Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain

Cooper Moore / Henry Grimes + Hprizm/High Priest

A catalyst in the world of creative music for over 30 years, Cooper-Moore is renowned as a composer, performer, instrument builder, storyteller, teacher, mentor, and organizer. Tonight, as part of Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain, Cooper-Moore is joined by Faye Victor, Brian Price, Pascal Niggernkemper and Chad Taylor to present a selection of song cycles with words and lyrics by Langston Hughes, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, W.E.B. Du Bois and Michael Jay Price.

Poet and master jazz basist / violinist Henry Grimes premieres a new project with MC, composer and producer HPrizm aka High Priest– a collaboration seated in their mutual devotion to music, the spoken and written word, truth, freedom, justice, beauty, revelation, joy, and uproar.

"Coming of age during the mid-eighties, the images of aerosol art, the resonance of drum machine beats echoing off the concrete, and the future I imagined as a child weigh equally in my production voice. I cannot subvert my own DNA. I am a Prizm. Hence, I aim to amplify and give voice to the nuanced frequencies and pulses of my surroundings, using a varied combination of electro-acoustic sound sources.” –HPrizm

"A natural relation
is constructed between sound and sense
and one may therefore find a poem
that causes a fusion between the line of equilibrium
and the same one of an inner tension
that takes place spiritually (as mentally)
as well as in
" – Henry Grimes

Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain– a two-month festival celebrating ISSUE Project Room's 10th anniversary– revisits seminal past projects and initiates new relationships with over 60 artists working across disciplines of sound, dance, performance, and literature. Presented as a series of 24 evenings of provocative double billings, Ten Years Alive blurs the boundaries between divergent disciplines and practices and celebrating the vibrancy of the Brooklyn experimental arts community.

As a composer, performer, instrument builder/designer, storyteller, teacher, mentor, and organizer, Cooper-Moore has been a major, if somewhat behind-the-scenes, catalyst in the world of creative music for over 30 years. As a child prodigy Cooper-Moore played piano in churches near his birthplace in the Piedmont region of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. His performance roots in the realm of avant jazz music date to the NYC Loft Jazz era in the early/mid-70s. His first fully committed jazz group was formed in 1970 - the collective trio Apogee with David S. Ware and drummer Marc Edwards. Sonny Rollins asked them to open for him at the Village Vanguard in 1973, and they did so with aplomb. Returning to New York in 1985, he spent a great part of his creative time working and performing with theatre and dance productions, largely utilizing his hand-crafted instruments. It was not until the early 90s, when William Parker asked him to join his group In Order To Survive, that Cooper-Moore’s pianistic gifts were again regularly featured in the jazz context. He will be joined by Faye Victor, Brian Price, Pascal Niggernkemper and Chad Taylor to present a selection of song cycles with words and lyrics by Langston Hughes, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, W.E.B. Du Bois and Michael Jay Price.

"In the Beginning was the Word," from the Gospel of John. In the beginning there was "OM," from the Upanishads. For me music is about singing voice, the word, the inflection of the vowels giving us a sense of emotion. For me, even when the music is instrumental it is about the Song. The Song is a presentation of words set to music. Words dictate the melodies, the rhythms, the form and all of that which is music. – Cooper Moore

In the late ‘50s and throughout the ‘60s, after three years at Juilliard, Henry Grimes (upright bass, violin, poetry) played acoustic bass with many master jazz musicians of that era, including Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Haynes, Steve Lacy, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Sonny Rollins, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, and McCoy Tyner. After a long period of hard times without a musical instrument to play, during which Henry survived by doing manual labor and writing poetry, he made a triumphant return to New York City in May, '03 to play in the Vision Festival and since then has played more than 500 concerts and given poetry readings in 29 countries, collaborating with many of this era's music and poetry heroes (Chris Abani, Rashied Ali, Marshall Allen, Fred Anderson, Amiri Baraka, Marilyn Crispell, Andrew Cyrille, Bill Dixon, Bobby Few, Edward "Kidd" Jordan, Nathaniel Mackey, Roscoe Mitchell, David Murray, William Parker, Marc Ribot, Wadada Leo Smith, Sekou Sundiata, and again, Cecil Taylor). Henry made his professional debut on a second instrument (the violin) at Lincoln Center at the age of 70, has seen the publication of the first volume of his poetry, "Signs Along the Road," and creates illustrations to accompany his new recordings and publications. He can be heard on 87 recordings, including a dozen recent ones, on various labels.

As the founding member of the critically acclaimed Antipop Consortium, HPrizm aka High Priest (beats, composer, futurist, mc, producer) has consistently challenged all artistic boundaries. In the course of his career, Prizm has shared stages with a wide array of artists, ranging from The Roots to Radiohead, Mos Def, Vijay Iyer, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Craig Taborn, Vernon Reid, William Parker, Matana Roberts, Matthew Shipp, Marc Ribot, Ornette Coleman sideman Bern Nix, Daniel Carter, Jamaaladeen Tacuma and many more. As a composer, his pieces have been installed in the Whitney Biennial (NYC) as well as the Mazzoli Gallery (Berlin). Most recently, along with the Antipop Consortium, Prizm has collaborated with legendary film director David Lynch and French conceptual artist Loris Greaud to present a documentary/cinema concert entitled "Snorks".

Photo: Cooper Moore

Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain is made possible, in part, by “Lead Presenter” support from Robert Bielecki and HBO; “Festival Sponsor” support from Robert Longo, Margo Somma & John Hamilton, and Sixpoint Brewery; with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and with the support of ISSUE Project Room’s Members.

  • Event