Oct 7, 2019
An HYMN to Closed Businesses. by ONE BEAT and Debra from conNECKtedTOO at REDUX, MOJA 2018.
by Barney BLAKENEY
The Charleston Rhizome Collective as part of the 2018 MOJA ARTS FestivalOctober 3 participated in an experience featuring performing artists OneBeat that brought together sounds and emotions symbolic of the collective’s Tiny Business Initiative at Redux Contemporary Art Center on King Street in Charleston.
The OneBeat musicians are a collective of artists from around the world who infuse music and instrumentation with stories from the communities where they perform…
There were two parts that involved TINY businesses in a respectful and emotionally moving way. The first involved a reading by Debra HOLT of a list of 58 businesses that have closed. Sound and songs invoked a spirit of memorial and of destruction. Many people were touched by names that were remembered and were celebrated by the diverse crowd thanks to the OneBeat crew, she said. Some of those businesses included WILSON’s PHARMACY, TAYLOR’s BAKERY, MERRELL’S SHOE REPAIR, DEE DEX SNACK BAR and some 54 others.
The second part was led by Ricardo NIGAGLIONI, a Bronx-based musician originally from Puerto Rico, who poetically invited Theron SNYPE (conNEKtedTOO TINY Business coordinator) to talk about communication and collaboration, and then Sammy SMALLS from FRESH CUT BARBER SHOP talked about the beginnings of his business. Both SMALLS and SNYPE were applauded. SMALLS said he had never been applauded so much before. Also present was Perrin MIDDLETON from the C.O. FEDERAL CREDIT UNION on Spring Street who posted his appreciation on Instagram.
MIDDLETON characterizes the TINY business Initiative as a vehicle that can unite the community and businesses. Charleston Rhizome is bringing unique businesses together in a unifying way, he said, that offers those small businesses ways to help each other and to make themselves familiar to each other and consumers in their communities. The initiative impacts the community in a positive way, Middleton said.
Many thanks to the musicians and producers of OneBeat – a network of civically engaged music projects – , the Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and Redux Contemporary Art center.
OneBeat is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, produced by Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation.
Here are some sounds created by Aditya Alamaru and Akinyemi from OneBeat that were inspired by Sammy Smalls and Uncle Leon’s Barber Shops:
What is Collaboration?: A film in progress, filmed & edited by Jason Gourdine