This, and other encounters with the figures, beats, and people that power carnival inspired Charles to leap into an epic, profoundly rewarding project, Carnival: The Sound of a People. Volume One explores the past and present of carnival on his island homeland. Charles crafts original works reflecting the qualities of several key characters--the voluptuous Dame Lorraine, the noble Moko Jumbie--and the people who invoke them every year.
He also unpacks the history of musical ensembles associated with the season. Tracing the evolution from bamboo percussion groups to steel band, Charles points out the defiant response to the banning of skin drums by British authorities in the 1880s. (the “Ordinance” that kicks off the “Black Echo” suite)
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