A Triumph of Musicology

Amazingly, composer Mary Jane Leach now has all of the late Julius Eastman’s available scores up as PDFs online, including the much-rumored symphony which, in predictable Eastman style, is titled Symphony No. 2. Good luck deciphering them. There is also a cleaner, annotated score of Crazy Nigger, significantly easier to read, made by Dutch composer-pianist Cees Van Zeeland, who arranged a performance of the piece this spring. I also have in my possession my own arrangement of Gay Guerilla for nine guitars, which I would be happy to send a PDF of to interested parties. It’s an amazing musicological feat for a composer whose scores were thrown out into the street in the 1980s by the sheriff who evicted Eastman from his apartment, sending him to live in Tompkins Square Park. Those of us who mourned Eastman’s death thought none of that music would ever be seen or heard again.

On an unrelated note, allow me to point out the advertisement to the right of this page for the upcoming Hula performance at Symphony Space. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? At least click on it and look, for after a few thousand clicks I begin to make the first money I’ve made for the hundreds of thousands of words I’ve written on this blog. If enough people click, maybe I won’t end up living in Tompkins Square Park myself!
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Comments

  1. says

    The idea of digging of musicologically digging into Eastman is an idea that both thrills and terrifies me. I should take this as sign to either get in or get out.
    Also, marked me as interested in the guitar arrangement.

  2. Bg Porter says

    Is the playlist for PostClassic Radio what’s currently in the queue, or is it a list of everything ever included?
    The real question is whether I’ll hear the Julius Eastman tracks if I stay tuned in…
    KG replies: Sorry, that’s now just a list of everything I’ve ever played so far. I used to try to keep a current playlist, but it was too much work, and slowed down my work on the station.

  3. Patrick Nickleson says

    Can I be added as one of the people interested in the guitar arrangement? I’m working on a concert of music for electric guitar to perform in the winter semester.
    KG replies: I’ll put up an PDF soon.

  4. says

    Kyle – I’d like a copy of your arrangement. Do you mind if I post it as well?
    Also, does your headline imply that I’m a musicologist? ;-)
    Finally, Ellie Hisama at Columbia University is working on Julius, so hopefully the burden on me will ease.
    On a technical note, Symphony II had been xeroxed onto 24×36 inch paper, and I didn’t think I”d ever be able to scan it, to say nothing of just copying it, but a student at Bennington College, Andrew Przystanski managed to do a great job of it.
    KG replies: Hi, MJ. My headline implies that musicology is now done by composers. Heck, I just wrote 7000 words in two days about 4’33″. I’ll send you a PDF of the guitar arrangement.