Sunday, 5 March 2017


A little while back I started to pay mind to the difference between hearing music and listening to it. With the rise of streaming services and how easy it is to constantly be plugged in, I never really put time aside to focus all my attention on the music. I used to lie down and put a CD on, and that doesn’t happen so much anymore.

About a week ago The Orator announced a listening session for his new album 'Vernacular' and with this in mind I knew I had to attend. For this reason listening parties fascinate me. It was a very intimate affair held at the African Caribbean Centre in Highfields. This is the home of Leicester Community Radio where The Orator and Marcus Joseph host ‘Ital Lounge’, their own radio show with music and chat. The plan was to broadcast the album live and get into a discussion about it afterwards. I attended with my camera in hand and tried to capture the mood in the room. I knew it would be something special.

The project ran for 34 minutes and the room was practically silent through out. Because of this every word and note had our full concentration. If you know The Orator you’d know what to expect with this project. These rich, thought provoking, afrocentric, stirring poems intertwined with wonderful soundscapes and with that came something really original. I’ve never really heard anything like it before. He’s calling it a spoken word album, I don’t think that really does it justice. That limits it. The themes in the album are not trendy themes, they’re not contemporary. They’re themes that we’ve been discussing for generations and generations. All I can urge you to do is just listen to it for yourself and see what you think.I’m glad I gave it all my attention upon first listen.

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