We’ve been fans of flutist/singer/composer Nathalie Joachim for ages, but it just so happens that our first collaboration materialized for a project in which she is investigating her Haitian heritage in the most breathtaking way. Through a network of charming in-person interviews, field recordings, and nimble new arrangements of original songs, Nathalie assembles a mesmerizing sonic exhibition of the (largely) unheralded female singers of Haiti. With her grandmother’s voice as the leaping-off point, Fanm d’Ayiti (“Women of Haiti”) celebrates powerful women – in revolution, on stage, or in the home – blending electronics, live recordings, a live string quartet (hi!), and Nathalie’s own voice in an irrepressible and captivating melange.
Following a dynamite premiere at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music series, Nathalie began scheming to record this project, and we are ecstatic to 1) be releasing this album with her on the vanguard New Amsterdam label, and 2) throwing the release party in our home city of Chicago at the eminent Black Ensemble Theater.
Fanm d’Ayiti is much more than a collection of fantastic tunes. It is a rare peek inside a composer’s sense of place, of self. We’ve had our eyes opened in extraordinary ways by the stories burning bright within this music, and those that manage to get their hands on tickets to this album release show are in for an unforgettable night of deeply personal, and deeply invigorating music.
Fanm d’Ayiti (2018) – Nathalie Joachim