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A Prophet’s Tale by 7 Names: Marjani & Everett Saunders

The Project

A Prophet’s Tale describes the journey of an Emcee, the alchemist and minister of Hip Hop culture whose pivotal journey connect him to notions of Cultural Alchemy, ministers of globally transformative forms whose lives transcend poverty through ingenuity, and eventual ascension. We’ve found their “kind” in the likes of 13th Century poet Rumi, tales of the Samurai, the musical agency of Coltrane, and the mythology of the Unicorn.

What makes an Emcee? Is it the lyricism, their performance, or the way they’ve lived their lives? 7 Names, the collaborative team of Marjani & Everette, draws attention to the life journey that shaped the thinking of an Emcee and connects them to others who’ve been heralded throughout history, literature, and fantasy. Our interest is not in making a Hip Hop project, rather to share the depth, rigor, scholarship, and prowess of it’s practitioners in diverse venues that span the range of cultural, academic, and communal institutions.

A Note about The Collaboration of Marjani & Everett Saunders

The work centers composer Everett Saunders narratives, references, and sonic impulses as an Emcee and Sound designer to examine and exalt the lives of Hip Hop architects and Emcees. Everett is one of his names, yet as “Mental” he is also an Emcee. Marjani is serving as a choreographer and director in the project. This is an ongoing collaboration, that marks our eighth collaboration, with Everett serving as Composer and Sound Designer on all of Marjani’s choreographic works, dating back to Marjani’s first mainstage presentation of EGO, as part of Dance Theatre Workshop’s Fresh Tracks Performance Series and Artist Residency.

For Marjani’s trilogy of works examining the intersections mental illness, addiction, and systemic oppression, Everett received a New Music USA Grant to develop a 3-Dimensional aural experience for audiences during the performance. He continued this journey for a Sound Installation paired with video, at MoCADA Museum during Marjani’s Curatorial Residency and Exhibit “being Here… In Memory”. Our last work Memoirs of a… Unicorn received two NY Dance and Performance/Bessie Awards for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Visual Design. Inspired by the contemporary presence of friends and mentors, Okwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born, 7 Names is our public emergence as a collaborative team, with both artists working at the visioning helm of this project. 

Bailey’s Café (www.baileyscafe.org), a Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn based non-profit is honored to serve as the fiscal sponsor for The Prophet’s Tale’s multimedia arts residency at Baryshnikov Art Center October 28th- November 16th.

Find out more about the project here: https://bacnyc.org/residencies/resident/7-names-everett-saunders-marjani-forte-saunders

Make a tax deductible donation here: http://igfn.us/form/kllvIA

Marjani Forte-Saunders
Everette Saunders