Performance Tales: Singing Through The Elders, Toto Bissainthe-Papa Loko #Haiti #WomensHistoryMonth

The Capturing Of Elders, In The Words Of Haiti's Own-TOTO BISSAINTHE-And The Haitian Breezes Of, PAPA LOKO! #Haiti

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When age becomes mirrored in song, our mental capacity is elevated to another world. For the elders have granted us their blessings, in the here, and now, to speak their names. When the calling of elders is integrated into the context of song, something magical arises from the very Heavens! Something holistic, comes into Being. What is it? What is it that comes to move through different spheres? Perhaps, its the emotions from such treasures and words. Perhaps, its the understanding that the elders are closer than what we could ever expect. Perhaps, its the feeling that we are in the comfort of those, who have come before. That we are not alone, and need to nourish that fulfillment within a certain gaze. What is it about these periods of nourishment, where we are able to sing in memory to the elders? What is it about moving into a higher level-a unique window, all the while creating a colorful wellness.

One of the things about music, and how it is performed, is that it transcends the barrier of language. Music has that power! It has that ability. You can be from a different culture, and not know the language. Yet, depending on how the performer moves and navigates oneself, they create an unusual path, when connecting to one’s Being, and higher sense of self. What is it, which brings one into alignment with those who have passed on? How does the spiritual realm connect to a different, and greater passing, as it translates into our conceptualization of time? When we sing and speak on the Being of our Sheroes and Heroes, who have long departed, what are we getting ourselves to see? How are we moving in the way, in which they have permitted us to move? And, are we moving in a way, which is permitting for us to always remain connected to them?

When you understand the power of age, and the power of an elder, you come to understand the wealth of jewels, laying behind it! That’s why not everyone can perform a song, which is dedicated to the elders. It takes the right voice and the right performer. Through that voice, a certain texture must be conveyed. It has to be so delicate and so nutritious, that you feel the elders are flowing through your very song. From the moment that you open your voice, there is a particular rhythm, which proclaims the greatness of an elder’s words. Again, you have to have permitted yourself to get into a deeper level with your spiritual decor, in order to hear it. Music transpires over any barrier, within a particular, cultural, and linguistic identity.

When a culture is foreign to you, and yet a name is mentioned, you are curious (and inquisitive) enough to ask why such a name has been proclaimed. What is the significance of this name? How did it come into Being? How did this name impact the space, place, and nation, from which it came? What is the story behind this name? What tales are being told and praised, concerning this name? Now, that is an interesting mix. Songs, which tell the stories of names are truly a blessed thing! For one Haitian dame, legend, and musical SHEROE, we come to know the power and sacred elixir, behind a certain name! However, first, let us begin to, speak her name!


Listening to the song, “Papa Loko,” the first thing which arises is, who is “Papa Loko?” What is his name and why did a legendary, Haitian name decide to honor it within a song. Again, the writer of this song is not proficient in the Haitian Creole language-not yet, at least. Nevertheless, those subtle whispers within the song, give the illusions of his name being spread throughout the winds of Haitian landscapes. Who is “Papa Loko?” What does it feel like to move through the winds with him? How does it feel in knowing that he is somewhere near, lingering on? How does it feel? It took the right performer, and the perfect sound in order to pull this off. Imitating the breaths of Haitian winds, TOTO BISSAINTHE creates a certain wellness factor, in the performance of, a name.

A stringed instrument provides the lightness of touch. You hear it in the background. It is guiding the waters and winds into a particular direction, where his name can be tamed and protected. What is the texture in permitting one’s sound to marinate? It’s obvious how certain instruments are orchestrated in order to color and paint the names for those, truly deemed as worthy. Further discussions guide us into understanding the power in speaking a particular name. It is a way of carrying things on, into fruition. When drums are brought into the table, you experience the heartbeat of all. It is beautiful and it pleases the very mind, body, and Spirit!

When you call a name, you experience an invitation for traces of that person to surround you. It’s why when we have loved ones, who have departed from us, we are poised to examine them within a different light. The trick is that we have to be certain to ensure that we are on that same playing field, as the names we speak. We cannot connect with the names we sing of, if we have not elevated ourselves to an existing higher plane-a higher spiritual plane, in fact. When a name is spoken, we are called to gather ourselves to a higher plane of thinking. We are challenged. It’s how we get through any period of a loved ones loss.

What makes Toto Bissainthe’s voice an angelic epiphany is how it is flowing. It naturally gravitates towards the openness of our sensory. Again, even if you are not from Haiti, you can still have some feeling for what is being done. Bissainthe is tender in her approach. Should you decide to enter into that sacred place of imagination’s timing, you will feel inspired to feel as if she is singing over a gentle river. What is it about this sacred river? And, how does it inspire the ever flow of gentility, through the Spirit of music? Such a mystery to in the capturing of wellness, for the timbers of. . .Papa Loko!

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