Latoya Hamilton intends to spread God’s message through melody | Entertainment

Gospel poet Latoya Hamilton seeks to spread hope and the message of God’s comfort, love and goodness with her music.

“Gospel music has a way of traveling to your soul. And whatever message is conveyed in that tune, you are giving it permission to enter the depths of your mind, spirit, and heart” , she said. THE WEEKEND STAR.

The St Elizabeth native had an interesting conversation with God one day. She asked her what she was created for and was surprised by the answer. ‘Write poems’ was His answer.

“I didn’t have an example of a gospel poet there. When I asked what I should write about, God said ‘my life’. I was hesitant at first, I didn’t want to put myself there- But if I asked the question and God told me what to do, why would I want to do anything else? Since answering that call, she has enjoyed every second of the journey, discovering a passion she never knew existed.

Exploring that happy medium between divine positivity and harmony in 2013, Hamilton discovered that many could relate to his lyrics. Leggo Me Stuff was his first written single, which quickly became an album.

“I never saw what I was doing as a career; it was more of a hobby. For me, it was obedience to God and a way to help others,” she said. said, noting that she is still learning more about the music industry as a career.

The trip so far has been wonderful. She considers ministry in front of an audience an honor, an honor she can never take for granted. People have been welcoming and they often share the positive impact his music has had on their own lives. She considers this the greatest blessing.

Drawing inspiration from her personal experiences, her songs and poems are about overcoming obstacles and struggles. She has no favourites, but tracks like Self love, Smiling sisters, sacred ghost and spiritual warfare resonate with it.

Starting out without a team, the management aspect, she confessed, took the fun out of the music. She is now back on track at the ministry, with a unit specializing in reservations and marketing. The global pandemic has been the biggest teacher of having an online presence, so she is currently working on that element of social media.

“My ambition is for people to know God. If anyone listens to what I write, I hope it will bring them closer to them.”

How to maintain harmony on the guitar in delicate arrangements of chords and melodies

Extract from the January / February 2022 issue of Acoustic guitar | By Greg Ruby

When playing chord-melody style guitar, sometimes you don’t know which chord to use when the melody isn’t a chord or is moving too fast. The solution? Hold down a triad while playing a chromatic or diatonic melody. Here you will learn to play difficult chord melody guitar arrangements, using the classical song “My melancholy baby” for the context.

Maintain harmony

Chromatic melodies usually connect two chords by playing the middle note (s). In Example 1, the notes E (the third of a C major chord) and G (the fifth) are bridged by F and F #. When this happens, choose a chord that requires as few fingers as possible. For example, to play Example 2, hold the C chord with a barre on the first finger in fret 5, freeing your other fingers to play the additional notes.

Example 3 demonstrates the same idea, but with a diatonic, rather than chromatic, melody. Keeping the shape shown in the chord frame, use your fourth finger to play the notes in the tenth fret. In Example 4, play the Dm9 chord as shown, then, with your index and index fingers held in place, move your index finger to grab the D on string 2, fret 3. [Alternatively, try barring the strings at the third fret, simply releasing your fourth finger to play the third-fret D. —Ed.] This technique requires careful rehearsal in order to develop the digital independence required for a smooth transition.

Track changes and use inversions

When the melody stops but the chords continue, just play the changes. If possible, use the same chord shape, but only sound the lowest strings. Example 5 demonstrates a four-note D9 chord with the second E string as the melody note, followed by strumming of strings 3 through 5 for the remainder of the measure, providing a feeling of four-way rhythm in measure. When possible, continue to hold the note of the melody while strumming the chord.

As I explained in previous lessons, inversions are the keystone of playing chords and melodies. In Example 6, go from a G9 (with the melody note A on string 1) to the first string C, then up to G7, the melody note B followed by another A. Use only your fourth finger on the first string will facilitate the transition between each of the notes and inversions.

Let it go

Sometimes it is better to remove the chord from the chord melody. It is always an option to let go of a chord after strumming it and briefly let the melody carry the load. In Example 7, place the C6 / 9 chord on beat 1 to sustain the melody note D, then immediately release the chord and play only the notes C, D and E. Ear a welcome change in texture.

