mobile logo

Below is the Artistic statement and introduction from acclaimed trumpeter-composer Hannibal Lokumbe

Posted by:  Kimmel Center on August 02, 2012

Among my many flaws, it can never be said that I have violated the sacred covenant of music, as it was given to me. -Hannibal Lokumbe

Below is the Artistic statement and introduction from acclaimed trumpeter-composer Hannibal Lokumbe. Lokumbe’s world premiere work Can You Hear God Crying? will make its debut in Verizon Hall. Learn more.

Can You Hear God Crying

The attributes of The Creator are infinite.

The tears of God as mentioned is this composition are not implied to be water but light. Teardrops of light, illumination and clarity as God is truth and the truth is always clear.

The same relentless force of human darkness which was responsible for my Great Great Grandfather being cast into the wooden dungeon of a slave ship well over two centuries ago continues today and therefore makes the subject of this composition as relevant today as it would have been the day he and his mother were chained below a ship and sent on their way to the auction blocks of Charlestown, South Carolina.

At the core of the story is the monumental love affair between, Kunanamui the name for God in Kpelle, the native language of my Great Great Grandfather, and my Great Great Grandfather Mr. Silas Burgess. It is a love affair which began the moment of his conception in the tent of his father and mother as they migrated from the Saharan sands of Timbuktu to the coast of present day Liberia. This love affair continued until his last day of life as he lay dying in a bed he made, within the walls of a house he made, from the cedar that grew on the land he purchased in the village of Hills Prairie, Texas.

Details of the story were passed down to me by my aunt Mrs. Gladys Peterson Green to whom I am deeply indebted. They were passed down to her by her mother Susie Burgess Peterson, my Grandmother and one of the twenty two children of Mr. Silas.

I now choose to construct music in veils as opposed to movements as Veils are symbolic of a more permanent movement from one point of consciousness or realization to another.

Nothing has ever been more challenging in my life than the telling of this story. I have come to trust the unknown and have new clarity in the unseen. Thank you for taking this journey with us tonight, I hope that it will help to liberate you from all that might cause you to not become The Divine Soul that you are.

In Love,


< Previous Article Next Article >