Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sometimes the Prey Wins: Leyla McCalla and "A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey"

American musician Leyla McCalla, former cellist with roots group The Carolina Chocolate Drops, brings us today's random tune called A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey. Leyla McCalla was born in New York City to Haitian parents and was raised in New Jersey. She also lived in Ghana for two years. After graduating from New York University, where she studied cello performance and chamber music (she also plays guitar and banjo), she moved to New Orleans and was a street musician. Her first solo album was a tribute to the poetry of Langston Hughes which she credits with inspiring her to be an artist. It was five years in the making and was financed by a Kickstarter campaign. She plays music inspired by Haitian folk songs and sung in Haitian creole, as well as Louisiana traditional music such as old Cajun fiddle tunes and trad-jazz. She also writes original compositions. A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey comes from a Haitian proverb, and McCalla told NPR in an interview that it was written while she was thinking of the vulnerability and desperation of the Haitian boat people, as well as Syrian refugees. You can find A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey on McCalla's second solo album of the same name, released in 2016.

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