In the Blog

matana roberts: soliloquy in four parts

July 31st, 2008     by Anna Leventhal     Comments

Astute readers may have noticed that I’ve missed a few installments of Picks from Planet Venus over the past few weeks, things being what they are. So to make it up to you, here is something epic in scope and length.

Jazz saxophonist Matana Roberts has started a video blog to address some ideas about feminism and creativity that have been buzzing around in her head (and cropping up in interviews) for a while. Like a written blog, she meanders casually and candidly around and through topics like distinctions between black and white feminism, the definition of gender, and the development of her own voice. It’s like she’s giving you the interview of a lifetime and you don’t even have to ask her any questions.

Roberts is involved in a veritable panoply of amazing endeavours, like teaching at the School for Improvisational Music, and working on Coin Coin, an ongoing musical project based around her ancestor Marie Therese Coin Coin, a Louisiana woman who, after being freed from slavery, became a businesswoman and founder of one of the earliest communities of freed black people in the United States. She’s also an incredibly engaging storyteller, and has hung out with Alice Coltrane!

Learn more about her continuous investigations of the links between her history and her art at her blog, Shadows of a People.

Watch parts 2, 3, and 4 of her musings on gender and creativity after the cut.

Tags: picks from planet venus, playlist

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