joe henderson

Black Music Matters, Volume Two: Multiples

Joe Henderson multiplies, Bobby McFerrin medicates, Machado Mijiga jams for the beach

If you’ve been following Fear No Music’s season, you probably caught Amelia Lukas playing solo flute music by a quartet of Black composers last week. Lukas has been performing fearlessly on FNM shows for years, and we consistently enjoy her sensitive, emotive, virtuosic approach to the often gnarly contemporary classical world that FNM specializes in. So it was unsurprising that her livestream performance on March 1st (recorded in an endearingly empty Alberta Rose Theatre) was some of the best modern classical I’ve heard in awhile.

My favorite of the four was by Dr. Carlos Simon, and although you can’t hear Lukas’ performance of it (those livestreams expire after 48 hours), you can hear it performed by the flutist who commissioned it, Dr. Brice Smith. According to Smith, here’s what Simon has to say about his 2019 composition “Move It”:

Dr. Simon characterizes his solo work as, “a syncopated joy ride. I want to explore the percussive and rhythmic nature of the flute; something moves with energy and forward motion.”

Rainbow bridge

I wish every composer I know would take notes from local maestro Machado Mijiga. The composer-drummer-saxophonist has been cranking out music for damn near a decade, and the beautiful thing about Mijiga’s Bandcamp page is how it archives this varied musical history, from his earliest student work up to the most recent EPs. And, lucky us, we can trace that history with two of Mijiga’s original compositions: “Heimdall’s Creek” and “Diffused Solstices.”