Friday, December 24, 2010

new poem: pray

It's December 24th. My apartment smells like clementines and balsam fir. My presents are wrapped  absurdly. I'm thinking of you. Have you successfully avoided the mall? Are you scrambling to stuff stockings and turkeys? Tofurkeys? Studying a Chinese take-out menu? Greeting family in your best and warmest clothes? Still in flannel pajamas, posting love notes on FaceBook?

I just wanted to take a minute to thank the hearts, hands and mouths that have remembered Haiti in 2010. The one-year anniversary of a cataclysmic January 12 earthquake is fast-approaching. There's so much work to be done! It's overwhelming but it's possible. Happy New Year, Dreamers and Movers. As we celebrate life and love, may we lift life and love. May we imagine bravely and in good company. May we practice compassion and act accordingly. Here's a poem for the journey:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Roller Coaster

Baby, it's cold outside! Maybe this music video will warm you up?

"Roller Coaster" is the fourth track from my newest CD, The Expatriate Amplification Project.  I composed it during a residency at Hedgebrook -- sitting on the floor, alone with my loop machine, staring at an evergreen through a glorious skylight, wearing too big headphones and the widest grin. Need a gift idea? (Hint, hint.) You can preview and download more of this music via iTunes or Amazon.  Physical copies can also be purchased via CDbaby. Many of the songs feature the voice of Karla Mosley -- one of my favorite humans! Check out our glowing review from the UK-based blog, Next Best Thing.

Independently Yours, Lenelle

Friday, December 03, 2010

Inspiration: Duro Olowu and Thelma Golden

Clearly, London-based fashion designer, Duro Olowu, creates clothes for dreamers, performance poets and serious (but exuberant) lovers. Forget Winter with its offensively low temperatures and vitamin-D deficient mood swings! I'm singing in time with Olowu's version of Spring: percussive patterns in primary colors and flamboyant, shoulder-caressing fabric collages.

Born in Lagos to a Nigerian father and Jamaican mother, "The King of Prints," introduces decadent silk to practical cotton - and a power couple is born. 

Speaking of dynamic couples, Olowu is married to the very smart and very stylish, Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem. In her enthusiastic TED talk below, she invites us to re-imagine art museums as think-tanks and to celebrate Black artists as creative catalysts for community conversations about beauty, power and identity. Word up!

If you're in New York City between now and May 15, 2011, walk into the Museum of Arts and Design to experience the Global Africa Project, a critically-acclaimed exhibition of over 100 visual artists, architects and artisans. This unprecedented show includes pieces by celebrated Haitian Vodou flag artist, George Valris, as well as the Nigerian-American photographer/dandy, Iké Udé. One of Olowu's dresses is on exhibit, too. I caught a sneak peek here.