Dr. Thomas Stanley
Thomas was in residence for one week. He offered a performance and completed a recording that he would later release as To Dine with Cannibals.
From Thomas’s own travelogue:
From November 11-18, 2022, I was the artist in residence at Yes We Cannibal, a community-based project center in Baton Rouge run by my friends Liz Lessner and Mat Keel. YWC is a nucleus of radical thought and anti-financialization. It is a safe place for dangerous ideas. During my time there, I spoke to MFA and undergraduate art students on the campus of Louisiana State University. I participated in the grad students’ critiques of their ongoing projects, and with Liz’s undergraduate animation students, I mostly discussed the collaborative residency I did at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. We also talked about LSU’s mascot, a living tiger that is kept in a climate-controlled enclosure near the stadium. We agreed that it was a ghastly practice, especially in light of Baton Rouge’s detestable slave history.
Within YWC’s spacious world headquarters at 1600 Government Street, I witnessed some incredible performances. On Friday night, Austin Franklin played Tibetan bowls through a MAX/MSP patch that created a time-specific composition as he struck the bowls. He was followed by avant-cellist Helen Gillet, who played an incredible set with with percussionist Simon Berz. Later that night, NEOSEOUL 500 presented a Future Ex Youth party that featured a crazy trio called Not My Real Job. On Wednesday night, the amazing Tatsuya Nakatani presented one of the most soul-stirring, mind-warping sonic constructions I have ever heard. Nakatani’s work alone made the trip south worth while.
On the Saturday afternoon following my arrival, I entered that space to give a talk/concert followed by a post-performance dialogue with my friend Ryan C. Clarke. Ryan is an ethnomusicologist and geologist, and we got to talking about the vital role played by worms and their bioturbation (the disturbance of sedimentary deposits by living organisms). We speculated on the role of artistic-turbation in fomenting the noetic (r)evolution that will break up the stubborn layers of systemic oppression that are the relational substrate of our current world order.
There’s certainly strong synergy between bushmeat and anthropophagy as conceptual brackets for forbidden or scandalous means of acquiring nutrition (sustenance). They both suggest ways of eating wild — of acquiring one’s food from undomesticated sources. We are what we eat. At their core, Bushmeat and the Yes We Cannibals bring within reach of the presumptively civilized the forbidden delicacies of liberated thought and natural action.
This compilation features the music that I developed and performed during my YWC residency. Tracks 1-10 were essentially rehearsals recorded in the YWC offices late the Friday night before the concert (while Future Ex Youth raved on the other side of the wall). YWC 11 and 12 are the music that I performed in front of an audience on Saturday, November 12.
released December 2, 2022
All instruments played and programmed by Bushmeat. No overdubbing was used. All tracks are presented in the chronological order of their creation.
As a result of this meeting, Not My Real Job later recorded an interpretation of the Bushmeat single Karen Doesn’t Like the Smell of our Fires during a live session at Yes We Cannibal in January 2023 recorded by Ryan Welsh, Raegan Labat, and Mat. That recording would become YWC003, a limited-edition lathe-cut green 45.
Thomas Stanley (a/k/a Bushmeat Sound) is an artist, author, and activist deeply committed to audio culture in the service of personal growth and social change. As performer and curator, Bushmeat Sound has been an integral part of a visionary music scene straddling the Baltimore–Washington corridor. His audio work employs musical sound to anchor, frame, and accelerate our subjective experience of history. In 2014 he authored the Execution of Sun Ra, a critical response to the cosmological prognostications of the late jazz iconoclast. Dr. Stanley has spent three decades exploring the ramifications of Alter Destiny, Sun Ra’s unique construct for a just and sustainable AfroFuture. He has written and lectured extensively on emergent musical cultures and is co-author of George Clinton and P-Funk : An Oral History (1998, Avon paperback). He hosts “Bushmeat’s Jam Session,” a weekly collage of radical music heard on WPFW-FM radio. His doctoral work examined Butch Morris’ art of Conduction as an extended meta-instrument offering unique opportunities for musical pedagogy and ensemble consciousness. He is also featured in “Stranger”, a documentary film about seminal P-Funk and Talking Heads keyboardist Bernie Worrell.