Michiko Theurer and Jonathan Leal discuss their collaborative music and essay, “Reach.” Michi and Jonathan are both musicians, scholars, and writers whose work examines issues of community, collaboration, and the legacies of colonialism in American music and culture. I spoke with Michi and Jonathan about music, writing, working together virtually, and much more. Michiko Theurer creates music, art, and spaces to support shared vulnerability. She is a PhD candidate in musicology at Stanford, and earned her doctorate in violin performance from CU Boulder. She is currently producing an arts-research project that explores music and the collaborative imagination. Jonathan Leal is a scholar-musician and Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the University of Southern California. A native of the South Texas borderlands, he studies and creates music and narrative across sonic, visual, and literary textual media to unpack the legacies of colonialism in and beyond the United States. His essays and criticism have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Rumpus, the San Francisco Classical Voice, and elsewhere; and his scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in ASAP/Journal, the Journal for the Society of American Music, Critical Studies in Improvisation, Río Bravo, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and elsewhere. He is the co-creator and co-producer (with Charlie Vela) of ‘Wild Tongue’ (2018), a celebration of the Rio Grande Valley’s musical geographies, as well as ‘Futuro Conjunto’ (2020), a transmedia, Chicanx speculative fiction album named one of the best Latinx releases of 2020 by Pitchfork, Texas Highways, and Raymus Media Magazines.
Read and listen to "Reach" in Air/Light here: https://airlightmagazine.org/airlight/winter-2021/reach/
Other music, essays, and performances mentioned by Michi and Jonathan include:
The Tyshawn Sorey performance Michi mentioned will soon be archived and/or uploaded by Harvard’s New Music Ensemble.
Jonathan's interview with Tyshawn Sorey can be found here: https://www.sfcv.org/articles/artist-spotlight/decorating-time-tyshawn-sorey)
Matana Roberts: https://matana-roberts.bandcamp.com/album/coin-coin-chapter-four-memphis
Freedom, by Yvette Jackson https://yvettejaninejackson.bandcamp.com/album/freedom
Haruna Lee: https://www.harunalee.com/haruna-lee
Writing on Pauline Oliveros: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/listening-as-activism-the-sonic-meditations-of-pauline-oliveros