The Worldmaking Aura of Sonic Blackness - Moor Mother and James Gordon Williams In Concert

LOCATION: Music Center Recital Hall (UCSC), 402 McHenry Road Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Presented by: Music Department
Co-sponsored by the Arts Research Institute, the Humanities Institute, and the Institute of Arts and Sciences
Audiences are invited to explore sonic worldmaking in this collaborative performance featuring Moor Mother, an American poet and composer, and composer and pianist James Gordon Williams, an assistant professor of music at UC Santa Cruz.

Light refreshments begin at 6:30 PM—enjoy a complimentary cup of tea or coffee and a treat in the lobby before the concert.

-Tickets available online only at Eventbrite
-Free for UCSC students (ticket required for entry)
-General admission $4–$20

-Lot 126 is the closest parking lot to the event
-Parking is by UCSC permit, Park Mobile, or pay $5 cash/credit to the on-site parking attendant in Lot 126
-More visitor parking information here


Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) is a national and international touring musician, poet, visual artist, and Professor of Composition at the USC Thornton School of Music. Her work speaks to many genres from electronic to free jazz and classical music. Camae's work has been featured at the Guggenheim Museum, The Met, Carnegie Mellon and Carnegie Hall, Documenta 15, the Berlin Jazz Festival, and the Glastonbury Festival. Through the lens and practice of Black Quantum Futurism the art she makes is a statement for the future, as well as a way to honor the present and its historic connections to a multitude of past realities and future outcomes. Camae is a Pew Fellow, a The Kitchen Inaugural Emerging Artist Awardee, a Leeway Transformation Award, a Blade of Grass Fellow as part of Black Quantum Futurism, and a Rad Girls Philly Artist of the Year. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at West Philadelphia Neighborhood Time Exchange, WORM! Rotterdam residency, and the Creative Capital and CERN collide residency with Black Quantum Futurism.

James Gordon Williams is a dynamic composer, pianist, and cultural theorist. He has worked with artists Crystal Z. Campbell, Maria Gaspar, Fred Moten, Cauleen Smith, and Suné Woods. He has performed with pianist/composer Anthony Davis, bassist Mark Dresser, Joseph Jarman, Gregory Porter,  George E. Lewis, Mark Dresser, Greg Osby, Charenée Wade as well as other musical luminaries. He held the piano chair for several years in the late Charli Persips’ Supersound band. He has performed at Birdland, the former Lenox Lounge, Knitting Factory, Symphony Space, Village Vanguard, and music festivals around the world.

This collaboration is between acclaimed American poet, composer, and University of Southern California Thornton School of Music assistant professor of music composition Camae Ayewa (Dennis) AKA Moor Mother, and UC Santa Cruz transdisciplinary pianist and composer and assistant professor of music composition James Gordon Williams.  As part of a collaborative project that also features a Wednesday, March 6th, 2024 performance in the Music Center Recital Hall, Ayewa and Williams explore the philosophy of Black Quantum Futurism (BQF) that undergirds Ayewa’s creative practices and how it harmonizes with Williams’s aesthetic theory based in Ubuntu philosophy. Their collaboration focuses on sonic worldmaking practices on the outskirts of linear time constructs (Master Time Clock) as it relates to subverting the ongoing project of temporal coloniality as a regulating force of lived experience. Through compositional and improvisational methodologies they explore spiritual and ontological aesthetic healing technologies of reorienting positionalities historically relegated to narratives of victimhood, collective trauma, and hegemonic notions of resistance strategies. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arts Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Cruz.