DEF SOUND Interviews ˈkwirē/ Director Jessica Emmanuel
BLACK DISCOURSE is a multidisciplinary studio and oral tradition incubator, curating from the global black experience.
We connect black conversation to the world, through experiential design and media production.
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Black Discourse collaborated with Def Sound and his monthly sonic gallery, eXHIBIT AYe, for an exclusive interview with artist Jessica Emmanuel on her new dance work kwirē/.
eXHIBIT AYe is a way of seeing without seeing each other. It’s a gathering of innerviews w/ artists that explores musical narration and conversation through sharing stories and songs. Every episode is an exhibition in vulnerability and learning to play time and space as an instrument.
Filmed on the REDCAT stage, 'kwirē/ takes place within a sculpture installation created by Emmanuel in collaboration with artist Trulee Hall, depicting an underground world centered around the roots of a tree. Mixing ritualistic and visceral movement, sound, video, and text, Emmanuel’s new solo dance work ˈkwirē/ considers a dystopian world where the majority of historical and ancestral information has been destroyed.
The wealthy have left the planet and few humans survived. A dance and sound retrieval system has been created to help us restore our connection to our memories and the history that is stored in our DNA. Guided by Emmanuel’s ancestors, she gathers and collects information, nurtures the soil and roots that are used to restore the earth for those left behind.
See the full transcript of the interview here.
Music by Def Sound, Adee Roberson, Jonny Ill.
Jessica Emmanuel is a Los Angeles-based dancer, choreographer, performance artist, educator and curator. She studied Dance & Choreography at the BOCES in New York and is a graduate of The California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Performance & Choreography. Jessica is the founder of HumanStages and a co-founder of the theater based artist collective Poor Dog Group. Her work has been presented internationally at the Bootleg Theater, Live Arts Exchange Festival, REDCAT, Teatr Studio at the Palace of Culture & Science (Poland), Highways Performance Space, Zoukak Studios (Lebanon), The Getty Villa, Interferences Festival (Romania), Baruch Performing Arts Center, The Curtis R. Preim Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) and The Contemporary Art Museum Santa Barbara. She has choreographed/performed for Poor Dog Group, Heidi Duckler Dance Theater, The MOVEMENT Movement, Ania Catherine Genevieve Carson, Bryan Reynolds, Paul Outlaw, No)one. Art House and Stacy Dawson Stearns.
If music was a menu, Def Sound would be the vegan option. As an Afro Latino (parents from Belize & Panama) born and based in South Central LA, Def Sound (mom given name Emmanuel Ashley Ricketts) is a Grammy Award considered contemporary hip-hop artist, producer, published poet, DJ, and community activist. Def’s work as a poet has been included in Saul Williams' Anthology CHORUS, while his music has been featured in LA WEEKLY, LA Record, The L.A. Times, LACMA’s Poetry series POETRY In Color, the art exhibition The Black Index curated by Bridget Cooks and the Spectrum Television show Music Diaries.Venturing into apparel design with No.Body.Is.Illegal'' sweatshirts and tees Def donates 10% of all profits to immigrant advocacy. Def is also a contributor to the internet pirate streaming network Locally Grown.tv as a curator of his own channel COLOREDTV. Locally Grown has been called “The new PBS'' by Wired Magazine and operates as 24-hour programming for deprogramming. Def also hosts a monthly radio show/podcast MIRROR TALK on listener powered non profit radio station DUBLAB. Lastly, Def is a student at UCI studying African American Studies with a focus on Black Critical Theory. Def is using his work to shift the black narrative into a space that frames the magic of the mundane with an Afro Presentist perspective. Def is serving a buffet of healthy experimental raps and poems that feed both the mind and spirit. Def synthesizes Hip Hop and his Afro Latino roots using music as a healing mechanism while weaving together a tapestry of triumph, levity, and ancestry and power.