4PM / 2nd MAY (2023)

ZOOM LINK: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89233087646

A picture showing a field with cut grass and a man lying on the earth

In this talk, composer and poet JJJJJerome Ellis will discuss his ongoing research into the intersections of Blackness, music, and stuttering.

JJJJJerome Ellis (any pronoun) is a blk disabled animal, artist, and proud stutterer. He prays, reads, gardens, cycles, surfs, and plays. Through music, literature, performance, video, and photography he researches relationships among blackness, disabled speech, divinity, nature, sound, and time. Born in 1989 to Jamaican and Grenadian immigrants, he lives in Norfolk, Virginia, USA.

His diverse body of work includes: contemplative soundscapes using saxophone, flute, dulcimer, electronics, and vocals; scores for plays and podcasts; albums combining spoken word with ambient and jazz textures; theatrical explorations involving live music and storytelling; and music-video-poems that seek to transfigure archival documents.
His debut album, The Clearing (2021), was called “an astonishing, must-listen project” (The Guardian). It was co-produced by NNA Tapes and The Poetry Project, and it was released with an accompanying book published by Wendy’s Subway.

Poet/essayist/playwright Claudia Rankine said of the book: “The Clearing is many things: a lyrical celebration of and inquiry into the intersections of blackness, music, and disabled speech; a restless interrogation of linear time; an intimate portrait of the author’s real-time experience of his stutter; a baptism in syllable and sound; and a manuscript illuminated by The Stutter. At its core, Ellis’ metaphor of the clearing becomes a place of possibility and “momentary, transitory, glimpsed liberation.”