Listening to Philip Cohran and the Artistic Heritage Ensemble in the shop right now. I can’t begin to express how artists like Cohran, and the general orbit of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) has affected my art practice and how I approach, not just the conception of Beyond Repair, but my life in general.
In my first, and pretty much only, year of college I was fortunate enough to have Archie Shepp as a professor. I could go on all day about the many ways, artistic and political, that Archie changed my life. But for the sake of this post, I’ll say, were it not for him I might not have known about the AACM, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Muhal Richard Abrams, or Philip Cohran, among many others.
How does an art practice change when you purposefully attempt to skirt the boundaries of formalization, of economy, of notions of excellence that often create hierarchies that devalue individual and social life? And how does such an art practice begin to, however slightly, begin to change its surroundings and associations?
The influence of the work of the many folks in league with the AACM have, among others, allowed me to see where that can take you and what it can achieve over time. You may not make a lot of money. And likely people will think you’re a bit crazy, or stubborn, but things change. People change. New worlds become visible.