By Piotr Orlov, AFROPUNK
Originally, AFROPUNK’s purpose in premiering “Om Shanti,” saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin’s collaboration with Georgia Anne Muldrow and Meshell Ndegeocello on a cover of Alice Coltrane’s spiritual anthem, was not meant to be topical. At least not in the way that it now might seem on this Friday the 13th. Coltrane’s “Om Shanti” — Sanskrit for “peace,” and a commonly chanted Buddhist and Hindu invocation used as a centering of our bodies, minds and words — is simply the energy we always want to put into the universe. And with Muldrow’s growling voice and Ndgeocello’s bass mixing Benjamin’s alto, it is both purposefully uplifting and fiercely defiant. Yet now, today, it somehow feels even more pertinent. Read the full premiere here.