Welcome to THE CULTURAL WORKER, a blog dedicated to arts of the people, from the radical avant garde and free jazz to dissident folk forms, punk and popular arts . The Cultural Worker celebrates revolutionary creativity and features a variety of essays, reviews, fiction, reportage, poetry and musings through the internet pen of this creative writer, journalist, musician and cultural organizer. Scroll straight down and you'll also find an extensive historical Photo Exhibit of cultural workers in action, followed by a series of Radical Arts Links. The features herein will be unabashedly partisan---make no mistake about that. The concept of the cultural worker as a force of fearless creativity, of social change, indeed as an artistic arm of radicalism, has always been left-wing when applied with any degree of honesty at all. No revolutionary act can be truly complete in the absence of art, no progressive campaign can retain its message sans the daring drumbeat of invention, no act of dissent can stand so strong as that which counts the writers, musicians, painters, dancers, actors, photographers, film and performance artists within its ranks. Here's to the history and legacy of cultural work in the throes of the good fight...
john pietaro

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Radio NOIR: "Pastures of Plenty"

"Pastures of Plenty"

Radio NOIR'S improvisatory, ethereal adaptation of this beautiful Woody Guthrie theme is presented today in strong reflection of Thanksgiving in hard times. Guthrie's ballad of migrant farm workers struggling for dignity is timeless.

Radio NOIR chose to approach this piece in a unique manner which is built upon the Minimalist-influenced xylophone line of John Pietaro and the insistent, grinding bass of Laurie Towers. Javier Hernandez-Miyares' effects-laden guitar builds an incredible atmosphere in which the ensemble lays out a pasture of conflict and struggle for the melodic realization by Quincy Saul's clarinet. After the actual Guthrie melody is heard in full, the quartet stretches out with solo statements built into a sort of collective improv. In the melody's final hearing Hernandez-Miyares' guitar effects build to create a soundscape indicative of a southern textile factory's looms, tying the concept of the field worker into industry, open spaces into a darker, untouchable sky.

"Pastures of Plenty" was produced by Javier Hernandez-Miyares and recorded by Natalie Scarborough at 17 Frost Theatre of the Arts, Brooklyn NY, October 2011

Radio NOIR is John Pietaro, xylophone and percussion
Quincy Saul, clarinet
Javier Hernandez-Miyares, electric guitar and effects
Laurie Towers, electric bass

"Dissident swing...radical improv...Art Deco-damaged protest song!"

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