At the spiritual core of “Can You Hear God Crying?” is Hannibal’s discovery of a great-grandfather Silas brought as a boy from Liberia into slavery in America. He escaped to freedom as a teenager, and, as a man, bought land in Texas where he built a church that became the county’s first black school.
For Silas, as for millions of other Africans, the west coast of Africa was a door of no return. Through this music, and an upcoming ritual trip, Hannibal “returns” through that door to a long-awaited family wholeness. The path to and through the music, however, has also been a trip through his own very personal doors of no return. In Hannibal’s piece, God cries to see so many of his children unable to live whole, abundant lives. In life, Hannibal has created circles of incarcerated brothers in Philadelphia and Texas who invoke music as their Muse to give them courage and company, solace and strength. Art Sanctuary partners with Hannibal for these classes in writing and music in the Philadelphia Detention Center.
Art Sanctuary has also created a curriculum for teachers who are interested in bringing the experience into the classroom. Get the curriculum here.
Click here for tickets to the Kimmel World Premiere at 7:30 p.m., on September 21st, 2012 featuring Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Dirk Brossé, conductor, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church Mass Choir, Music Liberation Orchestra, Janice Chandler, soprano, and Homayun Sakhi, rabab.