The Salt Reaper poetry/music CD by Lasana M. Sekou is fresh online at http://cdbaby.com/cd/lasanamsekou for listening, downloading favorite selections, MP3s, and ordering of the actual Audio CD.
In St. Martin, the pre-released CD is available at Van Dorp bookstore for the holiday gift season, said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi Publishers, the CD producer. And reviews are already coming in.
"Lasana Sekou has moved his impressive book of poetry The Salt Reaper into the field of WordMusic," writes Amiri Baraka. The noted US poet’s own poetry has been on albums, in videos, movies, documentaries, and an influence on leading hip-hop artists.
The Salt Reaper – selected poems from the flats, with Sekou’s vocals "accompanied by hurtling hot music," is "A brilliant move!" said Baraka, whose music credentials also come with Blues People, his acclaimed American music history book.
To Angelo Rombley, The Salt Reaper music producer, the CD’s "Spoken Word or WordMusic digital compatibility with media, communication and game platforms," did not take away from his "staying true to the message in the poems."
Poems like "The blockade next time," dedicated to the heavy equipment protest of 1990, recent verses such as "The cubs are in the field," and adult theme love poems like "Into Africa" and "Intoxicate" are recited with moving rhythm by Sekou, said Sample.
Other poems set to music are the drug addicts’ tale "Doped up roughings," and "Cradle of the nation," which mythologizes the St. Martiner to the Great Salt Pond and is called "magisterial" by Jamaican scholar and reggae critic Dr. Carolyn Cooper.
There are international topic selections "Double Dutch.Immigration at Schiphol," "Haiti 200," "Los otros americanos," and the anti-torture/genocide "Blood boil" (dedicated to murdered Middle Region native Rocky Philips), said Sample. The CD bears a parental advisory.
"Sekou gives his voice to those who for too long have been voiceless," wrote Dr. Maria van Enckevort about the The Salt Reaper.
Though an author of 13 books and described in World Literature in Review as "a performance poet," The Salt Reaper is Sekou’s first Audio CD, a late joiner to poetry recordings from the likes of Mutabaruka, Gil Scott-Heron and Nikki Giovanni. On St. Martin young rappers have pioneered their word lyrics and "street poetry" on CD for a few years now but Rombley still sees The Salt Reaper as "breaking new home-ground."
"What we are seeing is the evolution of poetry on the island of St. Martin alongside the new technology to reach the people," said Rombley.
"The world right now is flat because of the digital platform. Reading has to compete with a ‘click’ society –TV, email, downloadable music."
"In this ‘click’ society the people want something entertaining but yet with some substance to it. That was a motivation for the type of music mixed for The Salt Reaper poems," said Rombley, an award-winning graphic designer and digital artist.