I wrote these songs over the course of two years. Writing them brought solace in times of pain and uncertainty, and singing them is an act of joy, self-love and resistance.
Music is the medium through which I seek to understand myself and history. My music is influenced by folk traditions from the United States, the oldest of which were created by black people suffering under slavery and terrible oppression. Those songs were sung for healing and they were a mode of resistance, used to pass along messages of escape and freedom in lyrics that would go unnoticed by the oppressors. We can hear the legacies of these traditions in much of the music we love today, and see the legacies of that violence in police brutality, mass incarceration, deep-seated racism and the systemic and violent oppression of poor people and people of color in the USA. Resistance continues in the Black Lives Matter movement and countless related efforts toward dismantling white supremacy and on behalf of justice, freedom, compassion and peace.
I seek to resist all that deadens, shames and destroys and I seek to create life, connection and joy. I seek truth. These songs taught me to never look away from suffering, for healing and change can only come from awareness and accountability. They taught me to trust myself. They taught me that conscious art, celebration and community are essential forms of resistance against the white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy in which we are living. And they taught me something that I learn anew all the time: the only barriers between any of us are the ones we choose to construct and uphold.
If this music moves you, seek healing for yourself and your community. Seek knowledge about systemic oppression and your role in it. Find solidarity, community and joy, and resist division, isolation, silence and fear. Listen to yourself and to one another.
May you have ease, wellness, compassion and joy.
released December 4, 2016
Ali Dineen: voice, piano, guitar, harmonium
Hannah Sassoon: cello (1, 2, 4), voice (5)
Eleonore Weill: voice (2, 4), double-flute (4)
Jake Schulman-Ment: violin (1, 4)
Jeff Reinhardt: clarinet (1, 4)
Richie Barshay: percussion (1, 2, 4)
Joanna Sternberg:!bass (1, 4, 7)
Ilusha Tsinadze: guitar (2)
All songs except 5 and 8 written by Ali Dineen
1, 2, 4, 5 collectively arranged by Ali Dineen, Hannah Sassoon and Jake Schulman-Ment
Co-produced by Ali Dineen and Danny Blume
Recorded by Danny Blume at The Isokon in Woodstock, NY and Cowboy Technical in Brooklyn, NY.
Mixed by Danny Blume at The Hidden Quarry in Woodstock, NY.
Mastered by Joe Lambert.
all rights reserved