SONG MEANINGS

May Gilead offer a transcendent and healing presence, meeting you exactly where you are, exactly as you are. You can also listen on SoundCloud and BandCamp.

Heartbeat   |   Release   |   Intention   |   Avenoir   |   Transition & Waiting  

Resilience   |    Surrender Pt. 1 & 2   |    Flow   |   Overcome

HeartbeatEric Blanquicet
00:00 / 02:19
SONG MEANING
Heartbeat

This track was inspired by the rhythm of the human heart, a sound that holds particular significance in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, and other care-giving institutions. The beats and rhythms of this track aim to mirror the syncopated, sometimes unexpected, and ever-changing nature of the human heart.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION 

"Heartbeat"

Percussion performance and production, Eric Blanquicet

Production and recording, Victoria Rosas

Recorded in Panama City, Panama (April 2021)

 
IntentionJosepha Campinha-Bacote & Regina J. Allbright
00:00 / 01:35
Gilead cursive
SONG MEANING  
Intention

Informed by her research in the field of ethnomusicology. Dr. Josepha Campinha-Bacote recorded an audiotape entitled,“CARE I: Culturally Specific Africentric Relaxation Exercises." Nearly 30 years later, she learned that her daughter (Nia Campinha-Bacote) was working on a project quite similar; this track samples a portion of the 1992 cassette tape as a way to give homage to the work of those who've come before us as well as set the intention of healing for this album. 

PRODUCTION INFORMATION 

“Intention”

Flute and narrative composition arranged by Josepha Campinha-Bacote

Piano, Regina J. Allbright

Audio cassette produced by Twin Hills Recording Studio, California, Ohio (1992)

 
 
AvenoirDeborah Stephens
00:00 / 02:10
SONG MEANING  
Avenoir

The title "Avenoir" comes from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, and it means the desire to see memories in advance, which is what Deborah believes happens before death; we're finally able to see our lives from end to beginning and witness the story we've been telling our entire lives. Using her nearly 4.5 octave range (F2 to Bb6), Deborah recorded all six voice parts herself using multitrack software to achieve a sonic experience that speaks to the mystery surrounding one's final moments on this earth.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION 

“Avenoir”

Vocals and production, Deborah Stephens 

Recorded in New Haven, Connecticut (April 2021)

 
Transition & WaitingThe JuJu Exchange
00:00 / 02:06
SONG MEANING
Transition & Waiting

The JuJu Exchange hopes that "Transition & Waiting" can accompany you as you wait for test results to come back, as you wait to return to your loved ones back home, or even as you wait for death. May this music help you transition well.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION 

"Transition & Waiting"

Written, Performed, Produced & Mixed by The JuJu Exchange

Additional Production & Mixing by Nate Fox

Recorded in Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA (April 2021)

 
Surrender Pt. 1Nedelka F. Prescod
00:00 / 03:00
Surrender Pt. 2Nedelka F. Prescod
00:00 / 01:57
SONG MEANINGS
Surrender Pt. 1 & 2

It is sometimes difficult to forgive. And sometimes even more so to forgive one's self. The track "Surrender" offers the listener/participant an opportunity to take a moment to offer grace to themself. To be gentle enough to release self from self-imposed shame and guilt and to surrender. Surrender to self love, inner peace and a new flow.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION 

"Surrender"

Vocals, keys and production, Nedelka F. Prescod

Backing vocals, Thamanäi Jeremie

Production and mixing, Earl Blaize for EllipticBlueshift

Recorded in Brooklyn, New York (April 2021)

 
Gilead cursive
FlowRo Godwynn
00:00 / 04:15
SONG MEANING  
Flow 

On the first morning of 2021, Ro Godwynn woke up with a simple melody in their head, which stated, "Everything I need flows like water to me." In times of difficulty, Godwynn used this short mantra to remind themself of that simple truth. With this track, they invite you to envision the things you need riding in with the tide.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION 

"Flow"

Vocals and production, Ro Godwynn

Written by Ruth Onyirimba

Recorded in New Haven, CT (April 2021)

 
Gilead cursive
HeartbeatEric Blanquicet
00:00 / 02:19
ReleaseEric Blanquicet
00:00 / 01:36
SONG MEANING
Release

One’s healing process is not a linear one, and “Release” seeks to offer a pulse for this reality for the diaspora. One can not rush to peace, and emotions like anger and frustration are often checkpoints along the journey. This track acknowledges the sighs, shouts, and yells of holy rage that can get one through the storm. “Release” is a reminder of all of this and an invitation to feel whatever you may be feeling. 

PRODUCTION INFORMATION 

"Release"
Percussion performance and production, Eric Blanquicet
Production and recording, Victoria Rosas
Recorded in Panama City, Panama (April 2021)

 
OvercomeSydney Mukasa
00:00 / 03:52
SONG MEANING  
Overcome

On this track, Sydney set out to put the gospel and protest song "We Shall Overcome" in conversation with a hymn that also exuded a profound sense of faith in overcoming the struggle of the times we live in.  Sydney ultimately resonated with the hymn "It is Well with My Soul", as it also spoke to a sense of acceptance and closure: "Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say–it is well with my soul."  Together, he hopes the two songs inspire not a sense of resignation, but rather one of inspiration; finding inner peace is critical to moving forward with a renewed spirit.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION 

“Overcome”
Vocals, piano and arrangement, Sydney Mukasa
Recorded in New Haven, Connecticut (May 2021) 
A medley of the hymns “It Is Well With My Soul” and “We Shall Overcome”

 
ResilienceThe JuJu Exchange
00:00 / 02:36
SONG MEANING
Resilience

The JuJu Exchange hopes that "Resilience" helps you respond constructively to the ways sickness can keep you from community and its flow. They hope that these sounds can help you draw close to the cherished ones around you despite and even because of your sickness. May this music help you join well. 

PRODUCTION INFORMATION 

"Resilience"

Production: Written, Performed, Produced & Mixed by The JuJu Exchange

Recorded in Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI (April 2021)