Play “My Melancholy Baby”

Now connect the above concepts in an arrangement of chords and melodies from “My Melancholy Baby” (Example 8), a beloved standard that has been recorded by many jazz greats – guitarist Django Reinhardt and pianists Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk to name a few. The arrangement opens with the ideas introduced in the first two examples, and the technique of strumming the lower part of a chord is used first in bars 3-4, then in bars 6-8.

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Make sure to isolate all the delicate areas and really focus on your fretting fingers. In measure 17, for example, release the F chord when you move your index finger down to play the fourth G # fret. Try to keep the shape of the chord to allow a quick landing on beat 3.

As you work on the arrangement, repeat each phrase slowly, taking into account the melody notes and chords. Once you have mastered the rhythm guitar strumming as part of the arrangement, try making your strummings a little quieter in dynamics than melody. Good practice !

Greg Rubis is a guitarist, composer, historian and teacher specializing in jazz from the first half of the 20th century. His latest book is Oscar Alemán’s Songbook Vol. 1. Ruby teaches and Zoom classes.

Guitar chord melody lesson musical notation sheet 2

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Opinion Brief musical harmony against a background of political discord

On the first anniversary of the storming of the Washington Capitol, many assessments have been made on the state of the republic of the United States.

The watchdogs of democracy have not been encouraged by the situation across the Atlantic either.

Once set up as models for the transformation of autocracy into free societies, Poland and Hungary now appear as rogue states within the European Union, sanctioned by Brussels for their attacks on independent judicial systems and against individual rights. .

The immigrant crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border continues into the dead of winter. On the western outskirts, Britain has Brexited the EU. Refugees drown in the English Channel, with France and Britain blaming each other for the tragedy.

In the heart of Europe, Austria has been rocked by political corruption scandals. Its young right-wing and anti-immigrant ex-chancellor Sebastian Kurz has been dismissed twice. -The politician plans to waltz through the revolving door.

And then there is Covid. When the Austrian government imposed a new lockdown in November and announced the start of compulsory vaccinations in February, some 40,000 demonstrators marched to Vienna’s Heldenplatz (Heroes’ Square) in front of the former imperial palace, the Hofburg, with smoke bombs, horns, flags and placards calling for an end to “the fascist dictatorship”.

One doesn’t even get a quick glimpse of this busy backdrop while listening to the broadcast of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual New Years concert.

In 2021, the event was virtual, but this year the famous orchestra returned to its home in the classical temple of the Musikverein, its golden columns and caryatids festooned with flowers, for a live performance in front of a masked audience.

The government lifted the lockdown in December even as omicron gathered its forces.

The musicians and the conductor, the imperious Daniel Barenboim, were unmasked and even sang and whistled the nostalgic Night Reveler’s Waltz by Johann Michael Ziehrer, one of the most ingenious threats to the supremacy of the orchestra of the Strauss brothers.

The host of the show was Hugh Bonneville – Lord Grantham at Downtown Abbey. The pandemic confined his lordship to quarters – a very English living room equipped with a Christmas tree, a comfortable armchair, leather-bound volumes, crackling of fire in the hearth and fine engravings on the wall.

Dressed in a tailored blue wool suit, Bonneville was the epitome of wisdom, wit, and stability. This ersatz-aristo puts the class back in class.

The Musikverein is a stronghold of tradition even more robust than Downton Abbey.

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is predominantly made up of men (women were only admitted to the orchestra as “full” members in 1997, two years after Austria joined the ‘EU) and white.

Bonneville’s remarks between musical numbers were rich in some historical details, silent on others.

We have heard of the Strauss brothers’ orchestra on tour, but not of Johann Jnr’s early revolutionary sympathies, although his music later became not only a symbol, but a cultural bulwark of the Habsburg monarchy.

With a subtly raised eyebrow, Bonneville referred to music and dancing as “extramarital flirtation” sites.

The screenplay (by John Walker) explored the nuances of genre and class of the city’s famous masquerades.

With her own taste for flirtation, Bonneville described the underground adventures through the ballroom landscape of Empress Elisabeth, wife of Franz Joseph I, who ruled from the revolutionary year of 1848 until her death in 1916 in middle of the First World War.

This mustached ruler did not live long enough to witness the self-inflicted demise of the Habsburg monarchy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, considered by some to be a multicultural forerunner of the EU.

