by Anthony R. Green
Did you catch it? Did you see Castle of our Skins's latest digital on-demand project titled From the Motherland? Including today you have 8 days left! For those who haven't seen it, set aside some time in your calendars to watch it ... at least twice! For those who have seen it only once ... SEE IT AGAIN! Why, you may ask? This performance is so rich that it is difficult to appreciate it fully in one go, even though one can easily go on this incredible journey with Tanyaradzwa and her incredible band-mates, and experience such a life-affirming musical exhibition that is sure to leave a deep impression on your heart, mind, body, and soul.
Photo Credit: www.RobertTorresPhotography.com
During this performance, Tanyaradzwa's journey through 12 songs evokes the spirit of Mwedzi, a Chivanhu word meaning moon, month, and menstrual cycle. In this evocation, Tanyaradzwa intimately and boldly recounts her journey into womanhood. She writes: Mwedzi tells the story of my rite of passage into Womanhood. This 12-year journey began in 2008, when I left Zimbabwe for the United States. As a Zimbabwean woman living in the USA, staying grounded in ancestral wisdom has been vital for my survival.
The songs run the gambit of emotions, in parallel to Tanyaradzwa's 12-year story. Enthusiastic, community-building songs invite the digital audience to participate (like the fun, bright, and rhythmically sophisticated Anchulele). Slower, intimate songs bring the audience into a spirit of reflection and (perhaps) penitence and honor (like the incredibly poignant, simple, transcendental Mwoyo Muti). Then there are moments of unadulterated mature wit and clever surmounting of life's obstacles (like the cheeky, whimsical songs Chef and Mysterious Woman). I cannot speak highly enough of the incredible musicianship of Tanyaradzwa and her band mates Etienne Charles and Gerson Lazo-Quiroga. What a synergy they all share; what a deep level of communication, clarity of destination, and ease in musical fluidity. The instrument combinations are fascinating, highlighting a wide range of colors and textures. The rhythms are so complex, yet all organically felt and executed by the incredible bond of these three talented lights.
From the Motherland - stop everything and watch now!
Writings, musings, photos, links, and videos about Black Artistry of ALL varieties!
Feel free to drop a comment or suggestion for posts!