Events , San Francisco

Wadada Leo Smith and Hamza Walker in conversation

To open his exhibition, Wadada Leo Smith: Ankhrasmation: The Language Scores at Kadist, Wadada Leo Smith performs solo selections from some of the scores live, and joins Hamza Walker in conversation.

A contemporary jazz and creative music pioneer, composer, educator, and visual artist, Wadada Leo Smith has continually developed a his own unique musical language over the past 50 years. 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. These vibrant constructions are filled with energy and mystery, providing creative guidance for the seasoned improviser while allowing musicians to bring their own expertise and strengths to their performance.

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 KADIST, The Wattis Institute, and The Lab.