The members of The Ford’s Connectors Council are the brains behind the brains here, helping to steer our seasons and programming with their cultural expertise.
Music, literature, art – they all help us get understand ourselves and persevere when times are difficult. So we asked them what they’ve been turning to these days for support, and asked them to put together a little something for you.
Dexter Story stays busy. Whether he’s bringing together his band to compose East African–inspired funk music, putting together concerts for Grand Performances, working on his Ph.D in enthnomusicology and world art and cultures, or just spinning old Staple Singers records, he’s always got something going on. Get a glimpse of his process with his Digital Care Package assembled specially for The Ford community.
Artists & Thought Leaders
by Ruth Wilson Gilmore
How to Be an Antiracist
by Ibram X. Kendi
Riot and Remembrance: America's Worst Race Riot and Its Legacy
by James Hirsch
Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson
by Shana Redmond
Black Women Against the Land Grab: The Fight for Racial Justice in Brazil
by Keisha Khan Y Perry
The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music: Africa
by Ruth M. Stone
anything by Robin D. G. Kelley
I think we are seeing music become more amorphous, hybridized, omnipresent now with the lines blurring beyond recognition. I don't think traditional media and the award industry can even keep up with the transformative nature of music. It's not about neat little boxes anymore. It's not about genres and essentializing anything. Think about what you listen to. Where does it fit? Most of the time, your answer will be "I don't know" or "Here... and there... and there too."
Advice for Compositional Practice
Process is a sacred thing though and I respect what it takes for any given composer or songwriter to get their art out.
Try a New Tool
"I don't have a formula for composing. I use devices such as my instruments, voice recorder on my phone, Sibelius notation software, my computer and DAW but I don't think there is one way to write a piece or song."
Develop a Rhythm
"Some people have a ritual of writing everyday at the same time, for the same length of time, everyday. I do that at times. However, seasons change my view of process. For example, Summer heat has me doing something different than in cooler Fall and Winter months."
Soak Up Resources
"Take advantage of all of the masterclasses, online classes, YouTube videos that are at our disposal right now. All of the technical secrets are revealed right now."
Think Outside the Box
"When I listen back on existing music, particularly those considered classic compositions and songs, from a compositional point of view, the pieces always have an abstract and otherworldly element about them that I know didn't come from cookie-cutter thinking."