“Singing is the most companionable of the arts.” – Alice Parker
Resound is Jessica Fox, Joseph Clarke & Mariah Hargrove
Resound is the sound of three voices, rising and falling, rolling in harmony or splitting apart in aerial acrobatics, three individual timbres and three unique expressions of emotion, three sets of inflection and tone forming a sublime gestalt of human sound. Resound is the sound of gospel music. Southern, black gospel music, the origin point for essentially all current popular forms, a living genre that continues to interact with other music cultures, creating new and unexpected patterns of influence. Resound is the sound of love. A love for all humanity rooted in faith. Unaccompanied personal voices communicating a message of hope. Resound is the sound of struggle. Embracing the universality of music to shed light on their personal experience, the problems facing the African-American community, extending beyond that to the struggles of humanity, offering hope and nourishment, clear-eyed and grounded in reality, note for note.
One telling of Resound’s origin story begins at the kitchen table, the locus of food and fellowship, three good friends sharing a meal in a family home, just cutting up and singing something. Joseph started a line, Jessica stopped him and added a part and the three began arranging, for the first time as a group, taking long past the dinner hour to finish the piece. Though they had sung together in different groups for years – Joseph and Jessica’s harmonies go back to their childhood – this moment marked a new evolution in collective collaboration. They recorded it, posted it on Facebook, and received an unexpectedly strong response, that magical “people asking for more” moment. So they gladly obliged.
And that’s what Resound has been doing ever since, building a reputation for intricate yet natural settings of various songs, relying only on their own voices without a keyboard to guide them, arranging as three, singing as one, developing a loyal fanbase. They’ve caught the attention of gospel luminaries and pop stars, from Fred Hammond and Donnie McClurkin to Ariana Grande and India.Arie, through casually recorded selfie-style videos that often go viral. They have performed live on Good Morning America and across the country, including T.D. Jake’s church The Potter’s House, a benchmark venue in the genre. Their enthusiasm and joy can make it easy to forget just how incredibly difficult the music is to perform. And Resound does perform, with such skill and power, exhibiting almost telepathic communication, unpretentious and ecstatic displays of talent and depth of feeling, both virtuosic and sensual. A spiritual music that touches all the senses. As James Baldwin wrote, “To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread.” Resound indeed rejoices, and exudes that force of life in every second of music that flows through them, every melisma, dynamic shift, and chord.