I’ve always told myself that I should strive to do things that are bigger than me. Not only in terms of the themes I try to tackle, but also greater than the abilities I have at a current period of time.
And this project that I’ve been working on for the last couple of years is one of those. I’ve been writing a musical piece about my parents’ native Congo. And this has called me to grow into a bigger me, as a creative, as a collaborator, as a courageous individual and as a leader.
I am really excited to be giving my first preview of a musical piece, titled My Country, My Country.
It’ll be a stripped down, but fully-costumed and fully-acted 20 min version of Act 1!
The preview will take place at the Denver Art Museum’s Untitled Final Friday on theme of “The Art of Protest.” July 27th, 8pm on the 2nd Floor.
Synopsis of the Work
My Country, My Country is a new, unproduced, multi-genre musical that centers around the nexus point of Congolese independence, following two central characters:
Patrice Lumumba of Congo– the amazingly complex, first freely elected prime minister who was assassinated 6 months after being elected during Congolese independence from Belgium (an assassination led by the West);
King Baudouin of Belgium — “Le Roi Triste.” the deeply principled, self-effacing king at age 20 who wanted nothing more than to notbe king and make peace in Congo by earning the love of the people.
Both men, had parallel ambitions of creating a better future for Congo…and both were their own undoing. Come get a sneak peak into what manner scholars call the most important assassination of the 20th Century.
(Book, Music and Lyrics by Brenton Weyi. Composed by Brodie Kinder)
My Artist Statement
“Both of my parents grew up in Congo. I was born with the languages and culture in my blood. And yet, I grew up in the US, and have travelled to many other places. And that has made me so fascinated with the intersection of stories. Whenever I tell people something difficult like ‘10 million people have died in Congo in the last 15 years’ or something positive like ‘Kinshasa is the 10th biggest city in the world,’ they always react with surprise. So it is my intention to erase any barriers between an audience and this story. I intend to show the intersections between Europe, Africa and the US through these two men how similar these cultures were and still are, and how looking at this period 60 years ago can give us a richer understanding of our world today, and ultimately – ourselves.” — Brenton Weyi
For more info on the night, go here: brentonweyi.com/event/untitled
So if you’re in Denver, I’d love to see you there! If you don’t, reply to this email and tell me: what are you working on or doing in your life that’s bigger than you? I’ll share a few of the responses I get!
Talk soon and thanks for being on this journey with me,