Last night’s performance at the the Cedar Cultural Center’s 2022 Cedar Commissions was an incredible time of celebration of many things: Home, our Ancestors, Pain, Loss, and the Connections we have with each other. It was my joy to present Nkovu Wa Xivavu, “A Celebration of Pain” on the Cedar’s stage. With just three months to create this music, rehearse, and bring it all to light, this was an ambitious project that was supported all along the way by the generosity and talents of many artists, friends, volunteers, and of course the amazing employees of the Cedar Cultural Center.
I would like to thank God for the gift of life and my ancestors for the honor to be able to share our tradition with many different people. Third, I would like to thank all who collaborated with me on this work: Karin Valdizan, Jason Burak, Mikaela Marget, and Svetlana Davis brought energy and passion to this project. I want to thank my wife Erin Olson for her selfless support. A special thanks to the Cedar Cultural Center for this opportunity to express ourselves as artists and individuals.
The songs of the evening came out in a little different order than planned, as sometimes does when the ancestors speak. Kokandindasse came before Xlhokonono last night. Since I was not able to share the meaning behind Xlhokonono during the show, I want to be sure to share all the musical interpretation here. for you.
- Sinyanguena (I’ve Arrived)
- Pfulani ti Dleve (Open Your Ears)
- Xlhokonono (Oppression)
- Kokandindasse (The Press-Wheel Roller)
- Ubuntu (Come Together)
You can download the translation to the night’s music here: Nkovu Wa Xivavu_final
You can also read an interview I gave about Friday’s performance of Nkovu Wa Xivavu here, which explains the story behind the music and my philosophy about music and life: