Curated by Kwame Write Aidoo, and produced by Inkfluent, the Vocal Portraits albums feature many talented poets, storytellers and musicians from Africa, Europe and North America.
This month, we travel light. Returning to Canada—because of course, at this moment in time, we had to.
This month on La Danza Poetica, the spirit runs deep. Featuring the brilliant new album from Canada’s Tanya Evanson, debut EP from Australia’s Mirrah, and a poetic release from USA’s Solange. Alongside, the smooth spirituals of Canadian/American soul sisters: Cris Derksen and Jennifer Kreisberg, Marianne Verville, Sunni Patterson, Shauntay Grant, Queen Ka. And soulful brothers from Canada: Ivy, Ian Kamau, and Shane Koyczan collaborating with the inspirational sister of all activist poets, Ani Difranco.
A special collaboration between La Danza Poética and La Rebelde Academia de la Música Latinoamericana (RAMULA)! Colombian poet Gustavo Gómez Giraldo, aka Juaco, recorded in Brussels by Joaldo Domínguez. Mixed with music from Mateo Kingman, Nicola Cruz, Sentidor, and Negro Dub.
This month’s mix opens with One Sixth’s fierce poem ‘Labyrinth’ - in which he calls for compassion, for understanding, and above all, for listening. So we listen. Hip hop is the voice as music, poetry as rhythm, storytelling with the drum beats of the heart. In the hands of these artists, hip hop gets closest to the truth. Featuring Xolisa (Canada), Akua Naru (USA), Omar Musa (Australia), A Tribe Called Red (Canada), Brandon Wint (Canada), FOKN Bois (Ghana), Mateo Kingman (Ecuador), Aja Monet (USA), GANGAMix (France), One Sixth (Australia).
A multi-layered mix of poetry, rhythm, melody en français, exploring the strong voices of la Négritude movement in France, a movement influenced by the Harlem Renaissance. Our honoured ghosts, Langston Hughes, and les trois pères (the three fathers) of la Négritude: Aime Cesare, Léon-Gontran Damas, and Léopold Sédar Senghor. Their eloquent descendants, Nikki Giovanni, Youssoupha, Sunni Patterson. Voices flow through a mix of deep electronic beats, abstract French hip hop and shimmering Haitian/American folk. Featuring Leyla McCalla, Caro C, Christine and the Queens (with Tunji Ige), Fauve, Odezenne, brome, Bleu éther. Très éclectique, très fort!
The Apollo Saxophone Quartet’s collaboration with poet Lemn Sissay is one of the deepest word/music journeys you can take - expressive, cinematic, arresting. Robert Frost’s 1920s poem “Fire and Ice” observes the end of the world with the cool objectivity of someone who is part of, not just observing, the changes of seasons. There is a goal! So, let’s become the rain...
Adventurous spirits journey within and without, communing with tradition, home, self, and other. This month on the global dance poetic, a world of new releases that share an adventurous spirit of experimentation and connection.
Paseo Mental - a walk through the mind, through the various voices in our heads, both our own and the voices of the honoured ghosts and ancestors who walk with us. Performance poetry from Segovia, Spain, from an installation by Andrés Sánchez, plus new tracks, collaborations and remixes out of South America, Mexico, USA, Algeria, and Europe.
In February La Danza Poetica crosses lines and walls, real and imagined, through the eastern Mediterranean and Levant, from Persia to Palestine, from ancient to modern. Rafeef Ziadah, Milagro Acustico Ensemble, Fawda, Abdalak, Katibeh Khamseh, A-Wa, La Mirza & Rayess Bek, Suheir Hammed, and readings of the poetry of Ashram Fayadh, on death row in Saudi Arabia over charges of apostasy. Dedicated to the silent poet.
Pausing for reflection in January 2016, a mix of tracks that I couldn’t include in the feature shows of ’15, that are still on high rotation in my mind.
For the Kulin Nation, Melbourne has always been an important meeting place. And it continues to be a place of connection for people from all around the world.
Calling the global dance poetic – Special focus on Ms. Soli Tii’s World Women Project collection of women's voices, some beautiful folktronic tracks and remixes from India, Greece, Egypt, Brazil, Germany, Colombia, France, UK... plus spoken word from Greek-Australian poet Luka Lesson’s latest release.
Collaborative poetic jazz, organic electronics. From New Orleans to New York; France to Brazil; Poland to Trinidad; Mali to Cape Town; Portugal to Suriname. Stretching and tensing, sincopando.
Sung poetry, the oral tradition, passed down from generation to generation, continuing today, no break in the chain…
Rêver en français… storytelling of emotion and delirium of loops, Being in transit in between times and places, in a woozy mood, a loose mix from a recent live set. No explanation, no reason, no solution. Just the enlightened, unapologetic emotion of French poets, under the spell of delirious analysis. From Saul Williams to Anaïs Nin, let’s hallucinate Napoléon Bonaparte together, la danse poétique!
Eclectic electronic, folk and poetic wavelengths from Greece. Featuring electronica pioneers Lena Platonos and Stereo Nova, fascinating composers and bands Carte Postale, Imam Baildi, ION, Anna Stereopoulou, and May Roosevelt (mixing the poetry of Dinos Christianopoulos), hip hop / low bap from Active Member with Luka Lesson, and Poetic [Low Bap], a new album from Savina Yannatou, postcards from the multicultural history of Thessaloniki, and honoured ghosts, rebetika singers Stella Haskil and Sotiria Bellou, who are the waves beneath all of our boats.
Australia is, on the ground and in the streets, a place of amazing diversity. We celebrate the multitude of voices speaking up. Two new spoken word LPs from Joel McKerrow and Adam Gibson, and a new compilation from Melbourne Spoken Word. Poets Sean M Whelan, Andrew Galan, Randall Stephens, Eleanor Jackson, Sista Zai, Ebony MonCrief, Jacky T, Common Ground Collective (L-Fresh the Lion, Nayana Bhandari), REMI, NYUON, Cazeaux O.S.L.O. Diverse musical threads woven into the fabric of a still-evolving Australian identity - from Iran to Oz, Amin Payne; from Punjab to Caribbean to Oz, Sikander; from soul to Oz soul, Hiatus Kaiyote; from Tatarstan-Udmurtia to the Universe, Starship Z! And from the absolute heart, Jimblah re-calls Yothu Yindi’s anthem for Aboriginal sovereignty. This is Australia, a land of many cultures, beholden to one.
Following on from #6, Northern Soul dives into the deep, orchestral spaces and provocative political and social stories of Canada.