By MEL COOKE, Staff Reporter
July 10, 2003, jamaicastar.com
Western Bureau: WHERE THERE IS Rastafari there is rhythm and the launch of 'Global Reasoning 2003' at the Ashanti Oasis Restaurant on Monday night was no different.
From the singing of the Ethiopian Anthem as part of the opening proceedings through to a rendition of some chants and the Freedom Song by young Sister Ayisha and two beautiful songs by the Rastarenes, beautiful voices and powerful drumming blessed Hope Gardens in St. Andrew.
Music will also form a part of 'Rastafari Global Reasoning 2003', which is being put on by the Nyabinghi House of the Rastafari Movement, and takes place at the Social Sciences Faculty of the University of the West Indies (UWI) from July 16 - 24.
Nyabinghi chants will begin and close off the opening ceremony, which is set for the UWI Undercroft on the reasoning's first day, while a full-fledged Nyabinghi at Scott's Pass will end the eighth day, Wednesday, July 23. In addition, among the historic Rastafari sites to be visited on the reasoning's final day are musical landmarks Trench Town Culture Yard and the Bob Marley Museum.
Mutabaruka will be the keynote speaker at the opening plenary session at the Social Sciences Lecture Theatre.
The artistes for a stage show set for Saturday, July 19, are yet to be announced, but Ras Ibo Cooper and Ras Sizzla Kolonjie are among the panelists set to discuss 'Rastafari Music, Arts and Culture' in the evening session from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Social Sciences Lecture Theatre on Sunday, July 20.
As Sister Ayisha approached the microphone at the Ashanti on Monday night, someone commented that 'a child shall lead the way'. Lead she did, opening by chanting we will spread Haile Selassie teachings around the whole world, as the Nyabinghi drums were played suitably softly to accommodate her voice and delivery.
The persons in attendance started rocking, but the dancing picked up for the next number, Freedom Song, and so too did the singing with the familiar refrain we will fight for the right to be free/we will build our own society/we will sing our own song.
With a half-moon and some electric lights catching the joy-filled faces of those who chose to stand outside the restaurant itself, Sister Ayisha segued into more chanting, singing her defiance that I will never leave this field until the battle is won.
Kings Casso chose tracks for his deejay presentation and, with Dub Traffickers Poemtry Sound sysproviding the music, he deejayed that a whole heap a tings we haffi discuss, a red, green and gold flag clutched in one hand.
The Rastarenes finished off this segment of musical presentation with two short, sweet pieces. The all-female trio began with the familiar Rasta Man Chant, the lead singer sticking to the melody but still personalising the chant. When they hit 'fly away home', dozens of voices joined in the harmony.
The Rastarenes departed, but were asked to do one more. "This one come straight from the motherland, Ithiopia," the lead singer said and in short order the litling refrain of 'ti-le-le' filled the Ashanti Oasis Restaurant, spilling outside to ruffle the leaves of the foliage.