THE SONG          EXPANSES          ADD YOUR VOICE                  
     ︎      ︎

Emeka Ekwelum
Hey Samora,

I truly believe that our friendship was destined, and that we were meant to be contemporaries living in/experiencing history at the same time. Since the moment we met (after your performance of T-Suite at Juilliard however many years ago), I continue to feel profoundly connected to the message, aesthetic, and affect of your music. And it is no surprise that I am continually provoked and inspired by the ways in which you/your work scrutinizes these systems of power under which we are living (and our individual/collective complicity in its maintenance). Thank you for having courage to speak truth to power on all of these levels. As always, I am proud/honored to call you my friend, and my brother.

Here are my most immediate reactions/thoughts/feelings about "Process," which not only has political purchase for me, but also resonates with certain things that I've been grappling with on a personal level (with regard to some of my more intimate relationships with folks in the world). For me, "Process" is a mediation of internal and external conflict, productively blurring the distinction between those two states of Being. It is a meditation on the significant challenge of confronting difficult truths about the self, and about how we position ourselves within the worlds in which we inhabit/co-create. It is a song about fear, anxiety, guilt, regret, and grief (among other feelings that cannot be held by/reduced to a single word). And as it relates to fear, this song resonates profoundly with my sensibilities around the significant risks of what it means (and what it will take) to be/feel alive. Personally, I fear to acknowledge/claim that I have the capacity for hate in my heart, specifically in response to white people and the privileges that structure their lives/rights to life over the lives of everyone else. I fear stepping into my power, and having to fully acknowledge the risks I must take—and sacrifices that I must make—to help envision/create new worlds of possibility rooted in ideas of equity and sustainability. I fear how big the problems of this world are in relation to the smallness of my Being. I fear my desire to wallow in helplessness and hopelessness, and to descend into a space of apathetic dissonance. I fear the process of forgiveness as an ongoing exercise in extending grace toward others (and myself), and how this process might distort my memory of pain and the urgency of its redress. I fear my deep empathy for the pain and suffering of others, and my lack of empathic regard for my own wellness. I fear that I am doing my very best, and yet not nearly enough.

These are my most immediate reflections, but I listen to your music a lot, so I will continue to add to these reflections as they come to me.