THE ORIGIN STORY
Gilead was born out of two years of research in the field of music thanatology—the study of music's ability to heal in the midst of death and dying. More specifically, our aim was to investigate and document the impact music might have in Black/Afro-diasporic communities, communities disproportionately proximate to death and dying.
Via personal experiences as hospital chaplains, interviews with African-American death doulas, ethnomusicologists, colleagues, and family members, we heard story after story of the transformative power not only of music, but sound to facilitate healing.
As the 2020 COVID pandemic hit, we felt a sense of urgency to create something that would embody what we had discovered in our research and serve to tangibly offer experiences of joy and healing in the midst of unprecedented circumstances. We reached out to artists from across the African diaspora, asking if they would collaborate with us to create songs and soundscapes with the aim of facilitating experiences of healing. We were met with a resounding “Yes!"
For those isolated in hospital rooms, nursing homes, and other caregiving institutions, may this be a balm.
For our siblings facing death and dying in the form of police brutality, healthcare disparities, housing and food insecurity, incarceration, and countless other ways, may this be a balm.
For those of us who have lost loved ones, homes, jobs, relationships, and so much more, may this be a balm.
May Gilead offer a transcendent and healing presence, meeting you exactly where you are, exactly as you are.
We would like to give our heartfelt thanks to the following:
of Sacred Music
for sponsoring this project
for production, sound mixing and mastering
Dr. Alisha Lola Jones
for her mentorship, conversations inside and outside of the classroom, and her expertise in the field of ethnomusicology
for album cover art
Friends & Family
for their invaluable words and willingness to share their stories with us
Dr. Sally Promey
for being our research advisor and cheerleader over the past two years
for website design
Dr. Almeda Wright
for serving as a guiding force that got us to the finish line