Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My symphony of a life.

I love music.

I love the way it translates emotions, thoughts and feelings, connecting with them with so effortlessly. The name of my blog is a reference to two songs that I listen to almost weekly . The first reference "Drawing Roses" is a metaphor for the things that make me happy, which is what I hope to share with you on this blog. It is from a line in the hip hop song "Roses" by Mos Def feat. Georgia Ann Muldrow off of his album "The Ecstatic "

She opens with this line :
"When I am down/I just draw some roses/on a pretty piece of paper/ With my recipe long pencil
Halfway through/I feel so much better/(FRESH) /I imagine happiness/(Wide awake in my dreams) /and it runs right through me / Such amazing beauty

My goodness , how awesome are those lines .. that song. When I listen to that song , I feel inspired , blessed ,re-energized to find the beauty in things . In what I have chosen to do in my life , be a purveyor of change , I find myself needing to draw lots of roses because there are some days when I do not even believe in the suns' warmth because the world feels so cold. And then something happens . I play this song, knowing that feeling jaded does not feel good to me. My son will come in and sing his heart out with me, although he does not know the words, and what I do and why I do it feels very real to me again and at once my spirit heals and I can continue on.

"Afro Blue " is very near and dear to my heart. I was looking for something that would show my pride in my heritage but not be as obvious as "blackness ". Even though if you know me , you know you can only go so long without hearing my talk about brown and black folks and the way we connect to our sisters and brothers of other skin colors. Race matters - but it doesn't have to be in a negative space . It can be a celebration of difference as well recognizing the ties that bind .

But back to the music . I first heard John Coltrane's Afro Blue , in the early 90's as a member of my junior high school band. Our band teacher Ms. Hockaday put us on to such great music . She literally shifted my life in her gift of music to us . While I do not play an instrument, I am the ultimate artist "in my head " ( as Wendy Williams would say LOL ) For the record , I wanted to be an alto sax player, but with the whole asthma thing , breathing is apparently required for playing a wind instrument , who knew ?

So I was going to put Coltrane's version of Afro Blue up , but instead I will introduce you to this fabulous brother Robert Glasper and his trio who covers this song , with vocals by the incomparable Erykah Badu . To know this song is to know me . Seriously , it paints a picture of how I see myself in my head . I don't know if I am conveying this clearly , but hear is the song please enjoy .

My favorite lyrics: Dream of a land /my soul is from/ I hear a hand/stroke on a drum
Elegant boy/ Beautiful girl/ Dancing for joy/Elegant whirl
Shades of delight/ Cocoa hue/ Rich as the night /Afro blue

How rich and powerful. Music is just that for me . Yes , I am drawing roses in afro blue. I am finding the positive in negative spaces and I am celebrating the richness of diversity. All while dope tracks play in my symphony of a life.

Oh yes , please support these artists by buying their actual albums . My intent was not to pass the videos or song as my own , instead it was to take you on a musical journey - thus giving you a chance to hear the music . BUY THE MUSIC!!!!!!