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Berklee Interdisciplinary Art Institute and Mike Ladd Premiere New Work at National Center for African American Artists
(Published: November 06, 2012)

The Berklee Interdisciplinary Art Institute (BIAI), providing innovative experiences for students to extend their music beyond traditional boundaries, and Mike Ladd - MC, producer, poet, and educator - will present an original work created from Ladd's week-long residency at Berklee. The BIAI and Ladd will perform November 14, 6:00 p.m. at the National Center for Afro-American Artists, 300 Walnut Avenue, Roxbury. This is a free event. For additional information, visit www.ncaaa.org, or call (617) 442-8614.
Students and Ladd will engage in discourse on using music or sound design to create a new cutting-edge work based on his latest project, Satchmokovich, a forthcoming graphic novel. Students will use the latest technologies to remix, recompose, and create sound design, melding sonic impressions of Louis "Sachmo" Armstrong, Dmitri Shostakovich, and early 20th century Russian futurism. Students from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, who are part of the BIAI, will produce a live video remix of the comic for the piece. The students are also in dialog with Edmund Barry Gaither, Director of the National Center for African American Artists, to learn how major venues for contemporary art in Boston have fostered new works across disciplines.
The Berklee students are Donald Kaufman, Trev Wignall, Garrett Frierson, Andrew Ikenberry, Jason Lim, Zhe Zai, TJ Usiyan and Berklee Alumni Pierce Warnecke. The SMFA students are Luis Mejía, Toshiki Yashiro, Yuta Kanai.
Boston native Ladd has written and produced 11 critically acclaimed albums, including 2011's Kids & Animals. Inspired by the sounds of Funkadelic, Charles Stepney, The Bad Brains, Brian Wilson, Kraftwerk, Bollywood, The Jungle Brothers and Divine Styler, Ladd exists at the heart of progressive black music, while also influencing the indie music scene. He's collaborated with Company Flow, Saul Williams, MURS, Terranova,, Cannibal Ox, Roots Manuva, DJ Spooky, Arto Lindsay, Yo La Tengo, Antipop Consortium, and many others. In America, Europe, and Asia, cult followings have developed from extensive touring in those regions. Now living in France, he's been working with high school kids in the Parisian banlieues teaching a class on Black American literature and music. Ladd recently collaborated with jazz musician Vijay Iyer on the music/word/video piece Holding It Down: the Veterans' Dreams Project, which debuted in September at the Harlem Stage, in New York.
The Berklee Interdisciplinary Art Institute (BIAI), under the direction of interdisciplinary arts composer and saxophonist Neil Leonard, provides innovative learning experiences for musicians to extend their work beyond the conventions of traditional musical practice. Emphasis is placed on students' original composition, sound design, and musical performance for collaborative interdisciplinary work. Students in the program collaborate with artists across disciplines, including dance, theater, video/sculpture installation, experimental performance, robotics, virtual reality, and other emerging genres. Students emerge with new work for new audiences, leveraging new digital tools and professional relationships across the globe.

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