June 2009

The Royal Theater1524 South Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $20 General Admission
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 (All day)

Anri Sala's Long Sorrow featuring a solo performance by Jemeel Moondoc

Jemeel Moondoc, saxophone

Please join us for Re-Sounding, a very special two-night event in conjunction with Hidden City Philadelphia, a new arts festival that brings Philadelphia's best unknown historical and architectural landmarks back to life through original works of art. Inaccessible to the public for decades, the Royal Theater on South Street - called "American's Finest Colored Photoplay House" upon its 1920 opening - will host these two nights. Both evenings feature a new work (inspired by the building's history) by Bang on a Can's Todd Reynolds and performed by Reynolds with musicians from Network for New Music with a video installation by Laurie Olinder and Bill Morrison. Each night will also feature the Philadelphia premiere of acclaimed video artist Anri Sala's Long Sorrow, which features the saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc. In addition, each event will feature a solo performance by two of the leading Free Jazz saxophonist, Jemeel Moondoc (June 10) and the Sun Ra Arkestra's Marshall Allen (June 11).

A powerful and vastly underrated avant-garde alto saxophonist, Jemeel Moondoc blends the free-form melodic thought of Ornette Coleman and the sharp edge of Jackie McLean with the sort of ferocious "energy playing" usually reserved for tenor saxophonists. Moondoc began playing piano as a child, studied clarinet and flute, and settled on alto around age 16.  He subsequently studied with Cecil Taylor at various colleges in the early 1970s. In 1972, he moved to New York, where he formed Ensemble Muntu with trumpeter Roy Campbell, bassist William Parker, and drummer Rashid Baker. The group recorded for its own Muntu label in the late 1970s, and Moondoc also led solo sessions for labels like Soul Note and Cadence through the early 1980s. However, financial difficulties forced Moondoc to break up his large ensemble (the Jus Grew Orchestra) and essentially retire from music for over a decade, working as an architect's assistant. Moondoc's career was revived in the mid-1990s when the Eremite label coaxed him into signing a deal that allowed tremendous creative leeway. In 1996, Moondoc recorded his first albums in 11 years: the studio trio date Tri-P-Let and the live Fire in the Valley (performed at the festival of the same name). 1998 brought New World Pygmies, a duo with William Parker from that year's Fire in the Valley. Next, Moondoc revived his Jus Grew Orchestra as a ten-piece and performed a set of Massachusetts concerts documented on 2001's Spirit House. Also released that year was Revolt of the Negro Lawn Jockeys, a quintet performance from the 2000 Vision Festival that was acclaimed as perhaps his finest album to date, and whose instrumentation evoked Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch.

With his films, video installations and photographs, Anri Sala explores the borders of history and geography, as seen through the eyes of marginal characters, who become accidental actors in collective dramas. A mingling of personal stories and social surveys, Sala's works are existential explorations of intimate, interwoven narratives. Colored with sudden epiphanies and visions, the works reveal unexpected and overlooked fragments of reality. For his films, Sala has used different techniques and formats, experimenting with cinematic and video techniques in order to capture the end of dreams and the fall of ideologies, while also trying to describe private histories and small tragedies. Long Sorrow was produced by the Nicola Trussardi Foundation. Hanging from the façade of a building in the suburbs of Berlin (nicknamed 'the long sorrow' by its inhabitants) the American saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc deftly performs an animated sweeping improvisation imbued with a sense of mounting tension. Part social documentary and part eulogy for architectural visionaries, Long Sorrow is a freestyle fugue on feelings and beliefs.

Along with Long Sorrow, Anri Sala has created an extensive and critically-acclaimed body of work: From the hesitation of the horse stopped at the edge of a highway in Tirana, to the portrait of a man lost among the arcades of Milan's Duomo, and from the game of light and shadow of a crab chase to the transformation of a cymbal into a stroboscopic light, and from the quiet and melancholic landscapes of airports to old Luna-parks, Sala's works flow like animated, dream-like paintings. Like faded contemporary frescoes, they bring together voices and images that connect international politics with domestic traumas and private histories.

Anri Sala was born in 1974, and lives and works in Berlin. He has had solo exhibitions in a number of international institutions including Museé de la Ville, Paris, Kunsthalle, Vienna, The Art Institute of Chicago, and Museum Boijmans, Rotterdam. Nominated for the prestigious Hugo Boss Prize (2002), and awarded the Golden Lion for the Young Artist Prize at the Venice Biennale (2001), Anri Sala has taken part in many collective exhibitions and biennials worldwide, including three participations in the Venice Biennale (1999, 2001 and 2003), in addition to invitations to the Istanbul Biennial (2003), the Berlin Biennale (2001) and Manifesta (2000). He was short listed for this year's Preis 2005 of the Nationalgalerie in Berlin (with John Bock, Monica Bonvicini and Angela Bulloch).