In Collaboration with Ars Nova Workshop and Scribe Video Center
Milford Graves Full Mantis
Jake Maginsky & Neil Cloaca Young, US, 2018, 91 min.
Milford Graves Full Mantis is a portrait of renowned percussionist Milford Graves. Graves has performed internationally since 1964, both as a soloist and in ensembles with such legends as Albert Ayler, Giuseppi Logan and Sonny Sharrock. He is widely considered to be a founding pioneer of avant-garde jazz, and he remains one of the most influential living figures in the evolution of the form.
From his home, which contains both a musical laboratory and a dojo, Graves tells his own stories of discovery, struggle and survival, ruminates on the essence of 'swing,' activates electronic stethoscopes in his basement lab to process the sound of his heart, and travels to Japan where he performs at a school for children with autism.
Using archival video, Meginsky weaves intimate glimpses of the artist’s complex cosmology with blistering performances from around the globe, Milford Graves Full Mantis is cinema full of fluidity, polyrhythm and intensity, embodying the essence of Graves’ music itself.
Composer/performer/filmmaker Jake Meginsky, a New Music USA award winner and Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellow in filmmaking, has collaborated and performed with an extraordinary range of musicians, including Milford Graves, Alvin Lucier, Joan La Barbara, and Vic Rawlings. His work has been presented widely and reviewed extensively in leading contemporary music, art and culture publications worldwide.