Voyager is fascinating not only as a sound-generating machine but also as an intellectual construct. Lewis has worked at it for many years, developing it as an instrument but also as a gesture that questions and undermines many tacitly accepted conceptual oppositions: composition versus improvisation, structure and freedom, and what he terms trans-European and trans-African musical cultures. He has written essays on all of these subjects and teaches them at Columbia University, and we eagerly await his book A Power Stronger than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music, due this month.
Lewis will perform two sets as a member of the Trio on Saturday, October 20, at Kerrytown Concert House, as part of this year's Edgefest. He will be joined by two other AACM members, pianist Muhal Richard Abrams and saxophonist and flutist Roscoe Mitchell.
[Review published October 2007]