Speak for Change with Micha Scott, Zachary James Watkins, and Thomas Sage Pedersen
Guests Micha Scott and Zachary James Watkins join host Thomas Sage Pedersen for another live edition of the Speak for Change podcast at Indexical, centering on the experience of navigating spaces as biracial artists living and working in Santa Cruz. The evening opens with a performance by Zachary James Watkins, a composer and performer with commissions from the Kronos quartet, sfSound, the Seattle Chamber Players, and many others. His work as a performer includes the duo Black Spirituals with Marshall Trammel, a radical improvisation duo who toured Europe with legendary metal band Earth.
Micha Scott is Artistic Director of Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center (TWDCC), and joins Thomas Sage Pedersen in a conversation about navigating spaces as a biracial artist living and working in Santa Cruz. Micha Scott has performed on stages around the world as a 13-year senior member of the renowned Garth Fagan Dance. Ms. Scott was a teacher at the Garth Fagan Dance School in Rochester, NY, and has taught master classes and workshops for the company worldwide.
Zachary James Watkins
Zachary James Watkins studied composition with Janice Giteck, Jarrad Powell, Robin Holcomb and Jovino Santos Neto at Cornish College. In 2006, Zachary received an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College where he studied with Chris Brown, Fred Frith, Alvin Curran and Pauline Oliveros. Zachary has received commissions from Cornish College of The Arts, The Microscores Project, the Beam Foundation, Somnubutone Radio Series free103point9.org, sfsound and the Seattle Chamber Players. His 2006 composition Suite for String Quartet was awarded the Paul Merritt Henry Prize for Composition and has subsequently been performed at the Labs 25th Anniversary Celebration, the Labor Sonor Series at Kule in Berlin Germany and in Seattle Wa, as part of the 2nd Annual Town Hall New Music Marathon featuring violist Eyvind Kang. Zachary has performed in numerous festivals across the United States, Mexico and Europe and his band Black Spirituals opened for pioneering Drone Metal band Earth during their 2015 European tour.
In 2008, Zachary premiered a new multi-media work entitled Country Western as part of the Meridian Gallery’s Composers in Performance Series that received grants from the The American Music Center and The Foundation for Contemporary Arts. An excerpt of this piece is published on a compilation album entitled “The Harmonic Series” along side Pauline Oliveros, Ellen Fullman, Theresa Wong Charles Curtis and Duane Pitre among others. Zachary designed the sound and composed music for the plays “I have loved Strangers” produced by Just Theatre, which listed “top ten of 2007” in the East Bay Express and the 8th Annual ReOrient Theatre Festival. His sound art work entitled Third Floor::Designed Obsolescence, “spoke as a metaphor for the breakdown of the dream of technology and the myth of our society’s permanence,” review by Susan Noyes Platt in the Summer 05 issue of ARTLIES. Zachary releases music on the labels Sige, Cassauna, Confront (UK), The Tapeworm and Touch (UK). Novembre Magazine (DE), ITCH (ZA), Walrus Press and the New York Miniature Ensemble have published his writings and scores. Zachary has been an artist in resident at the Espy Foundation, Djerassi and the Headlands Center for The Arts.
Speak for Change
Speak for Change was founded with the mission of creating positive and lasting social change in our local and global communities. From a studio at the Tannery Arts Center in Santa Cruz, Thomas Sage Pedersen has hosted over 100 podcast episodes – and now, Speak for Change and Indexical bring you a series of live events! Each event features an interview and a musical guest, with new and custom sets tailored to the topic of conversation.
Thomas Sage Pedersen is the CEO and Founder of the award-winning music school Everyone’s Music School in Santa Cruz County. He is the founder and main host of Speak For Change Podcast, along with the Speak for Change Radio Hour on KSQD 90.7 FM in Santa Cruz. He is the Co-Founder and main facilitator of the Black Kings of Santa Cruz County, a black men’s group rooted in brotherhood and connection. When not working in the community Thomas likes to write, paint and create music. He lives in the Redwoods of Santa Cruz County with his amazing artist wife Lauren Ringelman.