“Every society has their medicine men and women whose bag of juju is music. The universality of music in part defines our humanity. ‘Mizik Pou Dwa Moun’ (Music for Human Rights) covers the gamut of alternative sounds produced in the global North. The compilation of songs and instrumentals on this two CD set was designed to repair the spirits of the living and re-member the 300,000 dead as a result of the greatest single calamity nature has bestowed on humanity in modern times, the first epic disaster of the 21st Century: the 7.6 rector scale earthquake that devastated Central Haiti. Yet in some truly twisted bit of faith, like some “Junkyard Jewel hidden in trash” – the shunned discard of 19th century imperialism, the would-be poster child of this era’s Neo-liberal garbage heap, reading the cue cards of an inept Haitian President Rene Preval and the latest “White King of La Gonave,” gatekeeper, former U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton, we Haitians in our Homeland and Diaspora are “doing what we got to do to get what we need to get…” and we are continuing the Haitian Revolution, Section 1, Part III.
Music always the balm of our souls and its fire, from the Musik Racine, (roots music) that personifies the second phase of Haitian Revolution, the Dechoukaj, ministered under the twice disrupted administrations of President Jean Bertrand Aristide to the sacred devotional music that lead us to slay the dragons of enslavement and inhumanity between 1764 and 1803, Haitian devotional music, the sacred rhythms of Vodou, (the dance to the ancestors,) always carried our message of liberation.
This CD reminds us of those many paths traversed from joy to lamentation, popular ballads to jazz enable us to remember… especially those who loved us, those we lost, those we were forcibly separated from, those we refuse to forget.
And for the unseen spirits among us, the envisib; mysté; zanj listening to these tunes, now “singing songs never sung” who will not allow us to be forgotten, you who shaped the Haitian imagination and the imagination of the world, be you daughters of Kongoland, regents of Dahomey or a the progeny of the palest flowers among us, keeping singing those songs into our heads. Nou mem mem mem, you my people: defecting royal, elite gentry or proud peasant; slum-dweller; nameless, faceless cacao-skinned, coconut leaf child – however you got us here in the Americas, whisper those songs of Afrik Ginen, Motherland of all humanity to us.
You, the healing voices inside our heads crossed the Middle Passage come pouring your hearts inside us. You who spat blood in the crying seas, flung from ships boughs or captive stepping on sad soil whose pulse is unknown between your toes. We honor you with these songs. And you wedged in the rubble, praying with the saints, the lwas, orisa, God and the damned, waiting to be rescued… And finally you who responded digging in your pockets, your food pantries, closets, hearts, your souls to help us in need, lets us all sing the songs we know and those songs we had never song before with love, grace, compassion and Burnt Sugar. Ayibobo!”
Ogun Taskforce for Haïti