The Transformations Suite

by Samora Pinderhughes

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Bogoshi BG Madiba
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Bogoshi BG Madiba I thank you for the peace, beauty and enlightenment your music gives. The is definitely a force that drives your music. Sending you mad love all the way from South Africa Thank you. I wish i had this in CD or Vinyl for my children's children to play it in the future. Thank you (Ke a leboga) Favorite track: Ascension.
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about

THE TRANSFORMATIONS SUITE

Continuing in the tradition of artists like Bob Marley, Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, and Tupac Shakur, THE TRANSFORMATIONS SUITE paints a musical picture of the current state of social inequality and injustice in the United States and beyond.

Samora Pinderhughes has spent the past five years writing, recording, and producing the T Suite, which combines music, theatre, and poetry to examine the radical history of resistance within communities of the African diaspora. The themes of the suite move through five distinct phases: Transformation, History, Cycles, Momentum (parts 1 and 2), and Ascension.

Within this framework, the project connects contemporary issues, such as the prison industrial complex and the Black Lives Matter movement, with the history of revolutionary movements of color.

The Transformations Suite has been performed throughout South America and the U.S., at venues including the American Museum of Natural History, the Harlem Arts Festival, Juilliard, UC Irvine, NYU, Joe’s Pub, the Jazz Gallery, MoMA, and Columbia University. Most recently, the project was featured as part of Blackout for Human Rights’ #MLKNow event which was viewed by over 500,000 people and trended #1 on Twitter.

Centered in the belief that there is a soundtrack to every revolution, the vision for The Transformations Suite is that it will foster dialogue on social justice issues throughout the world, show how art can create social change, contribute to the powerful growing movement on behalf of black lives around the country, and empower all people – especially youth – to make their voices heard.

For more information, visit www.transformationssuite.com

credits

released October 12, 2016

music by Samora Pinderhughes
words by Jeremie Harris and Samora Pinderhughes
additional words by Saul Williams and Tupac Shakur

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about

Samora Pinderhughes New York, New York

Samora Pinderhughes is a composer/pianist, known for large multidisciplinary projects. A Juilliard graduate, Samora has performed in venues including the White House & Carnegie Hall, and has toured with artists including Branford Marsalis, Christian Scott, and Emily King. Samora is musical director for the Public Theater’s #BARS workshop, and is a Sundance Composers Lab fellow for film scoring. ... more

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Track Name: Transformation
We shall be changed
In the twinkling of an eye
...shall be changed
(2x)

Give us justice... Now!
Give us justice... Now! (2x)
Track Name: History
We built you Sam
In tears and sweat and blood
blisters and sores
Sun-rays piercing through our gaze
leaving holes in our todays
murdering any hope for tomorrow

What happened to that God you spoke of?

punched down my throat!
kicked in my face!
I ain't seen him in your eyes lately
I ain't heard him in your words

You even walkin like the devil these days
with a sly shift
a crooked grin
smirking at the dollar signs of tomorrow
sealing your eyes from the horrors of today

Don't you choke on that hate you cooked in that
awful scented kitchen of pain?

Tell me why you lied, and was it worth it
The culture you called stool
stepped on and then stole
The malignant markings you left on the souls of folk
Scratching for breath in the land that calls them
Pariah
for trying to breathe
The second hand murders you had a first hand in creating

The love you sold
smashed and shoved into the hulls of ships
To grow rancid, rot, and fester
to ooze, bubble, and puss
to die in the darkness

So, Tell me -

was it worth it?
Track Name: Cycles
The sun slapped me last night -
Rippled me to the edge of earth
Where angels fly with broken wings and love with shattered hearts Moonwalk in their minds to the sounds of teardrops
Beating Michael and Marley, Mayfield and Marvin
Rest in peace
What’s going on?
You can’t teach soul like that
You can’t get this funk not to stink
So you just better breathe deep
And rock your head
Move your hips
Find God in the drum
Revolution in the bass
And make freedom look sexy tonight

The sun slapped me last night -
Rippled me to the edge of earth
Where angels resurrect newspaper clippings with God
in the time before times
When Halos shined through clouds like north stars to freedom Guided by the sounds of our flesh cutting through air
Listening to the words of ancestors beating against our skin
Using scars on backs as maps
We dream of better places
Where history remembers our name and the future’s born in our favor

So one time for the brothers and sisters in school
challenging rules for better tomorrows
Fighting traditions and yesterdays
Serpent tongues and false smiles
You are evolution in tears and sweat
You are everything they read about but are too afraid to see:
The beating at the protest
The innocent man behind bars
The pain of the verdict after the cops kill a brother
Or stick him with a plunger
Ask your questions,
Demand your answers,
Do not let them fade your soul

So two times for the preachers not scared to preach the truth
Standing tall in ghettos, praying God blows his
breath around these parts
Cause summertime heat has folk feeling violent
Saying it’s just too hot to believe God cares

So they bottle their frustration in beers
And wait to see those eyes
Feel that gaze
Something,
Lord, make me a sign
Let me know you still care!

The sun slapped me last night -
Rippled me to the edge of earth
Where forgotten angels are ready for repatriation
Too proud to cry, so they fish fry
On corners and stoops
Backyards and barbershops
Arguing the world isn’t round
For we are the children of her dark corners

You will not fade our soul.


(Saul Williams:)
I surrendered my beliefs
and found myself at the tree of life
injecting my story into the veins of leaves
only to find that stories like forests
are subject to seasons


poem written by Jeremie Harris
Track Name: Momentum, pt. 2
These questions must be asked:

Why are there millions of poor people in America?
Who owns the banks?
Who owns the prisons, and who are its occupants?
Why do some have billions, while most struggle to survive?

We can’t sit idly by while some profit off of the pain of others
While gates both visible and invisible separate the wealthy from the hungry
When the consequences of these barriers result in everything
from flooded homes to broken dreams.
When death is a cost we have grown accustomed to bearing,
we cannot compromise in our pursuit of justice.

We cannot retreat in the face of inequity,
We cannot ignore the patterns of brutality,
We will NOT be silenced!
. . . .

The depression is coming in heavy.
I can feel it from all corners, shape-shifting around me
Betrayal lays like a heavy fog in the air I breathe
I know I’m a target... but I must keep moving.
. . . .

On this blistering August day,
we stand face to face with our beloved country,
as we have done so many times before, and demand:

Your very fabric must be changed!
YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN!

And as our final hour draws ever, ever closer,
it seems to me, in my sanctified imagination,
that we cry...
that we cry...

NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW!!!!!!!!
Track Name: Ascension
We who feel lava in our eyes and hearts
Find it hard not to shake or scream

The cool that we have learned melts quickly,
Receding into the false air that kills us to breathe

In lost languages of love,
With eyes dim and souls open,
We pray freedom and truth

Hear my cry oh lord - for America sins
as if she knows not what she does

Send us word in the trees and the birds
For they stand toughest to the wind
and touch closest to the sky
Let us find strength in the charge of our blood and the chill of our skin

We stand on broken glass with bloody feet
Ready to run
Revolt
with hot hearts of courage, tired of confusion

Give our thoughts wings,
Wrap us tight in rings of resistance -

and let us fly