Last week The Paris Review and National Sawdust threw an event for Gene Smith’s Sink at the latter’s sublime venue in Brooklyn. A better conjoining of institutions and artists (see photos below) couldn’t be imagined for this book. A number of chapters of the book were steeped in The Paris Review Daily over the past seven years. More than floating the specific chapters, though, it was the general minimalist digression encouraged by editor Nicole Rudick that gave traction to the book’s final, unorthodox form, the winnowing down of which was inspired by music and theater.
Many thanks to our hosts at National Sawdust, Elena Park and Jeff Tang, for making the event come off so beautifully, and to Sawdust board member Jill Steinberg for the following photos from the evening. And untold thanks to the musicians and film artist involved.
Wide Angle with Gene Smith: An evening with Sam Stephenson & The Paris Review
National Sawdust’s Elena Park welcomes the audience.
The Paris Review’s managing editor, Nicole Rudick, introduces the program.
Percussionist Victor Pablo opens with his solo composition “Palo y Mano” (“Stick and Hand”)
Sam reading from Sink’s Prologue.
A string quartet from Wordless Music – L-R Pauline Kim Harris, Ravenna Lipchik, Clarice Jensen, Isabel Hagen – perform first movement of Hall Overton’s 2nd String Quartet. Many thanks to Ronen Givony of Wordless.
Scene from premiere of Jem Cohen’s film, “Chuck-will’s-widow,” based on a chapter of same title in Sink.
Another scene from Jem Cohen’s “Chuck-will’s-widow”
The quartet performs the 2nd movement of Overton’s 2nd string quartet
Sam reads chapter “Aileen Mioko Smith” with Ravenna Lipchik reading words in Aileen’s voice.
Angelica Sanchez plays a riveting version of “Voodoo” by Sonny Clark.
Wadada Leo Smith performs Thelonious Monk’s “Ruby, My Dear” on solo trumpet for only the second time in public after playing it at home for thirty years, he said during rehearsal.
Wadada Leo Smith
Sam closes the program by reading Sink’s Epilogue.