Bonneville failed to remind audiences, however, that the tradition of New Year’s concerts in Vienna began in 1939 as a fundraiser for the Nazi Party.

Barenboim turns 80 this year, and without the mutton chops he too is a longtime ruler of an international empire, with his kingdoms now reduced to his command of the Berlin State Opera.

At the helm of the Vienna Philharmonic on January 1 for the third time, Barenboim sometimes smiled, but his demeanor was hardly festive.

In the last of the three traditional recalls, the Mars Radetzky – this Habsburg monarchy theme song is now playing on a piano (and banjo) in a Montana living room on Netflix in the neo-western, Power of the Dog (with Benedict Cumberbatch) – audiences started clapping too soon.

The blatant maestro silenced them, holding them in check like a field marshal with saber raised, before giving the command and the ceremonial audience their pleasure in the chorus.

No one is better at playing the role of the stern general than Barenboim, a wicked and witty glint in his eyes as he thumbs his thumb at the great Viennese.

With the homebound viewer eager for a sightseeing excursion, the show took them to the nearby Spanish Riding School for a horse ballet of the Lipizzaner stallions prancing precisely to the tune of Josef Strauss Polka Nymphs; and in Schoennbrunn (the summer palace of the Habsburgs) for the Vienna State Ballet from the terrace to the floored ballroom.

The human choreography assumed various gender configurations that might have offended Kurz and his political allies, opposed as they are – along with their Polish and Hungarian counterparts – to same-sex marriage.

In the midst of these peregrinations, the exotic of Johann Strauss Persian Mars celebrated the opening of a second front east of Austria’s centuries-old adversary, the Ottoman Empire.

The serpentine melody of the air is an unusual 19th century exoticism and even cites the Persian national anthem of yesteryear.

The music is so light and beautiful that, at least for Viennese on New Year’s Day, it refuses to be carried away by geopolitical gravity: wars and border clashes; refugees; bans on the burqa; anti-inflammatory vaccines; The Austrian internal defense of the fortress Europe.

Inevitably, Strauss’s sentimental fare traces the movements of Viennese dancers. Like history, they go round in circles, repeating their steps and their trajectories.

No ensemble is more convincing than this philharmonic by adding this phantom fourth beat to the triple beat of their national waltz.

Barenboim knows that this move cannot really be carried out, but is in the symphonic blood of the players.

The Blue Danube may now be dammed, but on New Years at the Musikverein in Vienna, it sinks and evaporates like champagne.

David Yearsley is a longtime CounterPunch contributor where this article first appeared. Her latest book is Sex, Death, and Minuets: Anna Magdalena Bach and Her Musical Notebooks. He can be contacted at [email protected].

The melody of a Malayali: Revisiting Yesudas on his birthday

Writing about KJ Yesudas is no easy task given his illustrious career as a playback singer spanning more than six decades in which he is estimated to have recorded over 50,000 songs. If that’s not enough to understand the immensity of his career, something else might help. Yesudas has won the National Award for Best Male Vocalist eight times and has won 43 state awards during his career. He was also honored with Padma Shri (1975), Padma Bhushan (2002) and Padma Vibhushan (2017).

A vocal wonder capable of easily rendering even the complex of compositions, Yesudas had already recorded songs in eleven different languages ​​on the same day. It is even said that a Malayali cannot end a day without listening to a Dasettan song somewhere. The songs he sang for legendary composers Baburaj and Devarajan Master in the 60s and 70s are still the soul of Mayalali’s melody. People have an indestructible emotional connection with songs like “Thamasamenthe Varuvan”, “Pranasakhi Njan Verumoru”, “Oru pushpam Mathramen”, “Ayiram Padasarangal” among others. The way Yesudas has handled every word in the lyrical context of these timeless songs is as good as the feeling of touching emotions with your fingers. It is unimaginable to think of another voice for Malayali’s favorite song “Devangangal Kayyozhinja Tharkam” from Padmarajan director Njan Gandharvan, a song that resonates with the honorary Gana Gandharvan of Yesudas, meaning Heavenly Singer from Heaven.

“Manushyan Madangale Srishtichu”, a personal favorite of the maestro, is a song that Yesudas sang at public gatherings or social events. The lyrics of the song written by Vayalar Ramavarma for the movie Achanum Bappayum are still relevant today. The opening lines of the song translate to: “Humans created religions. Religions have created gods. Humans, religions and gods divide the earth and the spirits.

