Black February Screening in Minneapolis on Sept. 13 and 14

Posted in Festival Screenings with tags , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2013 by Vipal Monga

Black February will be playing at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis on Sept. 13 and 14.

f3LJSS2012The screening is part of a tribute to Butch by the Ballet of the Dolls, Ritz Theater and Open Door Music, featuring four Twin Cities-based large improvising ensembles, which have direct and indirect connections to Butch Morris’ work.

The screening on Friday, September 13 will feature performances by IMP ORK. On Saturday, September 14, the Black February screening will follow performances by Cherry Spoon Collective, Improvestra and Coloring Time.

Tickets are $15 or $25 for a two day festival pass.

You can find more information at:

Greg Tate Discusses Butch Morris and Conduction

Posted in Clips, Festival Screenings with tags , , , , on September 4, 2013 by Vipal Monga

blackstarprofileHere’s a Q&A with Black February cast member Greg Tate‘s Q&A, which followed the screening at the Blackstar Film Festival in Philadelphia last month.

Greg met Butch in the 1980s and was at Conduction No. 1 at the Kitchen in 1985.  An esteemed culture critic, icon of the Village Voice and one of the founders of the Black Rock Coalition,  Greg was moved enough by Conduction to start practicing it himself, notably as the leader of the groundbreaking Burnt Sugar Arkestra ensemble.

In the Q&A with Julia Lopez, Greg discusses Butch and the importance of Conduction.

A special thanks to Greg for heading out to the festival and sharing his insights into Butch and his work with the audience.

Black February Will Screen in Istanbul

Posted in Clips, Festival Screenings with tags , , , , , on August 19, 2013 by Vipal Monga

ImageWe’re proud to announce that Black February will screen at the 23rd Akbank Jazz Festival in Istanbul on October 1.

The festival will be paying tribute to the maestro this year by showing the film, and then on October 5 will be holding a panel about Butch and his music with his longtime collaborator and great friend Brandon Ross.

Istanbul was a special place for Butch. He lived there for two years as composer in residence at Bilgi University, and continued visiting throughout his life.

Butch played at the festival in 1992, and the performances were immortalized as Conductions 25 and 26.

Here’s a clip of Butch conducting the Nublu “Istanbul” Orchestra in 2011.

BlackStar Film Festival Aug. 1-4

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 1, 2013 by Vipal Monga

The BlackStar Film Festival starts today in Philadelphia. 

ImageBlack February will be screening as part of the festival on Saturday, Aug. 3 at the Drexel University Papadakis Auditorium.

We’re particularly excited that Greg Tate, leader of the Burnt Sugar Arkestra, renowned music critic, and dear friend of Butch, will be at the show for a post-screening Q&A.

All the details you need are on the festival’s website.

The BlackStar Festival is a celebration of cinema focused on work by and about people of African descent in a global context. BlackStar highlights films that are often overlooked from emerging, established, and mid-career directors, writers and producers working in narrative, documentary, experimental and music video filmmaking.


More from the Butch Morris Dedication Orchestra

Posted in Clips with tags , , on July 25, 2013 by Vipal Monga

Here’s another clip of J.A. Deane’s Conduction at the Konfrontationen 2013 festival in Nickelsdorf.

Butch Morris Dedication Orchestra by J.A. Deane

Posted in Clips with tags , , , on July 25, 2013 by Vipal Monga

Here’s Butch’s great friend, J.A. Deane, conducting an Improvistaion at Konfrontationen 2013, in Nickelsdorf on July 20.
Deane met Butch in New York in the 1980s, and they worked closely together on many projects.

The ensemble features Liz Allbee (trumpet), Hans Koch (bass clarinet), Magda Mayas (piano), Eric Arn (guitar), Christof Kurzmann (laptop), Hans Falb (turntables), Tristan Honsinger (cello), Joëlle Léandre (double bass), George Cremaschi (double bass), Els Vandeweyer (vibraphone), Paul Lovens (drums), Hamid Drake (drums), Tony Buck (drums)

A special thanks to Kim Smith for passing this along. She’s been great about keeping us all in the loop with the many tributes to Butch that have been happening this year.

Vinay Chowdhry Black Feb’s Cinematographer And a Clip of Butch at Lucky Cheng’s

Posted in Clips with tags , , , on July 12, 2013 by Vipal Monga

ImageVinay Chowdhry, director of photography for Black February, is profiled in the Public Engagement blog from New York City’s New School.

Vinay, a faculty member at the New School media studies department, discusses Butch’s amazing ability to pull the musical elements out of any moment:

“One of the first shoots we did for Black February was a lecture in Arnold Hall. [Morris] was speaking about Conduction, and he turned the audience of laymen into an ephemeral and other worldly sound scape with just the contents of their pockets.”

We didn’t use that footage from the shoot in the film, but the moment was priceless: Butch asked the lecture audience to take something from their pockets–pens, or paper–and use them to make sustained noises. He then Conducted those seemingly random sounds into music.

The audience was mesmerized: they finally physically understood what Butch meant by Conduction, and  got some insight into the genius that allowed him to hear music in every moment he lived.

Perhaps one day we’ll release the outtakes.

For now, check out this great clip of Butch conducting a workshop at Lucky Cheng’s in the East Village.


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