I remember watching my first sunset and being amazed at the colors in the sky. Growing up, the vibrancy of life excited me. The Rastafarian colors, the carnival colors and the shades of skin tones painted a story. The message was far deeper than words could express. The colors around me captured emotions.
The year 2015 has been filled with great professional accomplishments but reeked of pain due to the suffering of people who look like me. Color in many countries can mean the difference between life and death. Colorism within my community can have a negative impact on the soul.
In October, I decided to capture my personal feelings about color and challenge some deeply rooted beliefs in society. As I sat there and began composing music, different thoughts came to mind. I thought about how listeners created their own meanings for my previous compositions. The mood of the song painted a unique picture for each listener. Instead of dictating the meaning of each song, I settled with Moods and Colors…
Black beauty and power… I thought about the Caribbean and the African continent. I thought about African music. I began writing. I felt the power in the song. I felt the influence of afro beat. I felt the turns and twists of people seeking justice.
When I thought about the color blue, I was reminded of a joyful peace. I wanted to tell a story about finding joy in the midst of struggle. I thought about blue waters and blue skies. As I wrote the song, I felt calm within the groove.
Brown…down to earth. While I sat at the piano, two soulful beings appeared before me dancing. I heard the music that kept them on the floor enjoying each other. The passion, energy, yearning for the music to keep going. Blissful brown. Soulful brown.
Green earth… I imagined sitting in a field surrounded by trees looking up at the sky. I thought about the nurturing earth. The song became a flowing tribute to my love for nature.
Orange made me think about autumn. I thought about the leaves changing and returning to earth to create new growth. The deep orange in the sky right before night fall. I felt like melodies were moving in different directions. As they journeyed on separate paths, they eventually meet back up never losing intensity and communication with the nuances of life.
Pink…The sunrays on a pink flower. The unconditional love shared between the two. The flower closed up at night then reopened when the sun returned. The sun did not force the flower open. The exchange…delicate and nurturing.
Purple brought to mind a healing energy. The ostinato became a constant reminder of how a groove can heal the spirit.
Red energy, action, determination. The driving pulse of life starts within and works its way through all aspects of our being. I thought about the nights I spent on stage with calypso bands. The energy of people shaking their hips to the seductive sequence of sounds.
Yellow morning sunrise. I began singing an anthem that called on the listeners to rise up and celebrate. Optimism omnipresent… I imagined parishioners making a joyful noise while enjoying the blessings of life.
Moods & Colors…a gift for you.
December 26, 2015 at An die Musik…8pm
January 8 and 9, 2016 at Bohemian Caverns…8pm