Sweet Honey in the Rock: A Priority

September 14, 2006

One of the great women’s ensemble of all time is Sweet Honey in the Rock. I looked in vain for some of the songs I know and love performed by them on the various video resources and have only come up with this. Mind you, these women are not a rap group. Visit their website to find out more about this venerable ensemble.

A Priority is a strong pro-women work. It’s a long piece. Stick with it to the end. Music by women is different than men. I’ll only hint at one element that I see in this work: the gestalt of the entire work is important; there does NOT have to be a climax; every moment celebrates the now as it moves forward (men tend to revel in forward momentum — screw the present, keep going fast!). I love and celebrate the multigenerational timbral ensemble here. It’s as though the old and wise elders are rocking, listening, nodding, assenting, and humming along with the young firebrands. Mm hmm.

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