The Lab

The Lab is a nonprofit experimental art and performance space located in the Mission District of San Francisco.

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Wadada Leo Smith Ankhrasmation: The Language Scores at Kadist

  • Kadist 3295 20th Street San Francisco, CA, 94110 United States (map)

Location: Kadist, 3295 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
6–7pm: Reception
7-8pm: Wadada Leo Smith in conversation with Hamza Walker

For the past fifty years, Wadada Leo Smith, has continually developed a his own unique musical language. Titled Ankhrasmation—a neologism formed of “Ankh,” the Egyptian symbol for life, “Ras,” the Ethiopian word for leader, and “Ma”, a universal term for mother—the language scores eschew (and at times, incorporate) traditional musical notation in favor of symbolic compositions of color, line, and shape. Three sets of scores comprise the exhibition, representing three different stages of Smith’s evolution in his graphic language: the complete twenty-two panels of Eacigmei (1971); five never-before exhibited panels from Luminous Axis (2002); and three panels from Kosmic Music (n.d.), which have been recently acquired by Kadist. At the opening reception, Wadada Leo Smith gives a live demonstration of the scores and joins Hamza Walker in conversation at 7pm.

This is the first event in the series Abstract Languages: Three Musical Events involving this exhibition, a screening, and an evening of live performances conceived by and taking place between KadistThe Wattis Institute, and The Lab. On December 17, Smith also presents a live performance of his Four Symphonies with Ikue Mori, Anthony Davis, and Hardedge at The Lab.

Wadada Leo Smith, score sample from a composition that can be heard on "Luminous Axis" (Tzadik)

Wadada Leo Smith, score sample from a composition that can be heard on "Luminous Axis" (Tzadik)