This Mondrian painting is actually a jazz score | Jason Moran | MoMA BBC | THE WAY I SEE IT

This episode of “The Way I See It” features artist, musician, and jazz innovator Jason Moran. Moran’s music explores and expands the properties of jazz—he shapes his medium into a form that seems to breathe the air of our moment. His performances are theatrical and often incorporate his own visual art and stage designs. He has collaborated with artists such as Carrie Mae Weems, Julie Mehretu, Joan Jonas, and Kara Walker in works that merge sound, performance, and visual art.

In this series we ask extraordinary creative thinkers to choose a work that they love—Moran’s pick is Piet Mondrian’s “Broadway Boogie Woogie.” After admiring the painting in the galleries, Moran leads us to a piano tucked away in a backstage corner of our theater. Positioning an image of “Broadway Boogie Woogie” on the piano, he sits down and, to our delight, plays the artwork as if it were a score. “Is this a new Jason Moran piece?” asks MoMA curator, Leah Dickerman, as Moran lifts his hands from the keys. “That’s a Mondrian. Mondrian definitely wrote that,” he responds with a chuckle.

Find “The Way I See It” on BBC Sounds or wherever you get your podcasts.

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The comments and opinions expressed in this video are those of the speaker alone, and do not represent the views of The Museum of Modern Art, its personnel, or any artist. 

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