Even the first popular song of Yesudas starting with the words Jathi Bedham Matha Dwesham was about the Kerala caste society. The words were written by one of the greatest social reformers and renaissance leaders Kerala has ever seen – Sree Narayana Guru. In a way, the heavenly voice of Yesudas became the tool to propagate ideas of equality and hope to build a world free from the evils of caste and religion through songs like “Manushyan Mathangale Srishtichu” and “Jathi Bedham”. Whenever Yesudas speaks at gatherings and public events, he emphasizes the need for communal and religious harmony.

Not only in Malayalam, the legendary singer has also made his mark in Bollywood and other industries in South India. His songs from the 1976 film Chithcor composed by Raveendra Jain are still popular today. “Surmayee Ankhiyon Mein” written by Gulzaar for the movie Sadma is also loved by many.

Yesudas has also proven his versatility by singing many songs of varying moods and rhythms. He has an enviable discography with each having their own special song Dasettan.

So, on the occasion of Yesudas’ 82nd birthday, let us find solace in the countless beautiful songs he has performed over the years.

Moroz embraces emotional melody with debut EP


For music to have substance, it must convey feelings and emotions. Without these elements it can be a bland attempt at structured noise, but when they are present it can be something special. Ever since figuring out how to use the GarageBand program on her MacBook, Hannah Moroz, originally from Long Beach, Calif., Has been using this artistic approach. His way of writing songs has a harmonic flow without ever straying from an amplified side. This is evident in his debut EP titled Sunken People which was released under his last name via the Cranston-based Pitch & Prose label on November 26th.

Being a product of the digital age has played a role in Moroz’s music since she started uploading her material to the internet as a teenager. His songs reflect inner fear, the bonds that come from both friendships and family as well as the occasional romance. It all stems from the fact that she has spent her life meeting unlikely people from various walks of life, wherever she goes. Moroz is used to collaborating with musicians from near and far, which is why a West Coast artist might hook up with a small label in a suburban New England town. While playing both rhythm guitar and keyboard as well as vocals, Moroz is joined on the EP by Evan Schaid on drums, Genevieve Quiquivix on lead guitar, Seamus Guy on violin, Josie Boyer on cello and Kristen. Lee & Brooke Dickson who alternate bass duties.

The dynamic between Moroz’s opera voice and electric guitars makes this record stand out. The opposites of soft and rough tones that come together to create a sound make it more accessible while moving away from its generic character. A combination of pop, alternative, folk and straightforward rock that refreshes the senses. This quality testifies to a desire to get out of the creative framework while maintaining a certain artistic vision. It’s a difficult thing to achieve, but when done right it leaves a positive impression while also getting the listener to think about where the artist will go next with their music.

Beginning acoustically, “It’ll All Be Over Soon” overlaps a steady rhythm that increases in harmony and melody. “Showing Up” features a subtle groove that is a bit jazzy and a bit surfing, but it doesn’t quite dive into either style. The guitars have a different vibe in “Blueberry Mascarpone” with the violin and cello having a greater presence while giving off a baroque aesthetic. The title song incorporates an electronic rhythm that counterbalances with an acoustic guitar in a blissful way. The record’s conclusion is “Ebb Tide” showcasing both Moroz’s skills on the keys and his vocal range.

Overall the EP has a solid lineup of music that has a lot to offer. Each track brings something different to the ears and there is also a substantial cohesion that is present. I would say it’s great to give as a gift to a loved one, but since we are past the holiday season I would say just grab a copy to enjoy for yourself or your favorite music lover. To do this, log into the Pitch & Prose Bandcamp page on and do a little search to purchase the record. To follow Moroz on social media, check out his Twitter at with his Instagram at

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Trivium’s Matt Heafy Says Rhythm Guitar “Has Been A Little Lost” In Modern Metal

The leader thanks the members of Voivod and Death for introducing an inspiring new approach

Posted on January 06, 2022

In an age when metal seems dominated by super-shredders, Trivium frontman Matt Heafy sings the praises of the rhythm guitar.

Heafy sat down with Guitar world for a new interview, where he admitted he felt rhythm guitar had “got a little lost” in modern metal.

