On Onomatopoeia

With Tomeka Reid 6:00–8:00 p.m. CDT Stony Island Arts Bank
6760 S. Stony Island Ave.
Chicago, IL 60649
Free admission

Many of the most meaningful aspects of music are not always discernible to listeners. They are, however, apparent to composers and performers, as they trace a lineage between the past and present; they enable musicians to create new work by quoting, honoring, and remaking history. Reid, a cellist and composer who until recently lived in Chicago, is especially concerned with the reception of jazz and improvised music. She wonders how, without advocacy and education, the music will continue to be heard, and by whom. Will the stories of musicians continue to be recorded, and will the references that infuse and enrich the music be understood? How might speech capture music, and how might music act as speech? In a performance punctuated by remarks and dialogue, Reid will ask how languages and communities of speakers look backward while moving forward, and who bears the responsibility for assembling and disseminating the history of the music. She’ll be joined by Taylor Ho Bynum, Mike Reed, and Ugochi Nwaogwugwu.

On Onomatopoeia is a component of “Parts of Speech,” an exhibition on public speech organized by Triple Canopy and Public Fiction with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The exhibition hinges on six experimental lectures, which will be live-streamed only at the museum; edited documentation will be available on Triple Canopy's website at a later date. “Parts of Speech” is being published by Triple Canopy as a series in Two Ears and One Mouth, a forthcoming issue that examines how we speak and listen and who has the right and capacity to be heard.

Parts of Speech is made possible in part through the generous support of the Stolbun Collection and Karyn Kohl and Silas Dilworth. Triple Canopy has received additional support for Two Ears One Mouth from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston; the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts; and the Opaline Fund of the Jewish Community Endowment Federation and Endowment Fund.

  • Tomeka Reid is a cellist and composer who lives in New York, having recently moved from Chicago, where she was based for fifteen years. Reid has been a key member of ensembles led by musicians such as Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, and Nicole Mitchell, many of which are associated with Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. She is the coleader of the string trio Hear in Now. Reid released her debut recording as a bandleader in 2015 with the Tomeka Reid Quartet (Jason Roebke, Tomas Fujiwara, and Mary Halvorson). Reid is a 2016 recipient of a 3Arts Award in music and received her doctorate in music from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2017.