Jan 28, 2021, 6:30PM–8PM

In Conversation: Susie Ibarra and Will Calhoun
Moderated by Jake Nussbaum

Photo courtesy of the artist.

Rhythm is literally and figuratively at the heart of Milford Graves’s practice. Using a device known as an electronic stethoscope, Graves was able to hear and record the different patterns produced by each heartbeat, translating these vibrations into audible frequencies that he called heart music. Of course what he is best known for are the rhythms he produced as a percussionist, educator, healer, and spiritual guide. The discussants will examine how rhythm is central to Graves’s philosophy of life.

This program is co-presented with Ars Nova Workshop.


Susie Ibarra is a Filipina-American composer, percussionist, and sound artist. Her musical approach is a combination of her Filipina heritage and a flowing jazz drum set style. Ibarra is a 2020 National Geographic Explorer grantee and 2019 United States Artist Fellow. She leads the band DreamTime Ensemble, which recently released a suite of music exploring memory and shifting sensory experiences. From 2012 to 2020, Ibarra was a faculty member at Bennington College where she taught percussion, performance, improvisation, and art intervention.

Will Calhoun is a Graduate of the Berklee College of Music where he received his degree in Recording and Engineering. Calhoun is a two-time Grammy winner with the genre bending Rock band, LIVING COLOUR. For over 25 years, he has conducted research in the Australian Outback, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Belize, and Northern Brazil to study and document the history of drums, rhythm, sonic vibrations, and their impact on modern music. Calhoun often incorporates new forms of technology into his practice. He has lectured extensively at numerous colleges and universities.

Jake Nussbaum is a multidisciplinary artist, drummer, and PhD student in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he researches the connections between creative improvisation and political activism. He is affiliated with the Center for Experimental Ethnography and a member of the band 7 Count.

Live captioning will be provided for this program by Caption Access. Please contact Natalie Sandstrom, Program Coordinator, at nsand@ica.upenn.edu with any questions.

This program is free and open to the public. It will be conducted virtually via Zoom. To register, click here.


Major support for Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Joseph Robert Foundation. Additional support has been provided by Nancy & Leonard Amoroso, Cecile & Christopher D’Amelio, Carol & John Finley, Amanda & Andrew Megibow, Norma & Larry Reichlin, and by Caroline & Daniel Werther.

Programming at ICA has been made possible in part by the Emily and Jerry Spiegel Fund to Support Contemporary Culture and Visual Arts and the Lise Spiegel Wilks and Jeffrey Wilks Family Foundation, and by Hilarie L. & Mitchell Morgan.