Wild Up’s Julius Eastman Vol. 3 Is “A Deliriously Great Tribute” (The Guardian) | Shore Fire Media

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7 June, 2023Print

Wild Up’s Julius Eastman Vol. 3 Is “A Deliriously Great Tribute” (The Guardian)

Wild Up’s Julius Eastman Vol. 3 Is “A Deliriously Great Tribute” (The Guardian)

Watch Wild Up’s Stunning Pride Month Performances Of Eastman’s “Joy Boy” & “Buddha” For The University Of Michigan University Musical Society HERE

Julius Eastman Vol. 3: If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich (June 16 / New Amsterdam) Features Devonté Hynes (Blood Orange) & Adam Tendler

Los Angeles Album Release Party Set For June 16 At 2220 Arts & Archives, More Details HERE



In a new review, The Guardian has named GRAMMY-nominated musical collective Wild Up’s latest release Julius Eastman Vol. 3: If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich (out June 16 on New Amsterdam Records), their Contemporary Album Of The Month and, in a 4-star review, calls it “a deliriously great tribute.” 

Writer John Lewis describes Wild Up’s performance of Eastman’s confrontational composition “Evil N—” as “a wild, sensual, high-intensity, maximalist minimalism that’s as unsettling as its title. It starts with jabbering, rumbling pianos, then piles on strings that are initially lush and romantic but end up neurotic and terrifying.”

Listen to Wild Up’s performance of “Evil N—” here.  

Pre-order Julius Eastman Vol. 3: If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Richhere. 

Julius Eastman Vol. 3: If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich is the third entry in Wild Up’s multi-volume anthology celebrating Eastman, the late composer whose musical vision was repeatedly dismissed during its day, but is now being unearthed to critical acclaim. It follows 2021’s Julius Eastman Vol. 1: Femenine, “a masterpiece” (The New York Times), and Julius Eastman Vol. 2: Joy Boy, which contains the GRAMMY-nominated closing track, “Stay On It.” 

To celebrate the release of Vol. 3, Wild Up will be holding an album release party and listening event at 2220 Arts & Archives in Los Angeles. More details can be found here. 

Recently, Wild Up performed Eastman’s “Joy Boy” and “Buddha” — both which appear on Vol. 2 — as part of the University Of Michigan’s University Musical Society’s Pride Month presentation. Watch the stunning performances here. 

On Eastman Vol. 3, Wild Up are joined by two luminaries of modern music:Devonté Hynes (known both for their work as Blood Orange, collaborations with the likes of Solange, Harry Styles, and Philip Glass, and for soundtrack work on films like Gia Coppola’s Palo Alto and 2019’s acclaimed Queen & Slim) & Adam Tendler (whose music has been deemed “emotionally involving and musically rewarding” by The New York Times). 

Earlier this spring, Wild Up presented a “rollicking, pop-aware” (The New York Times) series of Eastman performances at 92NY. Read a full review of the performances at The New York Times.

Eastman was young, gay, and Black at a time when it was even more difficult to be young, gay, and Black. He swerved through academia, discos, Europe, Carnegie Hall, and the downtown experimental music scene. And in 1990, at age 49, Eastman died in Buffalo, New York, less than a decade after the New York City Sheriff’s Department threw his scores, belongings, and ephemera into the East Village snow. 

Julius Eastman Vol. 3: If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich finds Wild Up deftly navigating some of Eastman’s most treacherous compositional terrain, and emerging with an ever more nuanced interpretation of his ambitious artistic intent. The cinematic title track exhibits dynamism and intrigue amid an almost-thwarted catharsis, boisterous brass figures trailing off into scattered pieces at the height of the work’s slow boil, while “The Moon’s Silent Modulation” ponders a sort of stillness before an almost demonic chorus of voices and hand percussion introduce a devious jolt. All throughout, Wild Up’s performers operate with virtuosity and an explosive verve — these sonic behemoths are not for the faint of heart, and Wild Up meet their peculiar demands with enthusiasm. 

Wild Up’s Eastman anthology represents a departure for New Amsterdam Records, which, until Femenine and Joy Boy, had exclusively released new music by active, living composers. But Eastman is a special case, a composer whose music shines like a beacon to today’s musical creators. Any term used to characterize today’s musical landscape— ”genre-fluid,” or the like —was anticipated by Eastman decades before; yet he was punished for being ahead of his time, both in the treatment of his music and, tragically, his person. Eastman’s music flowed freely from, and through, his myriad influences, and was terribly served by the musical infrastructure of his day. (At the time of his death, it took some eight months for a newspaper, any newspaper, to run his obituary). It makes sense, then, for Wild Up’s Eastman anthology to arrive on New Amsterdam Records, a sort of loving backward embrace of a musical torchbearer to 21st-century composers. 


Julius Eastman Vol. 3



1. If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?

2. The Moon’s Silent Modulation

3. Evil N—


Wild Up

Devonté Hynes

Adam Tendler


Wild Up

Andrew Tholl, violin

Adrianne Pope, violin

Mona Tian, violin

Rachel Iba, violin

Andrew McIntosh, viola

Linnea Powell, viola

Derek Stein, cello

Mia Barcia Colombo, cello

Jonathan Richards, bass

Marlon Martinez, bass

Erin McKibben, flute

Michael Matsuno, flute

Breana Glicher, oboe

Archie Carey, bassoon

Brian Walsh, saxophones / clarinets

M.A. Tiesenga, saxophones

Shelley Washington, saxophones

Pat Posey, saxophones 

Patrick Shiroishi, saxophones

Amy Sanchez, horn

Danielle Ondarza, horn

Drew Ninmer, trumpet

Jonah Levy, trumpet

Mattie Barbier, trombone

William Roper, tuba / animal bones

richard valitutto, piano

Matt Cook, percussion

Sidney Hopson, percussion

Jodie Landau, percussion / voice

Anna Schubert, voice

Laurel Irene, voice

Molly Pease, voice

Chloe Vaught, voice

Eliza Bagg, voice

Catherine Brookman, voice

Odeya Nini, voice

Sharon Chohi Kim, voice

Fahad Siadat, voice

Saunder Choi, voice

James Hayden, voice

Scott Graff, voice


Devonté Hynes, piano / leader

Adam Tendler, piano / leader


Christopher Rountree, conductor / artistic director


Produced, recorded, and mixed by Lewis Pesacov

Engineered by Lewis Pesacov, Clint Welander

Assisted by Harriett Tam


Recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders and United Recording

Mixed at Ahata Sound 


Mastered by Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering, Los Angeles, CA


Designer: Andrea Hyde

Cover Photo: Christine Rusiniak 

Session Photos: Glen Hahn 

Executive Producer: Elizabeth Cline

Production Associate: Glenna Adkins


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