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Castle of our Skins Concert Series

Boston, MA            

Born out of the desire to foster cultural curiosity, Castle of our Skins celebrates black artistry through music. From classrooms to concert halls, Castle of our Skins invites exploration into black heritage and culture, spotlighting both unsung and celebrated figures of past and present. 

Castle of our Skins (COOS) designs interactive educational programs examining different aspects and figures in black history and culture. In 2014, COOS presented its first interactive workshop to nearly 300 elementary and middle school aged children. Entitled A Little History, the work was collaboratively created by composer Anthony Green and violist Ashleigh Gordon, Co-Artistic Directors of Castle of our Skins. A series of vignettes for solo narrating violist portraying the lives and stories of several figures in black history, the work blends music, history, poetry, and audience interaction into one engaging experience. Other educational workshops currently in creation explore the music of Black composers as well improvisation and scat singing through the use of children's rhymes. 

Castle of our Skins, blends music with spoken word as part of its concert series. In May 2014, COOS presented its inaugural performance entitled Love Affects. Chamber music by Black composers intertwined with the poetry of Nikki Giovanni, Paul Laurence Dunbar and speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Barack Obama in an effort to explore how love affects the sense of self, cultural pride, and dedication to one’s future. Spring of 2015 will bring a musical and narrative exploration of the Abolitionist movement through original spoken word poetry and chamber music. A mini festival pairing avant-garde music of Black composers with sessions of free jazz and improvisation is also on the horizon.

Castle of our Skins takes its name and inspiration from the famed poet Nikki Giovanni’s poem for nina. The poem beautifully captures the sense of adoration and respect for oneself and community that COOS seeks to advocate. Recognizing the vast diversities within black culture and black artistry, COOS strives to illuminate this broad and unique spectrum through thought-provoking musical experiences. 

Coleridge Taylor Perkinson's "Calvary" String quartet (audio begins at 51 seconds)

Olga Patramanska-Bell, violin James Dargan, violin Ashleigh Gordon, viola Javier Caballero, cello. Performing live as part of Castle of our Skins' inaugural performance entitled "Love Affects": a concert experience blending spoken word and music in an exploration of love and its affects. Castle of our Skins is a concert series dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. For more information about Castle of our Skins, please visit www.Castle-of-our-Skins.com

Coleridge Taylor Perkinson's (Audio begins at 2:20)

Olga Patramanska-Bell, violin James Dargan, violin Ashleigh Gordon, viola Javier Caballero, cello. Performing live as part of Castle of our Skins' inaugural performance entitled "Love Affects": a concert experience blending spoken word and music in an exploration of love and its affects. Castle of our Skins is a concert series dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. For more information about Castle of our Skins, please visit www.Castle-of-our-Skins.com

Adolphus Hailstork: Songs of Love and Justice: Love

Farah Darliette, soprano Anthony Green, piano. Performing live as part of Castle of our Skins' inaugural performance entitled "Love Affects": a concert experience blending spoken word and music in an exploration of love and its affects. Castle of our Skins is a concert series dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. For more information about Castle of our Skins, please visit www.Castle-of-our-Skins.com