Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Greetings, I hope this post finds you well in this ever-changing world.

I participated in the fall Americanafest which was a beautiful experience (thanks BK Roads for the review!) and took the banjo I checked out of Brooklyn Library. I was compelled to take a risk and play a song on it I just learnt in Spanish because of something that had just happened.

A young woman in Iran named Mahsa Amini had been arrested by the morality police for having her headscarf slip and expose her hair. She died in custody three days later under suspicious circumstances, and witnesses had observed the police beating her. This later sparked a massive movement of protest in Iran and internationally.

This song in Spanish is called Nada by a Colombian-Canadian musician/activist named Lida Pimienta. It’s about being a woman who is fated to die and carries her pain inside of her. She is strong and unafraid. I was a bit nervous as the trains were passing loud above me and I had technical difficulties with my pickup and hearing myself, but I dedicated the song to her and to all women.

Yo te soy sincero
Si es que mañana muero
No le tengo miedo
Pues soy mujer y llevo
El dolor adentro
Soy mujer de lluvia
De sangre, en luna
De tierra, sal y duna
Con amor, sin duda
Si es que mañana muero
De aquí yo no me muevo
Yo no le tengo miedo

Translation:
Let me be sincere with you
Because tomorrow I will die
I am not afraid
Since I’m a woman and carry
My pain inside
I am a woman of rain
of moon-blood
of earth, salt and dunes
Because tomorrow I will die
I am not moving from here
I am not afraid

This reminds me of four years ago, when I also took the stage at the Guatemala International Jazz Festival. I was nervous because I was premiering a song I had written two nights before when I heard that 40 girls had been burned alive in a children’s home where they had experienced abuse and were protesting their treatment. Trembling onstage, I dedicated the song to these girls and the women in Antigua, where there were also reports of femicide.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. All we can do as humans and as artists is to try so speak to what’s happening and bring people together. There is so much darkness in the world, that it can be a struggle to find beauty and light. But I feel like that’s the calling. I have been getting so many emails about how to rack up views or go viral on TikTok and stream content, but sometimes I just don’t feel like doing those things. So you are hearing less from me these days but I hope that the little I put out there has some meaning.

It’s all one can do these days, other than roll with the changes. Apologies for the infrequent postings, work and family upheaval has taken me away from artistic pursuits, although I still get up to the occasional jazz jam. My email server had been down for a bit and I finally fixed the issue. So you can contact me here or hit me up on Facebook and Instagram.

Peace and love. Hopefully some new stuff this winter.

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