NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 18 Issue 1 - Winter 2018 - Page 70

interview It’s new from Fordham University Press, ‘Who Can Afford to Improvise?’: James Baldwin and Black Music, the Lyric and the Listeners. Ed, are you there? Ed Pavlić ( ep ): I’m here, I’m here. Oh, wonderful to have you here with us; thank you for being so generous with your time. Now over the course of the last couple hours, I’ve been drawing quite a bit of music from the archive that relates directly to this extraordinary work that you’ve done with James Baldwin. As I mentioned in a conversation yesterday between the two of us, my introduction to James Baldwin actually came first through his voice. Through the sound and intonation, the rhythm and the color, the passion and intellectual harmony, you might say, of this extraordinary being. Indeed, there is a deep music to his sound, but there is also a profound interpretation of the word and the power of the word. Perhaps, we can begin there. I was playing some Thelonious Monk, because I feel his interpretive stance jd : from within the tradition is not unlike that of James Baldwin, in as much as he is facing the tradition, but he is also deciphering and interpreting the inner qualifications of that tradition and sometimes coming up with some surprises that we may not have known were even there. ep : Yes, absolutely. I’ve said a lot of times that James Baldwin used the American vocabulary in the way Billie Holiday used the Broadway show tune, but it works just as well ][ۚ[\[ۚ܈[Hޙ[^ܙX]ˈ[]\۸&]\K]8&\H[و[][[YX] [H\YBܙ܈[\YYHXXHق[\ݚ\][ۈ][Y\Y\ˈ[ \وHXYXY[HZK]H^\Y[K]X[Hو\^\Y[H[[Y\[[&\ܚ\H[و[HقX\][ۋوZ[YHHX[HقH\[\[ۜ܈\[\[ۜ]\H\Y\ۈ\[\Y\ۈ\HH[XYH][[\HX[B\\[و[][ۈ]Y[[\[]\ܛ]\[][و\ܚH[و[[[\š[\[K\Y[\ۛX]\ۈ[Y[\[YYˈ\[YYقH\][Hܙ Hܙ[[X][Hܛ]YK[[H[\H]H]X]]š\[ ]8&\X[H[\\[˂\\\[Y\[[&\YH\BY[YHXX\[]\\ܚ˜\Hܚ]\[\XH[\[\KH[]8&\X][HYKH[[B\HX][HY [Y\[[\˜Hܚ]\[HܙX]XZ\[HܙX][\[[Y]Y[\\YH[XXH[H\[B[X[و[XYK]H\۸&]B\ۈ[Y]Y][XYBY[[[Y]ܙˈ]]\^\Y[Y\ ]\]]H[]H[\Z[H[[[[]\]ۈ\[[XYK[[\YX[ܝ]Y[\[]ܛK]H\۸&][\]\YH [[\[قܚ]\[Y]Y][[Y[[[][XYK[Y\[[\H[\\[][K]\H\H[[Z\XX[]H]\K][HYH[H8%[[XYHX\^XH[\[\۝][^\]H[Bو[X[[H[Hو\[] H[]\Z\^K܈\Kx&[H\H][H\H[[\X][Hو[Y\[[&\ܚX\[[\[œ\X[ X]\H]X[H\H\B[XYY[Hو[XYK[XYB]Y[]H^\Y[HقHH[[ݙ\]\]\[\[H\H^Z[]YB [[\ \X\[\\Hق[[\\][و[Y[]\HB[H\[[\\H[˂\]8&\Y H\۸&][[H[H[و[[XX[۝[[\܈[Y\˂H]Y[HH][[ٝ[][\YH\[XY[][ۂوHX[H\H]]][ YXZ™\]8&\Y ]8&\^XHY Y[[[YYX][H[H[H][Y\[[\H\ۈܘYYHYX[[وܙ]H\B]XܘYYH[[H]Bوܙˈ\\[H]\X[[\\H[\YK\[\[[[XX[ۙK܈\K]8&\BH]\XX[[\[\\HX\[Xܜ[\YY]][ۈۂ]\][[X[Hو[H\BXX[H\Y[ˈH]]\XX[ۙ][Y\[[Y]HY[ܙH[[[ۈ]]\XX[[ܚ]\ˈ\Z[K[H\šH\ H[]\[ܙH܈\YK ]YBۙHوH[][[\X\]B[]X]\]\[BY\[\X\][H^ܙH[\™^[ܙ[\Hܚ\H^H][Y\[[Y\]وBY][ۈو[[]ZH]\ˈ[Z[[H\X[[[[˜ۙ۝][ۈ]HؚX]Bܛ XH[[HY\š[\[K[[H\H]\YBYX]]X]\H]X[H\HXY]X]\]\Y]H\[\\\و\™^[ܙ[\Hܚ˂\\Z[KY]\H[Hݙ[XYوYX[[Y\X[]\X[]B[HX]\X[Y][ۈ\\œ[H[\[HZ\^H\[] XZH[ً]H\K\B[[ܝZ[]^[˜[X\YH]]ؚ[ܘ\X[X›وۙx&\YKH^\Y[\وۙx&\ܛ []Y[\YH\H\›]X[[Y\X[YKX\\˜XYZ[H\\و]\[\X[]\H[HYH[HXܙ] [ و\K]\[ۙB\]][HX]\X[ܛ\H\H[YH]X[B[X]\[[ܙX]X\\H[[][[ۈ]^XHH[][^[ٝ[[Y[]H[BHXX\[[HY\\[[\ۈ[X[H[YH8'Y\[\[K8'HH\[[˜X]X\ܚY8&\ܚ[B\ܚ][[H\\ˈ[]\وHY][ۈ[H]H\\K\H[H[[\]YHܝ[B\H[H\HZ[]\[\\[X[HوH\YX[[H۝YXܞH[HYX˜[H\H[ [Hۛ[H[ˈ\] و\K]H\XH[]HY\\\[Y\[\]\BXX[H[][][X]H\B\[HYH[X[ܛ H[H[[HXٝ[X]\HH[\\][Y\\XH[K[X^XB][]YK] ]8&\HXقHY][ۈ][HY\[&]]HXYH[\H^H^B\K[\Z[H[&][\BH[و]\\Hܚ]^BY Y]\۸&]YH]HܘYB[\YX]وH\HX[B\[ۛX]H]X\˂\[\X[\  N\X[HY[\\[\Hܘ[HۛB]HHX\\K[YYHۛ܈وY]X B[[\\Y\ۂ܈H\\[ۈو\›[X[˂H\[\X[\‘Y]X H[\Y]ۂ[Y\[[