These songs come from Haiti.
The two tracks above serve as a preview of what will eventually be a full length record benefiting the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti. I learned these melodies in Haiti, mostly in the chapel at St. Damien's Hospital, and in the crematorium behind it.
Each morning there is mass in the chapel, and sadly, it is very frequently a funeral for a patient, a friend or family member of a staff member, or some other soul in need of burial and song. These songs are often sung at the funeral mass. They speak of great courage, hope, and faith in the face of loss.
Lyrically, these are not direct translations, but I wrote them in the spirit of the Haitian songs. These are a humble attempt to share a few of the melodies and feelings that defined several years of my life.
I couldn't forget these melodies if I wanted to...and as it happens, I don't want to.
The original songs can be heard, in Haitian Kreyol, at stlukehaiti.bandcamp.com
For now they are not available for download, just here for your listening....but in the next few months they will be released as a record.
I'm currently determining the best way to "release" said record...which in essence means, I'm figuring out which will be the best way to raise money for St. Luke Haiti with sales from the record. Any thoughts, insights, or help is appreciated.
released 27 November 2013
These songs were recorded with the help, support and generously donated time of J.B. and Rob at Lindbergh Palace Studios. They are incredibly talented and uncommonly kind. Learn more about their studio here: www.lindberghpalacestudios.com
Jon Crawley plays piano on Noye Noye and is a true friend and confidante who played a big part in making the record.
Maddy Wyatt sings on both tracks.
Jeff Mercel plays drums on "I'm Gonna See".
Kyle Ervin plays bass on "I'm Gonna See".
Matt Singer sings on "I'm Gonna See".
Pete Lanctot plays fiddle on "I'm Gonna See."
Jonathan Benedict plays keys on "I'm Gonna See".
Nate Reit (trombone), Jonathan Saraga (trumpet), Bill Todd (saxophone), and Ric Becker (trombone) make up the horn section on "I'm Gonna See".
Every one of these talented folks donated their time to the project and I am truly grateful for this.
To learn more about the Haitian music that these songs grow from please read here: www.huffingtonpost.com/wynn-walent/haiti-music-singing_b_2294627.html
To learn more about the courageous and transformational work being done by the Haitian staff and leadership at St. Luke Foundation for Haiti please visit stlukehaiti.org
Thanks to my dear friend Amena Ahmad for creating the CD art.
The photo, of the chapel at. St. Damien's, was taken by Rebecca Arnold.