Back to All Events

Bent Frequency presents The Innocents at Sam Houston State Contemporary Music Festival

Bent Frequency, in collaboration with John Lane and Allen Otte, present the Innocents.  Also featuring Rzewski's Coming Together and Attica.

Sam Houston State University

Concert Hall, 7:30pm

6:30 PM, meet and greet with panelists and performs PAC lobby

This year's Contemporary Music Festival is presented in partnership with SHSU's Global Center for Journalism and Democracy. The focus of this year's festival is "The Innocents" - those individuals who are wrongly-convicted. More advanced forensic science techniques, like DNA testing, combined with reforms to the criminal justice system are helping to prevent future injustices.

In the year 2000, photographer Taryn Simon traveled across the US photographing and interviewing individuals who had been wrongly convicted and served time for crimes they did not commit. The individuals photographed were exonerated through DNA evidence, some after serving as many as 18 years in prison. In most cases, mistaken identification was the primary cause of the wrongful convictions. Simon photographed the men at sites that had particular significance to their conviction: the scene of the crime, arrest, or the scene of the alibi. The resulting collection of photographs have been exhibited internationally and featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times Magazine, and Vanity Fair.

Inspired by Simon’s photography, percussionist-composers John Lane, a School of Music faculty member, and guest artist, Allen Otte, will present The Innocents, their collaborative music work inspired by Simon’s photos with spoken word and non-traditional instruments (rocks, pots, pans, trash cans, etc...) used as percussion instruments combined with electronic audio tracks. The music, broken into short continuous movements, deals with a variety of issues related to wrongful conviction.

The Saturday evening performance will begin with a film and a panel discussion hosted by SHSU’s Global Center for Journalism and Democracy. Moderated by Don Teague, FOX 26 News Anchor, panelists will include: Anthony Graves, who was wrongfully convicted of murder and served 18 years behind bars; Jeff Blackburn, who is the founder of and chief counsel to the Innocence Project of Texas. In 2009, he handled the case of Timothy Cole, a young man who died in prison after being falsely accused of rape, and obtained the first posthumous DNA exoneration in Texas history; Dennis Longmire, a faculty member at SHSU in Criminal Justice and Criminology specializing in corrections, the death penalty, and public perceptions of crime and criminal justice; and Brandi Grissom, the managing editor of the Texas Tribune, who has covered stories related to wrongful conviction and incarceration.