Sunday, July 05, 2009

Arthur Russell

Thinking about this month's moon landing anniversary, I realized my post on this should have mentioned the sublime Arthur Russell track 'This is how we walk on the moon': 'Each step is moving, it's moving me up, moving, it's moving me up, Every step is moving me up... This is how we walk on the moon'.

There's a conference on Arthur Russell coming up in New York later this year:

'Kiss Me Again: Mapping the Life and Legacy of Arthur Russell
10 October 2009, NYU, New York

The composer and musician Arthur Russell lived and worked in New York between 1973 and 1992. During his time in the city he performed and recorded compositional music, pop music, disco, new wave, songs for the cello, and hip-hop-inflected electronic pop. As any listener of his music will know, he also liked to blur the boundaries of genre as he went about his work. Russell's open-mindedness and antipathy to being marketed contributed to his lack of recognition, and his music went relatively unheard outside of aficionado dance circles after his passing. But beginning with the simultaneous release of Calling Out of Context and The World of Arthur Russell in 2004, and culminating with the release of the documentary film Wild Combination in 2008, Russell's work has gained a new lease of life.

Acknowledging the newfound interest in Arthur Russell, New York University, the Centre for Cultural Studies Research at the University of East London and Bloomfield College are organising an Arthur Russell conference that will take place at NYU on 10 October. The all-day event will be organised around four panels, two featuring invited speakers, two featuring speakers who respond to this call for papers. The conference will also feature a screening of Wild Combination, with director Matt Wolf answering questions, and (it is hoped) rare Arthur Russell footage shot by Phill Niblock and Alan Abrams. The evening event will feature musicians who worked with Arthur Russell. Tim Lawrence's biography of Arthur Russell, Hold On to Your Dreams, will be launched during the event. Attendance is free'.

The deadline for ideas for papers is 15 July; if you want to take part contact the organisers Sukhdev Sandhu (NYU), Tim Lawrence (UEL) & Peter Gordon (Bloomfield)- details here.

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