Julius Eastman’s ‘Feminine’ to receive first ever vinyl release

Julius Eastman’s seminal work Feminine is receiving a vinyl pressing for the first time from Helsinki based label Frozen Reeds. The pressing is a remaster of a 1974 performance of the piece by the S.E.M Ensemble, featuring Eastman on piano. Eastman, a Black queer composer active in New York from the 70’s until his death in 1990, was largely shunned by the classical music community for his often audacious, avant-garde minimal compositions. After failing to attract many professional opportunities, he quickly fell into addiction and homelessness. His work has since been re-evaluated for its striking genius and innovation in minimal composition. 

Feminine is remastered by Jim O’Rourke, and features reprinted liner notes from composer and author Mary Jane Leach. Leach, who first met Eastman in the 1980’s, has been a key figure in the archiving of the late composer’s work. In a statement, Leach said, “Eastman’s stated aim with Femenine was to please listeners, saying of the piece that ‘the end sounds like the angels opening up heaven… should we say euphoria?’”

The release of Feminine is the latest in a number of projects that look to excavate and preserve Eastman’s work. Recently, producer and electronic music composer Loraine James was tapped by Phantom Limb to reinterpret an archive of Eastman’s work acquired by the label on the album Building Something Beautiful For Me. In 2017, Frozen Reeds released a recording of Joy Boy, a composition which was previously unavailable, as part of a Bandcamp fundraiser for the Transgender Law Centre. 


Feminine will be released on May 30th. Listen to the remaster below. Pre-order the vinyl here