Well, it's finally here! After years of work, some incredible performances at Roulette and Carnegie Hall, and an epic recording session at Issue Project Room, The Oversoul Manual is born! Last week the Elizabeth-Caroline Unit enjoyed our debut at Carnegie Hall to an incredibly warm and receptive audience. Among the audience were luminaries and heroes of ours including Henry Threadgill, Oliver Lake, Larkin Grimm, Imani Uzuri and of course our incredibly supportive family and friends. A HUGE thanks to everyone who made this possible: Darius Jones, the women of the EC-Unit, Jean Carla-Rodea, Sarah Martin, Kristin Slipp (and Julia Ulehla), Steve Caputo, Kholood Eid, Amadine Pras, Randal Wilcox, Steven Joerg and Aum Fidelity Records!
The Oversoul Manual is available for pre-order now on itunes and through Aum Fidelity Records. It will officially be available October 14th. Get your copy! You can click the album cover to link to Aum's website.
The Oversoul Manual is the long-awaited fourth installment / revelation in Darius Jones’ central, highly acclaimed, and on-going Man’ish Boy epic; it further reveals -- indeed fully features -- the great talents of Jones as composer & arranger, with originality, conceptual richness and deep emotive power to the fore. An a cappella work comprised of 15 pieces performed by his vocal quartet, The Elizabeth-Caroline Unit (featuring the great vocal talents of its devoted members Amirtha Kidambi, Sarah Martin, Jean-Carla Rodea, and Kristin Slipp), it utilizes a heretofore unheard (by Earthlings) sacred language of sound / composition used in the alien birthing ritual of a new being.
The Oversoul Manual is both an elemental / genesis part of Jones’ Mani’sh Boy mythology and a fully illuminated / radical expression of his profound love for the human voice, which remains at the foundation of Darius’ singularly potent creative life. The voice was his first instrument; it was his gateway into music. He grew up singing hymns and duets with his sister as a young boy, later becoming gospel choir director at his church in Virginia as a young man. Darius’ intent with this work was to manifest an experience of great purity, communicative potency, and cleansing joy. And once again, he has succeeded magnificently.
Essential words by Darius Jones, from the libretto:
The Elizabeth-Caroline Unit are the proud mothers of a son called Man’ish Boy. On the planet Or’gen, having a child is done with the spiritual agreement of three or more humanoids, called a Unit. The Oversoul Manual is a sacred text meant to guide a Unit towards the required connection that will manifest their child. For this connection to reach the level of power necessary to create another soul, the Unit must perform these fifteen songs, which gives each mother the opportunity to impart her wisdom, experience, and deepest desires for the child. The act of singing generates an intense spiritual connection that culminates in the creation of a new being. This birthing ritual can take years for some Units. The creation of Man’ish Boy took seven.
The Oversoul Manual is written in an ancient language, spoken or sung only for the most sacred rituals. This ancient language is called “oe∫” and is considered to be an empathic language by the Or’genian people. It is believed to have been given to them by their Creator for the direct purpose of developing a stronger awareness about the power of true communication amongst the humanoids of this planet. This language is no longer used in everyday life due to the intensity of the experience one has while in dialogue or in the presence of the language. This is why the Unit separates themselves from their environment to find a secluded sanctuary to perform this birthing ritual. Those who happen to witness this intimate ceremony find themselves feeling the essence of spiritual birth within their being.
The birth of Man’ish Boy was an important event in the history of the Or’genian people. His birth was the awaking of a cultural and spiritual development that this planet had not seen before.