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Veil One of "One Land, One River, One People" premieres at Girard College in Philadelphia

Music. It causes us to tap our feet and sway our hips to perfectly syncopated beats. It has the ability to spark memories, heal, and connect us to one another. Music cuts deep: it can change the course of a day, or a life.

Hannibal’s composition, “One Land, One River, One People,” rises from his personal experiences, his exploration of society and culture, and his desire to contribute to the betterment of the world through music and words.

His quest toward stringing the right notes and melodies together included embracing nature, fasting and meditating – a practice which enabled him to tap into his ancestors’ spirits for guidance.

“The ancestors said to remind the people of their aura, to remind them of their divine souls, and in this aura that surrounds us all, the creator will be with us forever.” Hannibal told the audience before the premiereof the piece. “I hope the music will be a balm to your soul and a fixture inyour heart.”

Within the marbled walls of Girard College’s chapel on January 19, 2015, The Philadelphia Orchestra (under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin), soprano Laquita Mitchell, tenor Rodrick Dixon and choirs from Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (under the direction of Dorina Morrow) performed “One Land” for an attentive, sold-out audience.

Veil One of “One Land One River One People,” ­titled One Land, presents the creation of life.

We follow Amma (played by Mitchell), as she creates life – Nommo (played by Dixon) – through her utterance of the word “light.” In the Dogon religion, which is practiced primarily in Mali, West Africa, Amma is God and Nommo is life, human form.

The photos below present Hannibal’s journey toward bringing the performance of “One Land” to fruition: rehearsals with students from the Philadelphia High School of Creative Performing Arts, interpretations with The Philadelphia Orchestra and a CD/book signing with fans.

– Zen Campbell












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