Val Jeanty

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Val Jeanty (Val-Inc)
Jeanty at Areté in Brooklyn, 2018
Jeanty at Areté in Brooklyn, 2018
Background information
Also known asVal-Inc.
OriginPort-au-Prince, Haiti
GenresAfro-Electronica, electro-vodou, electronica, avant-garde
Occupation(s)turntablist, percussionist, professor, music producer
Years active1998 - present
LabelsInnova
Associated actsGeri Allen, Anthony Braxton, Francisco Mora Catlett, Terri Lyne Carrington, Yosvany Terry, Kris Davis, Turning Jewels Into Water
Websitehttps://soundcloud.com/vjeanty

Val Jeanty, also known as Val-Inc, is an Haitian afrofuturist, composer, turntablist, and professor at Berklee College of Music. Jeanty is a pioneer of the electronic music subgenre Afro- Electronica (also called "Electro-Vodou") incorporating Haitian Vodou rhythms with electronic instruments.[1]

Early years[edit]

Jeanty is the great-grandniece of Haitian composer, pianist, and music director Occide Jeanty and granddaughter of a mambo (Vodou priestess). Growing up in Bizoton Fontamara, Haiti, Jeanty attended Sacré Cœur, which she describes as "a prestigious Catholic school, in a ritzy-bourgeois area" with strict rules.[2] Jeanty left Haiti for the United States in 1986, when upheaval following the overthrow of then-president Jean-Claude Duvalier led to school closures.[3]

Career[edit]

Jeanty issued her first album in 2000 thanks to a Van Lier Fellowship,[4] and has performed at the Whitney Museum,[5] the Museum of Modern Art,[6] and internationally at music festivals in Austria and Switzerland. Jeanty's installations have been showcased in New York City at the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Village Vanguard and internationally at Saalfelden Music Festival in Austria,[7] Stanser Musiktage in Switzerland,[8] Jazz à la Villette in France,[9] and the Biennale Di Venezia in Italy.[10]

Poet Tracie Morris chose Jeanty as the sound engineer for her 2002 poetry installation at the Whitney Biennial. Morris and Jeanty worked in Jeanty's home studio, even recording the poems in a vestibule between two rooms.[11]

In 2011, Jeanty was commissioned by Wesleyan University's Center for the arts to collaborate with Dr. Gina Athena Ulysse on Fascinating! Her resilience, a multimedia performance exploring the meanings assigned to the word "resilience" in Western conceptualizations of Haitians after the earthquake of January 2010.[12]

Jeanty speaks about the relationship between sound and spirituality in the 2012 documentary film The United States of Hoodoo.[13]

In 2014, Jeanty collaborated with Afro-Cuban bassist Yosvany Terry on his album New Throned King (5Passion), contributing samplings of vodou ceremonies.[14] The same year, she was also sound designer for the National Black Theater's Facing Our Truth: 10-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege.[15]

Jeanty's most recent work is with Turning Jewels Into Water, a duo with Indian-born Ravish Momin.[16] With influences including Vodou, Indian folk music, jazz, and electronica, Turning Jewels Into Water has been said to "actively decentre shallow, Westernized understandings of 'world' music",[17] and their 2019 debut Map of Absences called "a place where the ritualistic origins of music and rhythm meet with the digital realm."[18] Turning Jewels Into Water was also awarded a 2020 New Music USA grant.[19] Their newest work, Our Reflection Adorned by Newly Formed Stars, was completed after the start of the pandemic, with the duo recording and sharing files at a distance.[20]

In November of 2019, Roulette Intermedium, with New Music USA and the New York State Council on the Arts, commissioned interdisciplinary artist Risha Rox and Jeanty's collaborative work, Ritual Merging. This live multi-sensory ritual was crafted in honor of the Dead and featured improvisational soundscape and live body painting.[21]

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

Release year Title Label Personnel Notes
2008 On[22] Tellus Media / Innova
2018 Which Way Is Home? (EP)[23] FPE Records Turning Jewels Into Water (duo with Ravish Momin)
2019 Map of Absences[24] FPE Records Turning Jewels Into Water
2020 Our Reflection Adorned by Newly Formed Stars[25] FPE Records Turning Jewels Into Water
2021 Fodder[26] Fonograf Editions Douglas Kearney and Val Jeanty

As sideperson[edit]

