"Yemayá Asesu" -- is the first movement in a three part suite saluting the orisha of the ocean, Yemayá. Sonically, we feel the calm, flowing ocean, periodically crashing on the shores. Orlando Fiol's piano acts as the Akpon (lead singer). "Zapateo de Yemayá" - is an ocean storm, a ride from serenity to surrender. Orlando Fiol translates a prayer for Yemayá to the piano. "Yemayá Ogun" -- The calm after the storm, the third movement is a salute to her power and beauty, and thanks and praise for our survival. "Orisha Love Songs" is a contemporary salute to six Orishas, (spiritual beings representing forces of nature) from the Yoruba tradition/religion termed Santeria, also known as Regla de Ocha or Regla Lucumí. Orisha worship was first brought to Cuba by Yoruba slaves in the nineteenth century. It was then combined with Catholic religious practices, and spread to other Latin-American countries and the United States via immigration. Our hometown, Philadelphia, has a vibrant Nigerian Yoruba community as well as a strong Lucumí community. As the African Diaspora continues, more and more people all over the world are learning about the Orishas. My life has been blessed continually by the Orishas, and the arrangements on this record exhibit my immense gratitude. I was first attracted to Lucumí songs at various Afro-Cuban dance classes in Boston in 2000. Having been a songwriter for many years, I became interested in the song structure, the melodic movement, and the deceptive cadence of Orisha song. As time passed and I became more familiar with the Batá drumming, I began to see how the songs "dressed" the drumming. I began to hear music differently and, in fact, I began to hear this music everywhere. The melodies on this record have been sung by millions of people over generations, across oceans, under brutal conditions. They have survived in the hearts and minds of the international Yoruba community, but most importantly they lasted because they were sounded. These songs were born of mankind, and as they developed they slowly connected and changed, just like any living thing. They are on a path, a path that has led you, and we are connected. Leana Song is: Shawn Hennessey (Iyá /Akpon /Guitars /Gyil /Percussion) Eric Hickey (Itótele /Kidi /Gyil) Abraham "Cito" Caraballo Candell (Okónkolo / Bobá / Surdo /Coro) Brian Nadav (Classical Guitar /Axatse /Coro) Eric "Big Eric" Mosca (Aslatua/ Gankogui/ Coro) Michael "Frosty" Spiker (Sogo /Maracas /Coro) Joshua Winer (Coro /Kaganu) Wesley Rast (Coro /Gankogui) Yuval Miller (Atoke /Coro) Gina Ferrera (Shekere/ Coro) Okomfo Adwoa Tacheampong (Shekere /Akpon on 'Imbe Imbe') Chukie Joseph (Akpon on 'Chen che kururu') Jason Fraticelli (Upright Bass) Brian Marsella (Melodica /Rhodes /Organ) Elliot Levin (Soprano Sax on 'Todjo' /Flute) John Thompson (Baritone Sax on 'Todjo' / Tenor Sax on 'Barasuwayo' /Soprano Sax on 'Chen che kururu') Patrick Hughes (Trumpet on 'Barasuwayo' and 'Ewaze Ago') Past members: Aron Andrew, Alison Wadsworth, Quint Lange, Joshua Gilgoff, Abigail Fammartino, Jeremy Grenhart ***with honored guest:*** Orlando Enrique Fiol (Piano) For info contact us: email@example.com www.leanasong.com www.youtube.com/shawnhennessey www.facebook.com/Leanasongband © 2008 Leana Song All songs traditional All songs arranged by Shawn Hennessey and Leana Song Produced by Brian Nadav and Shawn Hennessey Recorded and Mixed by Tom Spiker and Shawn Hennessey at Undercarriage Studios, Philadelphia PA, USA 2005-2008 Mastered by Hubert Marniau at Studio Voltaire. Paris, France 2008 Album Design: "Frosty" Spiker and Shawn Hennessey Instrument Photographs: Alya Hameedi 2005 and Marco Roldán 2008 Group Photograph: Marco Roldán 2008
Life, we are told, originated in the primal seas of Earth when the right nutrients and chemicals combined at the right time and place. In the same way that this primal soup received the seed of life, all human beings also originate as fertilized eggs in a dark, watery womb. The Yoruba and other peoples of Africa, and their New World descendants in the diaspora, believe that the Mother of all Life is Yemayá, the Goddess of the Seven Seas, the Orisha that rules over salt water and motherhood. In Cuba, Yemayá is syncretized with Our Lady of Regla (La Virgen de Regla), the patroness of the holy city of Regla. The word Regla in Spanish also refers to the menstrual cycle ("le baja la regla" literally translates as she is menstruating) and this Catholic name really diluscidates the synchronicity between the moon, the seas, and the menstrual cycles of women. Yemayá owns the mysteries of women and of life, and She is the quintessential watery Mother. It has always been noted also that salt water has healing properties: if we expose scarred tissue to the sea, this will expedite its recovery. In just the same way science shows that when mothers caress their children's belly when in pain, this releases feel-good hormones that also strengthen the immune system and diminish pain. Yemayá's motherly love has healing properties. Let us ask for forgiveness for our crimes against Yemaya, Let us not pollute the waters and the Earth, Let us not overfish the oceans, Let us not mistreat the dolphins, whales and other intelligent sea creatures, Let us cleanse ourselves with salted water in her name and honor. The song 'Yemaya' is by On Wings of Song & Robert Gass and it can be found on their CD Ancient Mother.
Yemaya, Yemaja, Iemanjá, Yemayah, Yemoja, Yeye omo eja "Mother Whose Children are like Fish", Mother of Fishes, Okutti "Queen of Witches", The Ocean Mother, Iyalode "Queen of the Marketplace", Mother of Dreams and Secrets, Queen of the Sea, Orisha of Motherhood, Women, Children, and Fertility, Stella Maris, Our Lady of Regla Song: "Yemaya" Channel: Aubrey Coletti
From Robert Gass & On Wings Of Song's "Anchiest Mother". For more information, visit www.springhillmedia.com.