A Renaissance is upon us, one that grows beyond our specific ethnicities and shares the synergy of multiculturalism. We cannot survive as a society otherwise. The African contribution to America is immeasurable. In music alone, when Afro ethnicity mixed with Euro ethnicity, a new American original was born...JAZZ! And Jazz subsequently begot Rhythm and Blues which begot Rock 'n' Roll. These folk idioms are so deeply entrenched in my psyche that I was moved to write my symphonic trilogy: #2 REGGAE, #3 HEAVY METAL, and #4 FUNK. This led me finally to my roots...AFRICA.

1
Child's Play/The Tribal Elder
It is morning and already the sun is very hot. Children playing in a village seem oblivious to the oppressive heat. In their mischievous play they come across a tribal elder in spiritual preparation.

2
Running/The Singing Bird
A young male runs for the thrill of running. The animals in the open plains seem to run with him in the same euphoric state of mind. Out of breath, he sits down in the shade of a tree and hears a bird singing. He takes out his thumb piano (kalimba) and plays along with the bird's song.

3
The Gathering/Celebration Initiation
Animals gather in large numbers at the watering hole. The tribe comes together to celebrate its existence. The ritual of male bonding and initiation into manhood is performed by the tribal spiritual leader through circumcision on the adolescents as only the men of the tribe watch.

4
Dusk/Night
In the village, a time for healing and reflecting. At the water hole, animals grow more uneasy as the sun sets into darkness. At night a predator stalks his prey and kills it.

5
Rain/Dawn
A much needed rain teasingly comes and goes finally developing into a severe rain and thunderstorm. But no sooner does it start when it just as suddenly stops. The day starts again. As the sun rises it awakens all who welcome the light. Their noise is eventually drowned out by the heat of the rising sun.

6
Embarkation
The soul and knowledge of the tribal experience goes out into the world.

Geneticists have proven, with the complete mapping of the genome, that the genetic markers within the Y chromosome prove once and for all, we are one race of people. And regardless of all of our different sizes, contours, colors, and hair textures, that create our beautiful human society, simply put, We are ALL Africans. The migrations from the mother continent, and the subsequent migrations from beyond its borders, whether because of climatic changes, the search for food, or simply curiosity, is what ultimately populated the rest of the world. The specific genius to adapt, is what created our many splendid physical differences. And yet, what in particular makes us so unique, is the fact that we are one. Any denial of this truth, is to fracture the seamless perfection of the whole.

I began composing AFRICA 12/9/91 and completed the work 5/19/92, as follows:

1) 12/9-14/91
2) 1/14-17/92
3) 1/30-2/18/92
4) 3/29-4/3/92
5) 4/12-16/92
6) 4/30-5/19/92

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