“Every time you open Instagram there’s a new super freak who can do the craziest things most of us can’t do,” the musician explained. “But I feel like the concept of rhythm guitar has gotten a bit lost, especially in modern metal.”

Functionally, the rhythm guitar plays more of a supporting role in a band’s sound by contributing to both the rhythmic heartbeat of the song (alongside drums, bass, etc.) not a crucial component, or that it cannot provide an immense level of interest to a mixture.

“I think ‘A Crisis Of Revelation’ [from Trivium’s 2021 album In the Court of the Dragon] will be difficult for people to learn, ”continued Heafy. “It involves this weird style of selection that I learned from Chuck Schuldiner of Death and Daniel Mongrain of Martyr [and Voivod]. “

Elaborating on his approach inspired by Mongrain and Schuldiner, he added:

They were the first to use this weird technique that wasn’t just alternative or down-picking: it’s down, down, then down, up, down – sounding like dun-dun-dadadun. By making our debut, [producer] Jason Suecof told us that if we learn every song from Martyr’s Distortion zone (2000), we had become the best players in the world.

Daniel Mongrain is one of the greats – he’s classically trained in jazz, so he sounds like Marty Friedman and Allan Holdsworth mixed together. I did not invent [the style], but I’m one of the few players to use it.

Hear Heafy’s rhythm guitar styles in action in “A Crisis of Revelation” below.

In the Court of the Dragon made the essential Exclaim releases! from November 2021, worn by the remarkable track “The Shadow of the Abattoir”. Much like Heafy must be, we are eagerly awaiting the latest news from Mongrain on Voivod’s next album. Synchro Anarchy.

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The Tabla Ensemble of Toronto is racing for a rhythmic 2022 with “Encore 21”

Can the burst of fresh energy and the promise of possibilities that a New Year brings be embodied in a song? The Toronto Tabla Ensemble, nominated for the JUNO Awards in Canada, has their fingers on the right beat to get you on your feet and dance through 2022 with their new single and video, “Encore 21”.

Featuring high velocity tabla and other percussion, as well as the rapid recitation of tabla bols (language) by TTE founder and songwriter Ritesh Das, “Encore 21” has the power to propel anyone into a happy state of reverie. However, performing this composition requires a sobering amount of skill and practice.

“I originally wrote this piece for the Youth Ensemble,” says Das. “A quick, high-energy line-up to keep their chops in as we slowly emerge from the pandemic and re-prepare for in-person shows. “

“Encore 21” is the second single from the 8th album of the ensemble For the Love of Tabla, due for release in March 2022. It is a multidisciplinary and joyfully collaborative effort between teachers, students of all levels and artistic colleagues.

“I worked with my tabla student Kolston Gogan who is a professional drummer to work on the drum parts of the kit and also for him to work with Jishnu Parekh, a young member who had just started to learn the drums”, notes Das.

If “Encore 21” lives up to its name and sounds like a jubilant finale to a TTE live, it shouldn’t be surprising. It’s certainly not Melissa Das-Arp, director and director of TTE.

“When I heard this piece, the speed and energy reminded me of a typical reminder that the Toronto Tabla Ensemble would play at the end of a performance,” notes Das-Arp. “This usually involves the entire cast of TTE, including the dancers on stage led by Ritesh Das himself at the microphone leading the performers and rocking the audience so that they literally stand up.”

The memory of her husband vocally leading the end-of-show celebrations prompted Das-Arp to ask her to record and add the recitation of the tabla bowls which became a key part of “Encore 21”.

“Ritesh obeyed my request and recorded his ‘recitation’, which is basically the language of the tabla,” she says. “However, the way he weaves the melody and the feelings together is one of a kind.”

Das-Arp also found inspiration a century ago to create the unique and artfully retro video for “Encore 21”, which features Ritesh Das playing tabla bowls, members of TTE on tabla and kit kits. drums and Kathak dancers from Ontario and California.

“As I listened to the song, the performers’ visuals started showing up to me in a vintage black and white look and I was like, ‘I wonder what this type of show would be like 100 years ago’? ‘back then there weren’t any smartphones and we really only saw what was organized from a mostly western perspective. Who knows what really happened and maybe shows like this happened. is actually produced.

Of course, producing and directing a music video during our pandemic presented unique challenges for Das-Arp and the artists.

