JJJJJerome Ellis - The Clearing (2xLP)


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Composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and writer JJJJJerome Ellis's debut album 'The Clearing' is a conceptual and musical tour de force that combines Jazz with the narratives of enslaved Africans, and experimental electronics with historical accounts of Black rebellion. The album centers speech but uses it as a starting point to not only depathologize dysfluent speech but to build new tools to critique anti-Blackness, linear time, culture, and power in our society.

With 'The Clearing,' JJJJJerome Ellis establishes a new metaphor that frames speech dysfluency—stuttering in particular—as a space for possibility rather than a pathology. First introduced in his 2020 essay “The clearing: Music, dysfluency, Blackness and time” in The Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, Ellis presents “The Clearing” as a concept that challenges us to reimagine dysfluency in speech and question how speech and articulation impact how we exist in the social realm. Recorded in various bedrooms over the course of several months and setting the text of Ellis’s essay to music, 'The Clearing' is a haunting and expansive series of reflections on the questions of speech, articulation, and the power behind both. Ellis says of the project: “I hope this album offers the listener some of what my stutter offers me: an opportunity to imagine new ways of being in time.”

'The Clearing' is co-produced by NNA Tapes and the Poetry Project. The album will be released in tandem with a book published by Wendy's Subway, the eighth title in the Document Series, an interdisciplinary publishing initiative that highlights work by time-based artists in printed form.