Ptarmigan operated in Tallinn from 2011-2014. This website exists as an archive of its activities during this time. We no longer maintain any presence in Tallinn, but some people involved with Ptarmigan are now operating Temporary in Helsinki.
** Seminar will be available for remote participation via Skype! Please register here and include your Skype username to be invited to the call! **
This is a seminar/class that will meet several times this summer to explore the evolution of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The meetings will begin in the mid-late 1960’s and follow the development of the AACM, mainly looking at the Art Ensemble of Chicago as central figures, up through the late 1970s.
Each week we will listen together to AACM recordings, discuss our thoughts and ideas, and share food and drink. The principal text will be George E. Lewis’s book A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music, but we will supplement each meeting with additional readings that span theory, criticism and other themes related to their work. We will explicitly examine the organisational elements of the AACM, as an association that supports artistic research against the grain of commercial pressure, seeking strategies that may be applicable to our creative ventures today. Additionally, we’ll look for parallel developments in non-AACM art and music from these times.
This week we'll look at some more early AACM recordings, specifically the debut of a young composer named Anhony Braxton. While the Art Ensemble of Chicago was not yet named, Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Lester Bowie and Malachi Favors were performing under various group names. Like a “super group” of Chicago-based musicians, these four were united in their distinct approach to creating “black music”. At once jazz and not-jazz, this music created a new form of sound expression that did not abandon the roots of jazz, Negro spirituals, and African tribal music yet was distinctly avant-garde and open in form.
This week we'll listen to: