Shade Compositions

What constitutes a machine? According to a quick search on google,  a machine is “an apparatus using or applying mechanical power and having several parts, each with a definite function and together performing a particular task.” If we ignore the mechanical power part, a machine really could be a huge variety of things. In artist Rashaad Newsome’s “Shade Composiitons,” a group of people – mostly people of color and other minorities – are distilled into a series of gestures and noises in order to fulfill the task of making a musical composition. In the context of the performance, the performers together become a machine, where each person plays out a “definite function”, a function defined by social expectations and assumptions. In an action that both challenges and affirms these assumptions, Shade Compositions becomes an incredibly relevant, engaging, and critical look into the perceptions and preconceptions around minorities, who are all too often portrayed as caricatures. I am not necessarily interested in noise for noise’s sake, but rather the relationship sound has to lived experience, memory, and the body.

-Keith Lafuente


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