“All the artists filmed themselves from home under the direction of assistant director and member of the Ensemble Shamir Panchal,” explains Das-Arp. “Directing virtually is never easy, but with mood boards, rehearsals and the direction of a scenic plot, we were able to create a music video that makes it feel like we’re all together on stage. “

“Kathak dancer Labonee Mohanta was joined by her young student Anusha Kapoor and during their filming they lost power for 5 hours,” she continues. “Luckily they had back-up batteries to keep going, but instead of being able to take multiple photos, they were only able to take a few that looked more like a real show where you really only get one chance. . “

In addition to performing there, Ritesh Das also helped create the video using his skills as a photographer to help set the stage in a 1920s film set. “If I didn’t like music so much and teaching tabla, I would have been a photographer, ”he says. “I like to play with lighting and shadows, especially black and white.

Sending off 2021 with an exciting new single and video and ramping up to 2022 with a new album on the way shows the pace is moving forward and up for the Toronto Tabla Ensemble.

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Bush Tetras – Rhythm and Paranoia: The Best of Bush Tetras

When Bush grouse drummer Dee Pop passed away suddenly in October, plans were already well advanced for this career-long retrospective. Confirming that they were moving forward, the band members Pat Place and Cynthia sley noted that much of what went into RRhythm And Paranoia came from Pop’s own collection: the most passionate historian of the group, he kept an archive of their recordings and provided numerous leaflets and photos reproduced in an accompanying book.

Formed in 1979, Bush grouse emerged from the no-wave scene in New York: they were contemporaries of Lydie lunch and the lively youth, and Place had played guitar in contortions. They split a few years later with three 7 “singles and an EP, produced by Topper Headon of Shock, in their name. Temporarily reformed at the end of the 1990s, they published beauty lies, their first album, and recorded another which, victim of the sale of polygram, was put on ice until 2012. They have met sporadically since, initially raising funds when ill health forced the original bassist Laura Kennedy to leave the band and later, after his death, to record a pair of new EPs.

Rhythm and paranoia follows each incarnation of the group, from the first single “Too many crawlers” to 2019 “There is a buzz”. The first, perhaps their most famous piece, could have been written last week, Sley’s opening song of “I Don’t Want to Go Out on the Streets Again,” a disheartening precursor to the latest wave of militarized misogyny and debates about women’s safety. The song is greeted by a new generation of punks in a series of “micro-essays” that accompany the box set: Victoria ruiz, by Sub Pop’s Downtown boys, describes his repetitive refrain “this is the worst” as “both a sword and a shield” in the way it rages and asserts – the same could be said of Places shredded riff and Pop’s propellant drums.

Presented chronologically, the collection shows a group in constant evolution, but never unrecognizable. The first B sides “Snake ramp” and “Drunk punch” Avoid melody while remaining irresistible earworms thanks to the infectious grooves of Pop, an emphasis on rhythm which in the 1981s Rituals EP, chains Talking heads and The B-52 (chuckles Sley, “you can’t be funky if you don’t have a soul”). Although a muddy live cover of John Lennon’s “Cold Turkey”, taken from a Stiff Records compilation, is probably reserved for suits.

But elsewhere among the rarities are real goodies, including an alternate version of beauty lies Track “Mister love song”, from Pop’s own archives. The drummer’s favorite take is as raw and brutal as their best, but with soulful vocals from Darlene Amour and Nona hendryx of The beautiful, the producer of the album. This is just an example
of Bush grouse ‘ determination to do things their way.

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Neo rhythms: why techno music and The Matrix are in perfect harmony | The matrix

“WWe can’t see it, “says a character from The Matrix Resurrections,” but we’re all trapped inside these weird, repeating loops. Little surprise, techno producer Marcel Dettmann was commissioned to write the music for this latest film in the franchise. It’s a natural fit. Its director, Lana Wachowski, goes clubbing at Berghain, the Berlin techno club where Dettmann resides and where, cut off from everyday life, people live surreal and liberating experiences. Techno continues to inspire the aesthetic of the franchise.

When the techno club first appeared in Detroit in the 1980s, African-American producers reimagined the deindustrialized city as a site of futuristic fantasies. Cybotron Techno City’s dystopian 1984 track was inspired by Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and the Tokyo of Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Technopolis track. “I extrapolated the need to interface the spirituality of human beings into the cybernetic matrix,” said Rik Davis of Cybotron (using the word “matrix” before the film’s existence), “between the brain, the soul and mechanisms of cyberspace “.

