Dana Gae Hanchard

GOTHAM SICILIANA is a musical meditation on the middle passage and other crossings. It is the finding of a path to peace  in the storm of a violent world inherited through blood & sacrifice. Out of the wrestling & melding of cultures and civilizations came music and me.  

Ondas do Mar from 'Cantigas di Amigo' -Martin Codax- The following ode to the ocean is among  the oldest notated musical works in western music.  The story is; a young lover has sailed far off to discover new worlds. The one waiting back on shore prays to the waves at Vigo for the lover to return in good favor with the king.  I originally learned and performed this piece years ago with the Waverly Consort. Of course, I considered, what all might be among that bounty hoarded and brought back from the new lands for the king that would earn the sailor-lover such favor? In fact, the lyric of this early Moorish style troubadour song tips us to the fact  that the Islamic rulers of Spain were taking their ships out to the new lands as well and that's before Isabella sent Columbus. The Spaniards knew what they set out to find because the Moors led them to it.  -scroll down the water for more.

 The Middle Passage calls out through blood and bone and when you hear those voices and you are like me, you listen and let them ring.   Passage Calling is in honor of those who survived the horror of the Atlantic crossing. These ancestors became captives of their faith  above anything else, and survived. In this song, the captive dreams constantly of the comfort of home and place. The captive longs for light and the dignity of being, while visioning a future brighter than the present.

 O, Solitude -an ode to solitude. Lute song by Henry Purcell.