Milford Graves Full Mantis
The marvelous, mosaic-covered house of drummer/percussionist Milford Graves in South Jamaica, Queens (New York) is crammed with art: African masks, Egyptian statues and medical models. His beautiful garden is just as eclectic, full of flowers and plants from all different cultures. This 'global garden' reflects his inclusive philosophy. His ideas on rhythm and time signatures also relate everything to everything else, all based around the irregular beat of our heart.
In this evocative film, this spiritual drummer – who has played with greats including free jazz pioneer Albert Ayler – talks about his many sources of inspiration, all of which can be traced back to nature. Graves talks about our senses and his interest in the heartbeat, which he records and transforms into electronic music. He also talks about yara, the martial art he developed, based partly on African dance. Part of the film's fascinating archive material is his performance in Japan, with Butoh dancer Tanaka Min, for an audience of highly enthusiastic autistic children.
The world premiere on Sat 27 Jan will be followed by a unique live performance by Milford Graves.