Release Year Artist / Band Title Label Catalog
2005 Wallace Roney Mystikal HighNote HCD 7145
2007 Wallace Roney Jazz HighNote HCD 7174
2014 Yosvany Terry New Throned King 5Passion SP-025
2015 Terri Lyne Carrington The Mosaic Project: Love And Soul Concord Records CRE-37779-02
2019 Kris Davis Diatom Ribbons[27] Pyroclastic Records PR06

As writer/arranger[edit]

Release year Title Label Catalog Band/Personnel
2005 No Room For Argument Stretch Records SCD-9033-2 Wallace Roney
2007 John P. Parker: Viewed from 9 Dimensions Tricky Dilemma 4077 Tricky Dilemma

As sound engineer[edit]

Release year Title Label Catalog Band/Personnel
2000 No Room For Argument Stretch Records SCD-9033-2 Wallace Roney
2002 Whitney Biennial 2002 Whitney Museum Of American Art ISBN 0-8109-6832-0 Various
2004 Saturn, Conjunct the Grand Canyon in a Sweet Embrace Pi Recordings PI10 Wadada Leo Smith & Anthony Braxton
2006 Zodiac Suite: Revisited Mary Records M104 The Mary Lou Williams Collective with Geri Allen, Buster Williams, Billy Hart, Andrew Cyrille
2017 This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People ESP-Disk ESP 5011 TOXIC Mat Walerian Matthew Shipp William Parker

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alzuphar, Adolf (September 2020). "Electro-vodou". The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  2. ^ Ulysse, Katia (September 2011). "A Lady Named Val-Inc: VFH InnerView". Voices from Haiti. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  3. ^ Chambers, Seve. "Val-Inc Brings Haiti to a Bed-Stuy Studio". The Local --Fort Greene. Archived from the original on 25 February 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Tellus/Innova 698 Val-Inc: On". Harvestworks. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  5. ^ "Whitney Live: Billy Martin's Wicked Knee / Val-Inc Duets with Martin and Wicked Knee Brass". Whitney Museum of American Art. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  6. ^ "PopRally Presents: TEN". MoMA. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  7. ^ http://www.jazzsaalfelden.com/en/
  8. ^ Stanser Musiktage https://www.stansermusiktage.ch
  9. ^ http://www.jazzalavillette.com
  10. ^ "Val Jeanty". BANFF Centre. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  11. ^ Tracie Morris (July 9, 2007). Rankine, Claudia; Sewell, Lisa (eds.). American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics. Wesleyan University Press. pp. 213–215. ISBN 9780819567284. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  12. ^ Chatfield, Andrew (14 April 2011). "Wesleyan Earth Day Celebration: Fascinating! Her Resilience". Wesleyan University Creative Campus. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  13. ^ "The United States of Hoodoo". Brooklyn Academy of Music. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  14. ^ Blumenfeld, Larry (June 23, 2014). "Cubans with a New York Twist". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  15. ^ BWW News Desk. "National Black Theatre Presents FACING OUR TRUTH: 10 MINUTE PLAYS ON TRAYVON, RACE AND PRIVILEGE, Now thru 2/10". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  16. ^ "PERFORMANCE: TURNING JEWELS INTO WATER". Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. 21 August 2020. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  17. ^ Morrison, Angela (21 August 2020). "Turning Jewels into Water Decentre Shallow Understandings of "World" Music with 'Our Reflection Adorned by Newly Formed Stars'". EXCLAIM!. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  18. ^ Stasis, Spyros (11 March 2019). "Turning Jewels Into Water Find a Place Where the Ritualistic Origins of Music Meet with the Digital Realm". PopMatters. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  19. ^ "Turning Jewels Into Water". New Music USA.
  20. ^ Berlatsky, Noah (8 August 2020). "World Music Innovators Turning Jewels Into Water Fuse The Spiritual With Digital On Their New Album". GRAMMY.com. Recording Academy. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  21. ^ "Val Jeanty and Risha Rox: Ritual Merging". Roulette. 7 August 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  22. ^ "On". Innova Recordings. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  23. ^ "Turning Jewels Into Water – Which Way Is Home? EP". FPE Records. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  24. ^ "Turning Jewels Into Water – Map of Absences". FPE Records. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  25. ^ "Turning Jewels Into Water – Our Reflection Adorned by Newly Formed Stars". FPE Records. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  26. ^ "FONO9 //DOUGLAS KEARNEY & VAL JEANTY–FODDER (LP)". Fonograf Editions. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  27. ^ Walls, Seth Colter (8 October 2019). "Kris Davis: Diatom Ribbons". Pitchfork. Retrieved 11 December 2020.