by Anthony R. Green
Happy Easter, to all who celebrate!
Today’s BIBA Blog post is, admittedly, the furthest post away from Castle of our Skins’s mission of “Celebrating Black Artistry through Music” as this post is about the compositions and music artistry of indigenous composers. While these composers are not Black or belonging to the African diaspora, the past four years have seen a massive increase in hate crimes against MANY peoples of diverse cultural backgrounds and abilities. 2021 has been particularly focused on the massive increase in hate crimes against the AAPI community, and it is incredible that people are speaking out against such hate crimes. It is important for humanity to come together in support and community. That is why Castle of our Skins is taking this moment to acknowledge the injustice against many diverse peoples, and using this particular blog space to uplift the Native American community, a community often left out of many conversations concerning equality, justice, and freedom.
Recently, our neighbors at Shelter Music Boston have started to release videos from their “Voices from the Land” project, focusing on mostly young Native American composers. They include Xavier Ben, Sialik King, Gemal Benallie, Arika Morningstar, Christina Shupla, Gregory Cortez, Sage Bond, Dennalia Stevens, Thylia Yazzie, Cina Curley, and Damien Jones, and they were mentored by Michael Begay and Raven Chacon (who I had the pleasure of meeting in 2019 in Omaha, NE). This project is in collaboration with the Native American Composers Apprentice Project (NACAP), which is a nationally recognized program that has shared the art of composition with many indigenous youth. In these videos, you’ll also hear the beautiful violin playing of a friend of Castle of our Skins, Annegret Klaua! And remember to keep this blog in mind on August 9th, which is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, October 12th, which is Indigenous Peoples Day (started in 1992), and November, which is Native American Heritage Month.
Check out this project from Shelter Music Boston HERE, and enjoy your own exploration into the music of Native American Composers!
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