Matana Roberts

Composer & Sound Artist, US

Matana Roberts is an internationally renowned composer, bandleader, saxophonist, sound experimentalist and mixed-media practitioner. She works in many contexts and mediums, including improvisation, dance, poetry and theater. She is perhaps best known for her acclaimed "Coin Coin" project, a multi-chapter work of "panoramic sound quilting" that aims to expose the mystical roots and channel the intuitive spirit-raising traditions of American creative expression while maintaining a deep and substantive engagement with narrativity, history, community and political expression within improvisatory musical structures. She is based in New York City.

Coin Coin

Matana Roberts’ plan for this residency was to work on an ongoing project she had been developing since 2006 called "Coin Coin". It is a 12 part mixed media series, of sound, music, image, and collage. Her goal for the Camargo Foundation residency was to flesh out the music/sound and visual art framework for Chapter 4 of the series, which focuses on history, ancestry, witness and memory. The term "Coin Coin" is pronounced koin-koin, not to be confused with the French pronunciation or meaning. The title is related to the American name of a woman in Matana Roberts’ ancestral line. Though they are not part of a book, she signifies this work in "chapters" because they are very narrative-driven. Her work deals with a segment of American history that fascinates, disgusts, inspires and, in the end, propels her to work harder on developing a mixed media creative language that leaves art legacy and builds "bridge".

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Matana was in residence from August 16 to 29, 2016 in partnership with Art Matters and the Jerome Foundation.

Matana Robert in Les Carnets de Camargo