Mark St Cyr | What We Carry

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Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Spiritual: Inspirational Moods: Type: Instrumental
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What We Carry

by Mark St Cyr

Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. August 29, 2005
2:54 album only
2. I Couldn't Imagine
4:05 album only
3. We Need Help
3:39 album only
4. Interlude
0:52 album only
5. Why Did It Take so Long
5:37 album only
6. There's Nothing Here Anymore
3:26 album only
7. I'm a Survivor
3:58 album only
8. Big Baby Jc
5:55 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
All songs were written and created by Dr. Mark St. Cyr. I want to thank the Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Association for awarding me an ArtSpark grant and subsequently allowing me to share this musical suite with the world. I also want to thank Amos Singleton and Daryl Davis for assisting me in the studio as we brought this suite to life. For me, it was a singular experience to hear other musicians play what I had been playing only to myself on the piano. What We Carry was initially titled "My Katrina Suite"; however, I soon realized that the themes were not simply applicable to victims of a hurricane. Upon collaborating with visual artist Jennifer Dove Cooper for the live production of What We Carry, I discovered that this suite of inspired music was applicable to the emotional state of anyone who has endured tragedy, suffering, and subsequently triumph. The bonus track titled "Big Baby JC" is dedicated to Jennifer. A few months after meeting her I was inspired to write this song for her, and thus I dedicate it to her. I dedicate this suite to all those who have suffered and endured tradgedy in any form or shape, acutely or chronically, and to those who are survivors. The title "What We Carry," is a reference to both the implications of what we are carrying from our life experiences and Jennifer's visual art, which took the form of a purse when we first presented the live production of What We Carry on August 29, 2018 in Lafayette, LA. This performance was intended as (designed to be) a collaboration of music, visual art, and spoken word.

August 29 represents the first day, the beginning of my suite which I had no idea would evolve into five more songs, in order, as recorded. It is not simply the anniversary date of Hurricane Katrina, but it represents that individual asleep in bed, only to awaken finding the water rising in their house. This was the case with Jennifer, a New Orleans native; she endured the flood, being stranded on the I-610 ramp, and subsequently found her way to the Superdome for nearly a week. It can also represent that person who awakens one day to find the figurative tide rising in any of their relationships. If you listen closely you'll hear where the "villain" enters; if you listen closely towards the end, you'll hear the levee breaking, the moment when all hell has broken loose in your life.

I Could Not Imagine was conceived when I saw people on rooftops in deep water, literally all day and all night. This is applicable to any tragedy when one at some point in time might say these words... I could not personally imagine what it was like to be assaulted, abused, homeless, addicted, depressed, etc.

We Need Help was written whan I saw the child victims of hurricane Katrina rhythmically crying out for help using those exact words. Whether it's a hurricane, an abusive relationship or an addiction, at some point in time we cry out these words with the hope of someone hearing us and delivering help.

Why Did It Take So Long was initially asked because of the delay in rescuing the victims of hurricane Katrina. In life, a bad relationship or job that is not good for us can also make us ask ourselves why it took so long to seek help. I've learned that sometimes we may not even know we need help if we have been making adjustments, compensating or marginalizing certain parts of our lives that require attention.

There's Nothin Here Anymore was written after seeing New Orleans a few weeks after the hurricane in 2005 and only seeing brown,black, and mold. If I had closed my eyes and was transported from one area to another I would not have been able to distinguish where I was in the city because everything looked the same. I said those words to myself: There's Nothing Here Anymore. I felt like I did not have a home or a place to say where I was from , because it was no more. Relationships can become so stagnated and dead that we too can say "there's nothing here anymore," and it's time to go. Upon viewing the destruction of the hurricane, I experienced a mood of depression similar to what one might experience if they were leaving a relationship, saying "there's nothing here anymore."

I'm A Survivor was literally immediately inspired while watching the mother of saxophonist Donald Harrison on C-Span after hurricane Katrina say "I'm a survivor and I'm still standing, and I'm going to keep on working to get back home." As soon as I heard her , the melody came to me and I found it on the trumpet. When you hear me play the melody on trumpet, her words are what I'm saying through the horn. It's a song of strength, determination, survival, and overcoming triumphantly. That is what I saw in her and heard in her voice.

Working on this suite was both emotionally challenging and deeply gratifying, and I am happy to share this music with you. I hope you find it comforting,inspirational , and ultimately uplifting.

Dr. Mark St. Cyr



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