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Aphelion: a tribute to Lorraine Hansberry is released today

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Today marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and the release of our 3rd album: a tribute to the visionary writer & activist Lorraine Hansberry.

“Backing Lorraine Hansberry’s words with an accompaniment of deep and decadent soul, hip-hop and jazz, Fold make good on their promise; in this worst of times, this is the best Fold have ever sounded. From the nimble, sun-dappled Concrete Things, through the echo-drenching of Make New Sounds to the flutey tones of closer Illuminations, this is material that incontestably places them alongside the likes of Bonobo & Nightmares on Wax.

— Arctic Reviews

Our world is ruled by a system that values the accumulation of wealth over life itself and conceals this fact by pretending the opposite. Lorraine Hansberry understood this profoundly, in contrast to most of her contemporaries. In one brief excerpt from her play Les Blancs she managed to convey the full gravity of this truth:

“In one century men choose to hide their conquests under religion, in another under race. So you and I may recognize the fraudulence of the device in both cases, but the fact remains that a man who has a sword run through him because he will not become a Muslim or a Christian—or who is lynched in Mississippi or Zatembe because he is black—is suffering the utter reality of that device of conquest. And it is pointless to pretend that it doesn’t exist—merely because it is a lie.”

— Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry was a Black, homosexual woman at a time when all three characteristics guaranteed even more disadvantage and prejudice than today. Understandably, she considered herself a radical in the true sense of the word. She lived her life with immense courage and tenacity, always remaining true to herself and never yielding in the face of adversity. The authorities treated her as subversive; the FBI maintained a file on her.

Although her two close friends James Baldwin and Nina Simone have in recent years had their legacies restored to an extent, Lorraine’s story has been all but written out of history by a capitalist, patriarchal and homophobic system. It is in defiance of this system that we release our tribute to her. We hope that it may help reclaim her legacy so that her extraordinary contributions and vision can be better recognised. On behalf of all musicians struggling with mental & physical health issues we also want people to know that this album was born out of an extremely challenging period for us. It is a celebration of overcoming those challenges but also a call to overturn a system that values profit above life.

Lastly, we’d like to give a huge shout out & thanks to all of our collaborators on this project who helped out despite pandemic adversity. Emma Johnson for the magnificent horns, Kieran O’Malley for the exquisite strings, and of course the mighty eloquence of Mr Gee.

Thank you all so much for your support. You give this work meaning.
Love, Fold

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