Director Lana Wachowski at the premiere of Matrix Resurrections. Photograph: Noah Berger / AP

that’s to say that The Matrix character names (Neo, Trinity, Morpheus) all sound like techno producer nicknames (Function, DVS1, Cadency). Likewise, the fashion in the film is reminiscent of the stereotype of Berlin techno clubwear. “When they come into The Matrix, they create their character, that’s how they see themselves,” Matrix costume designer Kym Barrett said of the characters, with their PVC coats, chunky boots and their micro sunglasses (by Richard Walker).

Techno artist Jeff Mills talks the same way about shedding his human form through music. “I’m becoming the third person,” he told The Wire, comparing his productions to robotic probes of alien territory. Along with Mike Banks, Mills was co-founder of the Detroit Underground Resistance (UR) techno collective. UR sought to harness the power of techno anonymity to deprogram people of what they called the ‘dominant mental beam’: the false reality by which, through the media, we are conditioned to accept a false impression of who we are. “Everything you see may not be real,” sang UR on their 1998 album Interstellar Fugitives. “Maybe it is a mirage.”

The Matrix also rests on such a distinction between the apparent world and the real world. Co-creator Lilly Wachowski recently revealed that in the original script Switch was meant to be a trans character who in the Matrix was female and in the real world a male. Many trans and gay people experience this truth in underground party scenes, where the techno club is a safe environment to explore who they really are.

Nona Gaye and Harold Perrineau in Matrix Reloaded (2003).
Momentary release… Nona Gaye and Harold Perrineau in The Matrix Reloaded (2003). Photograph: PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy

The most striking sequence of Matrix Reloaded takes place in an underground rave in Sion. In a cavernous space lit by open flames, hundreds of sweaty bodies dance to a techno song (Fluke’s Zion) mimed by drummers. The fashion is in soft toned tunics with bald heads, beaded cuffs and swinging dreadlocks. This scene evokes the exhilarating feeling of freedom one gets on a night out at an underground club, when the everyday world fades away. It shows the Matrix’s kinship with the bizarre techno marriage of the futuristic and the old.

Why techno? At its best, this is synthetic electronic music without any familiar characteristics – no melody, no harmony, no song structure – relayed in dark, streaky spaces. This means that it can give a momentary release of history and identity, including race, gender, and sexual constructs. In Berlin, through clubs like Berghain and promoters like Gegen, techno is empowering allies with queer countercultural movements. “Leave your digital surveillance device at home (or in the locker room),” said the blurb of a recent Gegen party. “Destroy your image of yourself. “

Simulacra and Simulation by French theorist Jean Baudrillard was one of three books the Wachowskis asked Keanu Reeves to read before filming The Matrix. “There is no longer any fiction,” he quipped. “[Science] fiction will no longer be a mirror turned towards the future, but a desperate re-hallucination of the past. From this perspective, films such as The Matrix Resurrections are futile attempts to rehash basic traditional myths for our rapidly dissolving world.

The Matrix (1999)
A new reality… the club scene at the start of The Matrix (1999). Photograph: TCD / Prod.DB / Alamy

But I think it’s too pessimistic. The term Gilles Deleuze uses for certain post-realistic cinemas is “storytelling”. Pyrotechnic blockbusters notwithstanding, The Matrix is ​​a cinematic storytelling, harnessing our deep and hard-to-shake sense of the unreality of modern life and inventing new identities. Our post-industrial environment – work, cities, social networks, interiors, race, gender – can look like a collective dream that we aspire to be shocked about. For many, techno clubs have this power. “A world without rules or controls, without borders or borders”, in the words of Neo. “A world where anything is possible. “

It reminds me of my friend’s first night at Berghain, the underground power station turned techno club. At the first floor bar, a woman asked him if he wanted psilocybin mushrooms; he nodded and she said to follow her. As they walked along the strobe-lit dance floor, surrounded by dancing leather-clad bodies, he noticed the tattoo on his back shoulder: a white rabbit. Life imitating art – it was exactly like the scene in The Matrix precipitating Thomas Anderson’s transformation into Neo and his entry into a weirder new reality.

