In What Language?

A Song Cycle of Lives in Transit: Vijay Iyer/Mike Ladd

In What Language?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Fine Arts Center Concert Hall   8:00 pm

Improvisational in nature and hybrid to the core, "In What Language?" is a 21st-century song cycle combining music by pianist-composer Vijay Iyer with spoken text by poet/hip-hop artist (and Hampshire College graduate) Mike Ladd. The piece depicts the interior monologues of various travelers and laborers of color confronting the hyper-globalized setting of an international airport. The work - scored for seven musicians and four speaking voices - is directed by Rachel Dickstein, and features lighting design and video projections by Clifton Taylor. "Playing odd-meter funk, lulling ambient chords, blots of rhythm under Indian-accented raps, it's that elusive thing, underground political music that sounds good," writes Ben Ratliff in The New York Times. "And though its points of origin are far from the mainstream of either hip-hop or jazz, let's count it as a breakthrough hip-hop-jazz fusion. Because if we do, it's one of the smartest I've heard, and one of the few that really works."


Associated Events

Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd guest

Mark Dean's Theater 100 class
Wednesday, March 23, 2005 Theater 100 Class
This March, Mike Ladd (hip-hop vocalist, lyricist) and Vijay Iyer (piano,

musical composer) will guest in Mark Dean's Theater 100 class.


IWL-The Lively Arts: Mark Baszak, Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd

Lively Arts Class
Wednesday, March 23, 2005 Lively Arts Class
This March, Mike Ladd (hip-hop vocalist, lyricist) and Vijay Iyer (piano,

musical composer) will participate

in Lively Arts class,


Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd appearance

Friday, March 25, 2005 Hampshire College
Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd will make a lunch appearance and meet students and faculty on Friday, February 25th.