Saturday, November 9, 2013

Toshi Reagon reflects on "Naked Soul" at the Rubin

As a follow-up to my post on the Naked Soul concert by Toshi Reagon and Juliette Jones at The Rubin Museum (read it here), I got permission from Reagon to share her beautiful notes from Facebook on her image and music selections and her overall experience at the Rubin.

She writes:

I had a heart opening experience at the Rubin Museum of Art. It was a thrill to sing in the a beautiful rosewood room with excellent acoustics. I am so used to creating dynamics with my voice and a microphone- it was a work out to sing off mic a whole show. I loved it. I worked with violinist Juliette Jones who jumped into every song with a soulful and sensitive creativity. Fierce! I was deeply moved by the good folks who decided to spend the time and money to be at that show. There was no loud sound to cover fidgeting, drinks, or small conversation. We all had to be really present. It was something else. This audience felt like they knew each other well, and sang so beautifully together. I am always humbled to see really old things survive in the 21st century. I as myself what will we leave for our people hundreds of years from now. Looking back could help us move forward in a brighter light.
Durga Mahishasuramadini
10th century
Tan Sandstone
I used usually 2 or 3 songs to cover the energy I felt from the pictures. I picked "Mountain top" for Maya because she gave birth to Buddha- she has a connection to life- and makes trees. She gave birth standing up- and she gave birth to someones who mission was known. So he is born grown. "Mountain top" is a rebirth song and the idea of standing on the mountain and standing down on the mountain made me think of this idea of being bigger than a mountain or grand enough to be there. So it is the idea of releasing power into the world and being powerful yourself that connected them.

I picked "Terrify Me" and "I hate I love" for Durga because they are both about having to deal with and vanquish problems you did not cause. They are both about a manipulative power structure that would never empower you to to be an equal creating chaos that you have to win in order for all to survive.

I picked "dream" for Rahula because it is the song about an end of life and everlasting life on the other side of death - it ends then we die no more. A guide is moving along side the person that is moving towards death- does not push or pressure but walks along side. Eventually the person finds death and welcomes by crossing the jordan river. How ever they are not gone from the ever. Rahula could be guiding us to a death and another life.

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