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Cree-Métis singer finds peace and harmony in Cree Christmas carols

Falynn Baptiste always loved Christmas concerts when she grew up in the Cree Nation of Red Pheasant, 150 kilometers northwest of Saskatoon.

The Cree-Métis child, who was known for his powerful bagpipes, was only six when she donned a purple dress and sang her first solo – a Cree Christmas carol – at her school concert.

“People were like, ‘Oh Falynn, can you sing?’ and I was always excited and ready to take the stage and, not so much to be seen, but to share music and be heard, “she said.

Thirty-two years later, the recording artist took center stage in a long green dress and sang What child is this? in Cree with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra during their Christmas concert.

At that moment, Baptiste felt that she had come full circle.

“I am very, very proud,” she said. “Going maybe from a time when I was not proud of who I was to now… Showcasing our beautiful language is an accomplishment.”

Watch Falynn Baptiste perform with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra:

Cree-Métis singer Falynn Baptiste performs with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra

Falynn Baptiste performs Cree carols at the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra Christmas concert on December 4, 2021. 1:05

Losing your identity

Baptiste, now 38, grew up surrounded by family members who spoke Cree as their mother tongue and could sing Cree church hymns. However, she learned English in school and lost interest in the traditional language as a teenager. She had to take the bus off the reserve to attend junior high school in the town of North Battleford, Saskatchewan.

“It was quite shocking. It was so clear as a 12 year old girl that ‘Okay whoever you are is wrong so we have to change who you are to fit in’,” he said. she declared.

She changed the way she spoke, acted, dressed and who she spent time with.

“I have spent a lot of my life trying to prove to others that I am not a First Nation, that I am not ‘Indian’,” she said.

Baptiste, seen here as a child in the late 1980s at a powwow at Fort Battleford National Historic Site in Battleford, Saskatchewan, grew up in a Cree-speaking home, but only started speaking the language itself only decades later. (Submitted by Falynn Baptiste)

Years later, as she struggled with her sense of identity in her late twenties, she realized that “my culture, my spirituality, my language, my family was the link for me. make me feel complete ”.

At 30, the teacher returned to the education program at the University of Saskatchewan to obtain a certificate in the Aboriginal language.

She has become a champion of the Cree language both on stage and in the classroom.

teacher and musician cry

Today, she teaches at the miyo machihowin academy – an Indigenous wellness program that integrates language and culture – at ED Feehan Catholic High School in Saskatoon.

One of her grade 12 students, Isabelle Robin, a teenager from Beardy’s Cree Nation and Okemasis, said learning about the dark history of residential schools motivated her to learn the language.

“I am learning for kids who have never learned their language and who weren’t allowed to learn or speak it,” Robin said.

Baptiste, seen here in her Saskatoon home, juggles her roles as a mother, teacher and recording artist. (Chanss Lagaden / CBC)

Baptiste is excited to help Indigenous teens take pride in their culture at the time in their lives when she has lost her own connection.

“There’s almost a process of self-acceptance that has to take place. And when that happens, you can see the physical change, you can see the emotional change, you can see the spiritual change,” she said. declared. “[Students] hold a little higher. They walk a little more proudly down the hall. “

A Christmas cry

At home, Baptiste began working on Cree translations for Christmas carols that had not yet been translated. She enlisted the help of Solomon Ratt, a Cree language teacher at the First Nations University of Canada, to translate the lyrics into Cree, then Baptiste fine-tuned the lyrics to match the melody.

In 2020, she released an album titled A Christmas cry with eight songs such as Oh holy night, Silent night, and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Baptiste said becoming a mother gave her a renewed determination to preserve the Cree language and help teach it to the next generation. (Lovers Portraits)

Earlier this year, she was going to produce an album of religious songs. But, she stopped the project after the discovery of unidentified remains in former denominational boarding schools in Canada.

“Now was not the time because we were all facing our realities… with struggles, loss and grief,” she said. “And so I stopped the project completely and thought, ‘No, now is not the time for that. “

She doesn’t feel the same about screaming Christmas carols.

Baptiste said Christmas is a time to celebrate Creator, community and culture.

And, as she did with the symphony orchestra behind her, a time to stand up straight.

As Baptiste told the crowd, “I wish you all a very, merry Christmas and blessings to all of you.”

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