It’s back! Midwest BSFA member Napoleon Maddox leads The Deconstruction Period performances during the Underworld Jazz Festival at MOTR Pub on May 25 & 26!The first Deconstruction Period performance happened three years ago at the Greenwich and Napoleon is bringing back the same structure for this weekend’s performances: Several musician and producers will “deconstruct” songs—Abbey Lincoln’s “Caged Bird” and 2Pac’s “Trapped” on Friday night and Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower” and David Bowie’s “Fame” on Saturday night—sampling, chopping, replaying, re-ordering or otherwise affecting either or both songs in any way they choose. The only stipulation is that the creators will have the control and ability to trigger the parts of their reconstructions to be replayed in a collaborative performance. This sonic dialogue will be led/conducted primarily based on assignment of rhythm (structure) and texture (sounds that flow between varied structures).
“These songs were selected as I reflected on the current terms of survival and liberation,” Napoleon says. “It strikes me that 2Pac was a ‘caged bird’ who was no longer singing but shouting at the top of his lungs, ‘look, I’m trapped and I’m not OK with the terms of my capture and confinement.’’
Napoleon says he also chose some of this weekend’s songs based on the recent Kanye kerfuffle.
“The irony that another hip-hop artist (one of the most famous black artists since 2Pac) is enslaved by his own mentality and fame, illustrating this clearly with his declaration that hundreds of millions of Africans had been enslaved by choice is not lost on me,” he notes. “I wondered how many of our generation neglected to climb and peer from perch where so many freedom fighters stood and speculated, ‘there must be some kinda way outta here.'”
“These songs may not mean all these things to the writers and performers that gave them life, but for me, together these four songs create an authentic status report and declaration,” Napoleon continues. “We are not yet free but ‘we who believe in freedom will not rest until it comes’.”
Deconstruction Period I (Friday, May 25)
“Caged Bird” by Abbey Lincoln VS “Trapped” by 2Pac
DJ Marcus Tree Carr
Doc Barnabas Edwards
Napoleon Maddox aka NapoleonSolo
Deconstruction Period II (Saturday, May 26)
“All Along the Watchtower” by jimihendrix VS “Fame” by David Bowie
DJ Apryl Reign
MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over the Rhine (Cincinnati, OH 45202), pubcincinnati.com