The Jazz ensemble Shabaka & The Ancestors released the Akinola Davies Jr. directed visuals for the lead track of their new conceptual album ‘We Are Sent Here By History‘. The captivating tune ‘Go My Heart, Go To Heaven‘ challenges us to follow Shabaka & The Ancestors into the dark and apocalyptical future by the means of the historical perspective. The poetic lyrics and the jazz sound landscapes are shocking and uplifting at the same time. Sadness and hope. Darkness and light. This tension leaves us shaken but enables inspiration and radical change. Here is jazz with a deep political soul and social conscious.
The group’s vocalist Mthembu Siyabonga explains the meaning behind the expression ‘Hamba’ in the track: “Hamba is a South African church song about the point where one gives in and want out of this world. It was my dad’s favourite song even though he professed to not be religious as he was a communist. But in times of darkness is a call to the light and the heart.” The lyrics of the track in its entirety:
Hamba x3 (Go)
Nhliziyo yam x2 (my heart)
Uye x3 (go to)
Ezulwini Akhukho x3 (there isn’t)
Ukhuphumula x3 (any rest/peace)
Jazz saxophonist and founder of the group Shabaka Hutchings elucidate the ideas behind the conceptual album as follows: “‘We Are Sent Here by History’ is a mediation on the fact of our coming extinction as a species. It is a reflection from the ruins, from the burning, a questioning of the steps to be taken in preparation for our transition individually and societally if the end is to be seen as anything but a tragic defeat. For those lives lost and cultures dismantled by centuries of western expansionism, capitalist thought and white supremacist structural hegemony the end days have long been heralded as present with this world experienced as an embodiment of a living purgatory.” (Umusic).