Love Always is a song cycle co-created by Allison Loggins-Hull, with the truth-telling vocals of Toshi Reagon, commissioned by Alarm Will Sound through the Matt Marks Impact Fund. The work is rooted in two long-standing African Americans traditions; the oral tradition of storytelling through music, conversation, and listening as well as the tradition of African-American elders writing letters to their children.
Inspired by James Baldwin’s, The Fire Next Time , and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s, Between the World and Me, Allison Loggins-Hull writes letters to her own son, which serve as the text in this piece and as a call for understanding to allow her son to navigate through this world. The truth inspired by these written works unleashes lessons forward so that there might not just be survival but thriving for the next generation.
Toshi Reagon’s offering to this song cycle tells the story of three Toshi’s: Toshi Seeger (her Godmother), Toshi Georgiana Widoff Woodson (her Goddaughter) and Toshi herself. Their collective alignment is that they each follow a line of revolutionary parents or community which have shaped their own identities. By doing, listening, and following (sometimes close and or at a distance), they are taking and sharing what is needed, to be on this earth.