Michael Veal: “Re-thinking the ‘Free’ Music of John Coltrane in the Digital Age”

Michael E. Veal is Professor of Music at Yale University, and the author of several books: Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon (Temple University Press, 2000); Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae (Wesleyan University Press, 2007); and Wait Until Tomorrow: The Music of John Coltrane and Miles Davis Re-Asessed in the Digital Age (forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press). He has also recently published Tony Allen: An Autobiography of the Master Drummer of Afrobeat (co-written with Tony Allen, published by Duke University Press). Also a musician, he plays soprano saxophone and electric bass, and is the leader of the “Afrobeat-jazz” big band Michael Veal & Aqua Ife, and the “ambient free-jazz” group Michael Veal’s Armillary Sphere.

“Re-thinking the ‘Free’ Music of John Coltrane in the Digital Age”: This talk offers a revisionist take on the controversial “free” music of John Coltrane, by viewing it through the prism of the unconventional shapes, spaces and surfaces of digital architecture. The result is that the music is newly-understood as a sonic evocation of the de-industrializing city.