As part of their ongoing commitment to promoting music of women and ethnically diverse composers, Lorelt releases Homage: Chamber Music From The African Continent And Diaspora , a new release of chamber music from the African continent and diaspora.
Following her first two albums on Florence Price and Black Chicago Renaissance Women, pianist Samantha Ege returns with Boston-based Castle Of Our Skins string quartet to champion music of their cultural heritage. Together they capture a snapshot of more than a century of classical music by composers of African descent. Their album pays tribute to an array of lives and histories, from Black migrant labourers in apartheid South Africa to the nomadic Moors of North Africa. The three cornerstones of the album are Safika: Three Tales of African Migration for piano quintet (2011) by the South African composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen; Soweto for piano trio (1986) by the African American composer Undine Smith Moore; and Spiritual Fantasy for string quartet (1988) by the African American composer Frederick C. Tillis.
Interspersed between the chamber works are two solo pieces: Homage (1990) by the African American composer Zenobia Powell Perry and Moorish Dance, op. 55 (1904) by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Dr Ege is a musicologist and pianist. Her research and repertoire tightly entwine and largely concern 20th-century composers of African descent and women in music. She said: “We remember those from the past from the stories we tell in our present, and, at its heart, Homage is about storytelling. I have been playing the piano since I was three and for most of my time at the instrument, I had been oblivious to the history of classical musicians of African descent. Now as a professional musician, I am drawn to the African continent and diaspora in order to make sense of the histories that were suppressed during my education.”
Castle Of Our Skins invites explorations into Black heritage and culture, spotlighting both unsung and celebrated figures of the past and present. Violist Ashleigh Gordon and composer Anthony Green founded the collective in 2013 to address the lack of equity in composer representation on concert stages and the omission of important stories and figures in Black history.
Castle Of Our Skins features Ashleigh Gordon (violin), Francesca McNeeley (cello), Gabriela Díaz (violin) and Matthew Vera (violin). Homage, marks a historic moment in chamber music and is performed with a great deal of care and passion.
1 Movement I (3:42)
2 Movement II (4:48)
3 Movement III (3:58)
4 ZENOBIA POWELL PERRY
UNDINE SMITH MOORE
5 Movement I (1:44)
6 Movement II (5:19)
7 Movement III (3:09)
8 SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR
Moorish Dance, op. 55 (11:10)
FREDERICK C. TILLIS
Spiritual Fantasy No.12
9 I. Nobody Knows the Trouble I See (6:25)
10 II. Wade In The Water (4:48)
11 III. Crucifixion - He Never Said A Mumblin’ Word (4:29)
12 IV. I’m A-Rollin’ (7:34)