Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds album cover
Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds

Nicole Mitchell

2017
FPE Records

Nicole Mitchell is a flutist, a composer, a conceptual wizard, and a former president of the AACM. Her work is deeply informed by poetry and science fiction; Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds in particular is an Afrofuturist work inspired by the writing of Octavia Butler which combines Japanese instruments (shakuhachi, shamisen, taiko) with sounds drawn from jazz and chamber music (flute, violin, cello, bass, percussion) and even rock (electric guitar, electronics). The compositions shimmer and radiate in a patient, meditative manner, and the combination of sounds — as well as the voice of poet avery r young, reading Mitchell’s lyrics — create a vision of a culturally omnivorous, philosophically egalitarian future dream world. It’s a utopian vision that Mitchell and company make extremely appealing.

Phil Freeman

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