Professor Milford Graves: Improvisor, Naturalist, Activist (MHI2212.01)

Michael Wimberly

This seminar investigates various aspects of Professor Graves music, philosophy, research, and visual art. Graves taught at Bennington College for 39 years. He was a visionary drummer who contributed to the exploration of music improvisation during the 60s and 70s while collaborating with many noted composers in the avant-garde category. During this time, Graves observations of nature led him to develop a martial arts form called “Yara”, based on the movement of the praying mantis, arthropods, and other animal species. In his later years, Graves’ musical research evolved around Cellular Heart Music (voltages produced by the electrical pulses of the heart) using “LabVIEW” algorithms, which captures the intricate rhythms of the heart where Graves turned theses frequencies into musical tones. This research inspired a number of medical studies causing unassigned stem cells to develop in a lab in Barcelona, Italy by VID art-science, an international movement of Artists and Scientists led by researcher Carlo Ventura. A true sage, and interdisciplinarian, Professor Graves had an extensive knowledge in herbology, African, and Asian philosophy, and the visual arts. This seminar explores the Usdan installation celebrating the work of Professor Milford Graves. Students will be expected to visit the installation frequently, write responses to assigned listening, viewings, and reflections.

Module dates: February 22, 26, & 29, March 4, 7, & 11

Learning Outcomes:
-Study an amalgam of artistic expressions through the lens of improvisation.
-Think critically about activism through art, nature, and design.
-Broaden awareness of cultural philosophical influence and integration into art.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 1
M/Th 3:40PM - 5:30PM (1st module block)
Maximum Enrollment: 30
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 1st Module Block , 2000 , All courses , Fully In-Person , History , New Courses , One Credit , Updates