Fanm d'Ayiti Nathalie Joachim
Haitian-American composer, flutist, and vocalist Nathalie Joachim will release her debut solo album, Fanm d'Ayiti, on August 30, 2019. The album, which translates to Women of Haiti in English, shows Joachim exploring her Haitian heritage and celebrating the songs and stories of some of Haiti’s most iconic yet under-recognized female artists. The songs on Fanm d'Ayiti were all written or arranged by Joachim and feature her performing on vocals, flute, and electronics alongside the Grammy-nominated string ensemble Spektral Quartet. El Intruso called it “a unique mixture of classical music, electronic programming, hip-hop, neo-rhythm & blues and folkloric elements rooted in the Haitian cultural heritage.”
The album will be released in digital and vinyl formats, and is available for pre-order now through Bandcamp, iTunes, and Amazon. Information below on performance dates supporting the project, including the New York City premiere of the work at Kaufman Music Center's Merkin Hall on October 26 as part of the 10th Annual Ecstatic Music Series; Joachim will also be an artist-in-residence at Kaufman Music Center this fall. Additionally, Joachim is known for her work as a flutist and co-artistic director for Eighth Blackbird, and co-founder of flute duo Flutronix.
Fanm d'Ayiti features the powerful Haitian female voices from yesterday and today, including the recorded voices of Joachim’s grandmother, the girls choir of Joachim’s family’s home farming village of Dantan, and conversations withEmerante de Pradines, a prized voice of Haiti’s Golden Age; Milena Sandler, daughter of the late, famed chanteuse Toto Bissainthe; and celebrated vodou songstress Carole Demesmin.
Fanm d'Ayiti began in 2015, shortly after the passing of Joachim’s maternal grandmother. Joachim explains:
“She and I spent many a cherished moment underneath the mango and coconut trees in her yard in Haiti – and in my childhood home in America – singing songs with one another. It was our way of telling each other stories, and her way of passing on a centuries-long cultural practice of oral history. Her absence ignited a deep desire for understanding in me. In what ways did our voices connect with the voices of other Haitian women? What did our songs tell us about our past, and what might they mean for the future? The foundation of Fanm d’Ayiti began to reveal itself readily through conversation: with my family, and with others willing to share their piece of our cultural puzzle.”
These exchanges led Joachim to learn about and honor the dozens of Haitian female artists who were each committed to carrying forward the story of the first free black republic, who used their voices to uplift future generations by celebrating the nation’s strength.
“I feel lucky to be joining my voice with theirs,” continues Joachim, “and bringing listeners a sonic portfolio of my originals and arrangements of historic Haitian songs, woven together in a musical celebration of activism and hope.”
1. Papa Loko
2. Suite pou Dantan: Prelid
3. Suite pou Dantan: Alléluia
4. Suite pou Dantan: Resevwa Li
5. Lamizè pa dous
6. Interlude: Couldn’t Tell Her What To Do
7. Manman m voye m peze kafe
8. Legba na konsole
9. Madan Bellegarde
10. Interlude: The Ones I Listened To
11. Fanm d’Ayiti