Karlton E. Hester
Hesterian Musicism is the creative process through which Karlton Hester's compositional and performance style merge to give rise to aesthetic environments where other musicians, kinetic and visual artists, and poets can meet to produce new art forms through imaginative effort. Its philosophical basis involves an intrinsic freedom of expression, focused and disciplined spontaneity, and a structural basis that explores the creative components of diverse sources from the whole earth.
Contemporary TransAfrican Experiments create ways in which to search for universal musical concepts that can be examined for their inherent capabilities as commonage. Such examinations might inspire solutions to our differences in world society. Learning a variety of ways to achieve abstract balance, aesthetic satisfaction, harmony, contrast, and effective modes of artistic expression, may produce means to communicate more clearly with others in our global community.
Collaboration, therefore, is an important aspect of Hesterian Musicism on all levels of engagement. Inspiration, source materials, thematic resources, timbral imprints, and spiritual influence can be derived from multidisciplinary aspects from any region of the world, and can involve any combination of artistic traditions. It is the individual skill and imagination, through which artistic components are explored and developed, which demonstrate that past traditions are stepping stones to future creations (not ends in themselves). We hope such synergetic experimentation reveals that art and artists with diverse perspectives on the process of creative evolution, aesthetic values, style, etc., can find common modes of expression. Modes of compatibility and cooperation can enhance ecumenical elements of aural, visual, and oral language (and modes of interdisciplinary artistic collaboration), elevating art above the stylistic or technical limitations of aesthetic manifestations that are too often the focal points of socio-cultural discussion.
Karlton E. Hester (Musical Director, flutes, saxophones, composer)
Composer/performer Karlton Hester's work is often ecumenical and interdisciplinary. He integrates Global African music with various elements of music from other regions of the world in premeditated and spontaneous compositions, electro-acoustic composition, and other interdisciplinary collaboration projects. Hester's work on African polyrhythm and dissertation on the music of John Coltrane (with analytic focus on the music of Coltrane's late period) serve as the basis for a freedom of expression that defines his musical approach. As the Gussman Director of "Jazz" Studies at Cornell University, he collaborated with Dr. Donald Byrd in exploring connections between musical and mathematical symbols, structural patterns and intuition. His current goal remains focused towards the creation of music that reflects salient features of traditional and contemporary modes of Afrocentric cultural expression and world society. One of his current projects involves completing a book that summarizes this theoretical approach. His recent publication, From Africa to Afrocentric Innovations Some Call "Jazz" (2000), provides historical background for his work as a composer.
Among Hester's nine recordings of his own compositions, he performs (playing flute, piccolo and saxophone) new compositions and arrangements on his latest CD release, Harmonious Soul Scenes 2000. Hester received has grants in composition from the National Endowment for the Arts (1989 & 1985); ASCAP Standard Awards (1985-98); George & Elza Howard Foundation (1996); Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions (1994 & 95); William Grant Still Memorial Commissioning Project, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship - Cornell University (1991-92); New England Council for the Arts (1986); Staten Island Council on the Arts (1987,1990, 1991); The Yard Dance Company; and others. Currently, Hester is the Director of "Jazz" Studies at the University of California in Santa Cruz and a member Board of Directors for of the African American Jazz Caucus (of the International Association of Jazz Educators), where he chairs the Curriculum Development Committee. The aim of that committee is to develop a curriculum guide for African-American music (and multicultural) educators throughout the country.
More Information: http://www.aainnovators.com