Ace the Storyteller
Ace the Storyteller is an interdisciplinary performer at the crossroads of music and poetry practicing radical love. They are Co-founder of the creative production company, Esoteric Creations, through which they’ve developed skills in sound engineering, music composition, and lyricism. Ace recognizes the ability for storytelling to transform communities by uplifting the marginalized voices of our society. Their experience as Writing Director for MINT magazine and Creative Director for the Institute for Diversity in the Arts reflects their commitment to organizations rooted in inclusivity, collaboration, and progress.
With so many distractions in the entertainment industry, Ace is committed to telling real and raw stories. Their passion for creative production is rooted in a love for content that brings people together. The power of art to transform the way people experience news and give attention to the world motivates them to never stop telling the meaningful stories that need to be heard. Their success thus far as a performer, writer, and musician has been dedicated to elevating the consciousness of new generations by healing the intergenerational wounds inflicted upon Black queer women. Ace believes in the transformative energy of creative practice to shape more loving futures. Ace the Storyteller is a child of possibility.
We Never/Land: Shifting Perspectives on Social Death Through Music, Affect, and Adventure
Afro-pessimist theorists Saidiya Hartman, Jared Sexton, Frank Wilderson, and Orlando Patterson argue that Black people exist in a state of social death, defined as the condition of enslavement or lack of personhood. This project investigates the application of social death, specifically how the abstraction of the theory creates a disjunction with the everyday. I argue that regardless of the critical analysis Afro-pessimism invites, it does not fully reckon with the affective experience of Black people today. I wrote and produced Never/Land, an interactive album, in order to explore the affect of social death and its impact on my Black consciousness. By bringing awareness to the suffering that I experience as a result of the legacy of enslavement, I found that social death is an opportunity for new possibilities of Black life. Ultimately, Black people must mourn the death of the social in order to find a world capacious enough to hold the simultaneity of life and death. From social death emerged the archive of Never/Land, documentation of beautiful things found by those in bondage.
1. SEA OF ME
"Find me in the ocean"
"Breathe, where it's hard to breathe"
"Homes in your bones"
"Swimming in the dark, I bet
you'll find your spark"
2. NATURE'S CHOIR
"I'm tryna be good. I know I think I should
be better seek happiness, but I feel like shit."
"Mother says, listen."
"Trusting my heart in the hands of the healer."
"Baby just open your eyes,
I swear that you'll be surprised."
3. HEART FREE
"When did we lose our memory of the garden?"
"seems as I'm getting older I
should fold into a corner
call it cubicle but I suppose
it's more like law and order"
"supporting hierarchy will not feed
kids who never learned how to breathe."
"Better let my heart free."
"Flowers on a Wednesday,
you brought me back to old ways."
"who really looking up under my mask?"
"who's that? meet me again."
"always waiting for the come up
hold up, where you at has
always been enough"
5. LEAN ON ME
"leaning on my spirit when my mind go."
"I want to sail across the sea
I want a love that I can see"
"I don't know which way to go, but
I suppose that I might not ever know
No, that don't mean that I'm any less whole."
"This body has limits, I'm paying attention
It's best that I listen to my intuition."
6. COLD IN CALIFORNIA
"I'm making life simple essential breath.
Feel like I won 'cause I did my best."
"It never gets cold in California,
I hope you know that I adore ya."
"It's always over till a mirror stand
in front of me. Now I look at reflections, impressions of all of my lessons"
"Didn't know where I was headed,
forgot how to count all my blessings.."
Experience Never/Land for yourself!
- Play this on a walk down a foreign path, unfamiliar road, on a new adventure
- See the world with new eyes
- Take a picture or sound recording of things you find surprising, beautiful, or that catch your attention in unfamiliar ways
- DM what you've found @thelandthatneverwas
Never/Land is an archival of lost things found by lost souls. Whatever brings you to this journey, trust it. Through the collection of our collective consciousness, I hope Never/Land can be a home for the wayward.