Miramar Ghosts and Ancestors

by Joshua Icban

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The first week of July in 2017 I traveled to Miramar, La Habana, Cuba via a music scholarship.

I had taken a trip to the country before in 2016 to study dance and was heavily enlightened by the folkloric and religious dance and music. There were many instances where, upon the practice and exploration of these in that time frame, I was moved to tears and experienced the phenomena of spirituality. I felt the presence of a guide and of a purpose.

This led me to study throughout the remainder of the year, via books and people, the history of the country and whatever i could gather about the immense breadth of yoruba/santeria religion.

Still having a tourist's/hipster's grasp of these ancient and survived beliefs.practices I arrived in 2017 and encountered spirits/ messengers who led me to witness events and coincidences that I had been searching for. I feel perhaps these were somehow ready to be revealed to me.

This collection of sounds was made two weeks after returning and trying to digest what I had experienced. Upon returning I felt I had completed or just begun a cycle of my life, my studies and interests being presented back to me while in Cuba.

Throughout I used live audio samples I took while there and also channeled in recordings of certain orisha songs/chants. I did so with respect to personal interpretation and investigation.

The people in Cuba are warm and generous. And they went thru a lot of shit to be that way. There's a lot going on there today. It's frustrating that many americans have a fucked up view of how things operate there, or have some kind of default notion that Cuba is a time capsule to the past. There is in fact a very vibrant and living present unfolding.

It struck me how even though the material items of well being that exist there such as the cars and homes are frankensteined from a different time and teeter on survival, the "high brow" items of society such as art,culture.music & knowledge of history flourish in a manner we only wish we could achieve in our home across the ocean. I saw no homeless and no illiterate there and I felt at home in the ever present village mentality that permeates the island.

This is not to say that exists there a perfect operating system by any means. From conversations I've heard that there still exists too many realities about income disparity/ social class and a staunch and oppressed freedom to leave the country as citizens choose.

We are all due our honest histories, and in this country in we are at another pivotal age of survival. We are always deciding what to keep and what to throw away.

"It Takes a Village"


released July 25, 2017

Recorded/Produced/Performed/Arranged-Josh Icban



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