“Races Distinct & Separate” takes its title from oral arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States in Case 395 (April 10, 1967), Loving v Virginia.
Live coding/collaging audio samples from numerous sources, including Supreme Court cases Loving v Virginia and Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and radio broadcasts of “The Lone Ranger," "Tarzan," and "Conan the Barbarian," "Races Distinct & Separate” studies the sonic contours of contested cultural zones and the sonic making/construction of gender, sexuality, and race (i.e. how, for instance, through radio broadcasts of "The Lone Ranger," Indian identity is constructed in Tonto’s voice (slow, docile, ungrammatical).
Also, we hear the voice of Georgia Jackson, mother to George Jackson of the Soledad Brothers, as she questions the story of prison officials surrounding her son’s homicide in the yard of San Quentin Prison. In tones of power, reason, righteous outrage, and sorrow, Georgia Jackson’s voice resists and deconstructs white, sonic configurations of gender and race.
Throughout the work are to be heard the droning tones of Wendy Carlos’s Alpha and Beta microtonal scales.
Image: Richard and Mildred Loving at their home in Central Point, Va., with their children, from left, Peggy, Donald and Sidney, in 1967. Credit Free Lance-Star, via Associated Press.
January 15, 2018