Back in July of this year, I posted an image of some black and white beads. They are some of the most precise that I’ve ever made as well as some of the biggest. They are also the only chevron beads that I’ve built into a finished necklace.
The beads were made specifically for a music video project. I sent them to Africa with a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir which is an all-volunteer group comprised of 360 voices. They’re based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and produce the weekly radio program Music and The Spoken Word which is the longest continually-running radio broadcast in the United States.
The soloist in the video is recording artist Alex Boye, who is also a member of the Choir. Those in Europe may recognize him from his former gig in the boy band “Awesome.”
I think the video is awesome! I knew that Alex was traveling to Ghana and that my beads would be around his neck during filming, but I didn’t know they were on-location at Cape Coast Castle. I also didn’t know he would be singing a spiritual. Here is the video or you can go to the choir's new YouTube channel.
I think the result is haunting. Alex seems to me a ghost representative of every soul who passed through the castle bound for the western hemisphere. What a tragedy slavery is. It’s difficult to comprehend and impossible to make sense of.
I hope that people watching the video recognize that there is hope to be found even in the most difficult of personal circumstances. The video expresses the Christian view that hope comes through “walking” with Jesus Christ. I’ve found that to be true in my own life and being part of this project has been a unique opportunity to bring together my personal interests in beads with my personal faith – something common to people of many different faiths found around the world. If curious, you can read more about my personal beliefs at mormon.org.