Source: I Care If You Listen.
Wild Up’s premiere studio recording of Julius Eastman’s Femenine on New Amsterdam Records is the beginning of a years-long project to anthologize his work. Given the past year’s heightened attention to anti-racism, it’s only fitting to revive the works of a gay Black composer who can hardly be found in the canon. Significant about this release is the fact that Julius Eastman died in 1990, unbefitting the tradition of New Amsterdam Records recording living composers. This in itself meets the growing calls for minority inclusion in classical music. Largely invisible composers like Julius Eastman can finally be acknowledged as having lived at all.
Among those who have already been paying homage to the life of Julius Eastman is Seth Parker Woods, a bandleader and cellist on this project. Parker Woods prefers that the composer not be remembered by his struggle with addiction and homelessness. It’s his musical genius—in the same way Beethoven and Mozart are remembered—in which Eastman’s legacy should be enshrined, says Parker Woods. Ahead of the June 18, 2021 release of Julius Eastman Vol. 1: Femenine on New Amsterdam Records, Seth Parker Woods offered his perspective for what this project means to him and the impact he hopes it will have.