the fullest.”
Eastman was young, gay, and Black at a time when it was even more difficult to be young, gay, and Black. He swerved through academia, discos, Europe, Carnegie Hall, and the downtown experimental music scene. And in 1990, at age 49, Eastman died in Buffalo, New York, less than a decade after the New York City Sheriff’s Department threw most of his scores, belongings, and ephemera into the East Village snow.
Eastman's music shines like a retroactive beacon to today’s musical creators. Any term used to characterize today’s musical landscape — “genre-fluid” or the like — was anticipated by Eastman decades before. Yet, he was punished for being ahead of his time, both in the treatment of his music and, tragically, his person. Eastman’s music flowed freely from — and through — his myriad influences and was terribly served by the musical infrastructure of his day. In our unique approaches to Eastman’s work, we’re pushing ourselves to work in dialogue with the composer’s creative impulses, channeling his individualistic spirit, augmenting the pieces with our ideas and concepts, and trying to stay true.
About Wild Up
Called “a raucous, grungy, irresistibly exuberant … fun-loving, exceptionally virtuosic family” by Zachary Woolfe of the New York Times, Wild Up has been lauded as one of classical music’s most exciting groups by virtually every significant institution and critic within earshot.
The GRAMMY® nominated ensemble was started by Artistic Director Christopher Rountree, his vision of a group of young musicians that rejected outdated traditions and threw classical repertoire into the context of pop culture, new music, and performance art. In 2020, the group celebrated 10 years of bringing people together around the belief that no music is off limits, that classical music concerts can defy convention and address the need for heart-wrenching, mind-bending experiences.
Over the past decade the group: accompanied Björk at Goldenvoice’s FYF Fest; premiered David Lang and Mark Dion’s “anatomy theater” at LA Opera; played the scores to “Under the Skin” by Mica Levi and “Punch Drunk Love” by Jon Brion live with the films at L.A.’s Regent Theater and Ace Hotel; premiered hundreds of new works including: a new opera by Julia Holter at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, new pieces from avant-pop icon Scott Walker and celestial loop-maker Juliana Barwick at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the West Coast premiere of Ragnar Kjartansson’s “Bliss” a 12-hour epic at REDCAT during the LA Phil Fluxus festival. They played a noise concert as fanfare for the groundbreaking of Frank Gehry’s new building on Grand Avenue and First Street in downtown L.A.; toured the country with their original projects “Future Folk,” and ”We the People;” championed the music of Julius Eastman; and founded the solstice series “darkness sounding.” They held residencies at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Colburn School, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, National Sawdust, and the Hammer Museum, and taught at dozens of educational institutions across the U.S.