In August 1933, American Jazz saxophonist Coleman Hawkins recorded his piece Queer Notions, with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra. Although the title was probably a reference to the weird-sounding whole-tone melody of the piece, for homosexual bandleader and pianist Sun Ra the title probably had a different meaning too, and he put it on the repertoire of his Arkestra.
For the creative team — a group of queer composers and musicians — it sounds like a good title for a programme of music by LGBTQI composers and musicians. Queer is not only a reference to our identity; it also refers to the diversity of musical styles and genres that they are presenting. They concentrate on music, composed by three of the musicians that are members of the group: Tom Armitage, Guy Harries and Luc Houtkamp. All three have composed music featuring queer themes, based on texts and poems by Gertrude Stein, Arthur Rimbaud and Theognis of Megara, and on the life of Alan Turing.
With this programme, they pay homage to the “other” queer music: jazz, classical and contemporary music.
The music is written and performed by the Pow Ensemble, consisting of Luc Houtkamp (saxophone, electronics), Tom Armitage (piano, vocals), Guy Harries (vocals, flute), Clare Ghigo (mezzo-soprano) and Laura Cioffi (flute). Idea and compositions are by Tom Armitage, Guy Harries and Luc Houtkamp.
The texts are written and performed by Maltese authors and poets Sara Caruana, Francesco Grech, Tyrone Grima, Noah Fabri and Mina Jack Tolu. The event takes place tomorrow, September 12, at Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta. Tickets are available onine.