Like the audience, performers from the recent Continuum Music Festival
at Crosstown Arts are still reeling from the power of the music they brought to life, and the promise of partnerships they were a part of. Not since the Memphis Symphony Orchestra's legendary Opus One series, which featured MSO members backing rock bands, singer-songwriters, and rappers alike, has genre-hopping occurred on such a scale in the Bluff City.
Many of the festival's performing artists are remarking on its game-changing nature. "Continuum was a beautiful platform to explore the boundaries of sound," says Siphne Aaye of the duo Artistik Approach.
"I did some things I’ve never done before in my life and pushed my performance into a realm of cerebral art that was just as exhilarating as It was challenging," commented rising producer IMAKEMADBEATS of the Unapologetic collective.
And Brandon Quarles of Chicago's ~Nois Saxophone Quartet enthused that "The Continuum Music Festival was adventurously curated and offered intriguing and engaging events to audiences from all walks of life. Incredible things are happening in Memphis and Crosstown Arts is leading the charge with its one-of-a-kind facility and creative vision."
Here we present indelible images by Jamie Harmon and Ben Rednour, capturing those two charmed evenings in the former Sears Tower, which was reverberating with many a novel vibration. Thanks to the tribute to avant garde composer John Cage, the sounds were on the unique side. Unless the Sears potted plant department once hosted an impromptu chamber concert, it was surely the first time cacti were listened to so intently; and though one can imagine multiple radios blaring in Electronics, Aisle 4, way back when, they surely were never coordinated as dynamically as when one ad hoc group performed Cage's "Imaginary Landscape No. 4 for 12 Radios."
Co-organizer Jenny Davis was especially delighted at the reception Cage's music received."Cage is regarded as one of the most influential of 20th century composers, especially in regards to experimental music, but also in the realms of dance, visual art, and poetry," she says. "Though Continuum is a primarily a music festival, it also features collaborations between different artist disciplines and musical genres, so Cage seemed like a perfect composer to showcase. His philosophy that sounds of all kinds have value simply as they are is a welcome reminder to us all to be more open to our experiences, to put our preferences and biases aside, and consider the world around us with a new perspective."
If you missed it, flip through these intriguing photos and imagine what was, and what might be in years to come.