Matana Roberts and British sound artist/improviser Kelly Jayne Jones are about to embark on the first in a series of special live shows programmed by OUTLANDS, a new national experimental music touring network.
Roberts and Jones are two artists from disparate backgrounds, finding affinity in practices charged by fiercely personal philosophies on sound. Both artists embrace improvisation, resist accepted narratives of sound, are community-minded and believe in democratic, shared, free-music making that erodes barriers. In other words, they perfectly embody what OUTLANDS is striving for.
Together, the duo will weave their own approaches into live collaborative works informed by deeply expressive playing, tactile electro-acoustic interplay and a broader shared politics of resistance/defiance. As part of the OUTLANDS initiative, this tour will feature an interconnected engagement program that will shine a light on the intriguing artistic processes and personalities involved in adventurous music forms, as well encouraging new audiences to experience this art form.


For more info, see the OUTLANDS Website or Constellation’s previous OUTLANDS post.

Photo: Filip Wolak

Leading up to the OUTLANDS, Matana Roberts is thrilled to share unreleased footage from her 2015 residency at the Whitney Museum of American Art. During the residency, Roberts engaged in a series of open-ended public explorations that ultimately resulted in a series of research-based sound excavations entitled i call america. Combining sound, video, and visual scores during a five-day open studio in the theatre, she examined “the perplexities of what it means to be American in the twenty-first century” in her trademark innovative fashion.
For their final event of 2015, the Whitney invited Roberts back with a full band of exceptional players to help ring in the new year. That New Year’s Eve celebration is a testament to Matana’s strength as a creative leader; in a room full of incredible musical talent, she remains squarely at the helm, steering the course into new territory with exuberance and grace. Watch footage of this stunning performance below: