Tannah & Coley


Salem, NJ

(Click the play buttons to hear Tannah & Coley’s story)

Tannah & Coley

Radio production by Christopher Hoff

Portraits by Emile B. Klein, oil on canvas, mounted on panel, 9″×11.5″


(Click image for hi-resolution)

Light and dark, earth and sky, rain-drenched rich and parched, bone-dry. But these are opposites, with surrounding fields of energy and conjured images and the twins are nothing like that.Rather think of a new shiny quarter, spinning deftly on its incised edge, transforming from two-sided flattened disc into vibrating sphere before your eyes. Now as if by magic, the single coin has become two and then five and then seven, singing swelling harmonies in major chords, chiming to a stained glass gospel climax and finishing hushed, a diminished third. This simple coin with two sides, now lying flat and still against the pavement where it worked itself through an exuberant 17-year old’s holey pocket, down a slender, muscled leg and plopped where we find it. Heads or tails? And does it matter?For Coley and Tannah, there was always the music. It was the binding tie to survive (and thrive) the unnecessary encumbrances children often carry. A family move, a parental split, a shocking discovery of another sibling. But there were a grandmother’s gospel melodies in the early mornings and by drinking deeply at that well, the emotional turmoil from yesterday could be dismissed, if you just believe.

And Tannah does believe. Focused, disciplined and adaptable, she is the stuff that leaders are made of. Her twin brother, Coley, questions. He knows how to control his heart rate, to be present in the moment and draw in a roomful of expectant listeners with his performance. He controls the beat and he is a visionary.

Their voices are akin to their aspirations in timbre and pitch. Shall I be a teacher? Shall I be a performer? Questions of traveling and making music, of church and college, of the wide world of friends beyond the parochial compartments of New Jersey. And still the glue is the music, the music and the unsung director behind the scenes, their mother.

The twins spoke the language of music and shared rhythm without words long before the days of toddling and crawling on soft rugs and all throughout the early white-faced days of self restraint in school and self consciousness, thanking silently some probable unseen intelligence that they were not alone, that the world was finally beautiful and large and they were two and that two could stand as one.

By Karen Joyce Williams

Open the story further and listen to their step father, Bill Corbin’s, story on Snap Judgement: (click here)

9 Responses to “TANNAH & COLEY MORRIS”
  1. Yovankha Garcia says:

    I love u Tannah & Coley!
    Good job, wish yall the best. & thanks for everything yall did for me.

  2. Raining Iguanas says:

    Emile Klein, Tannah Morris, Coley Morris, Karen Joyce Williams, Christopher Hoff and everyone else involved in putting this great selection together– you have all done a superb job.

    Emile, the melding of the portraits to the story and the two interviews was so well done I felt like Tannah and Coley were sitting in front of me. I like the modern texture you put into both portraits. They are young, thoughtful, and vibrant adults. You brought that out with your brushes.

    Karen’s written story was compiled with so much respect and emotion that it felt like tightly woven fabric entwined with the sound bites and portraits. I began with the story so when I listened to Tannah and Coley’s words I felt I already knew them.

    Christopher’s audio for both interviews was expertly tuned, both in length and content. They brought Tannah and Coley directly to my kitchen table to join me on a beautiful Saturday morning for some conversation and coffee.

    Tannah Morris you will accomplish great things; nothing will stop you. Simply be yourself. Absorb life in and cast it out in any direction that it may take you. You are an artist who must express. Go out into the world and express yourself from every corner of your spirit, we will be watching.

    Coley Morris, I want to give you some advice–from old man to young man. Take all that brings you joy and run with it. Your abilities will only be stifled by others so don’t let them stop you for one moment. Keep moving forward in leaps and bounds and from mountains high. Make music, grab another instrument and make more music. Any sound that emanates from that note-filled heart of yours will bring joy wherever it goes. One of my favorite musicians is Robert Randolph. His conflict with his musical vision and that of his church was similar to yours but his want was too large. He simply had to let it out. The joy of musical expression fills both of you so, that it starts bursting seams. You too will make a mark on this world, you’ve already begun.

    You’re U.S., you certainly are…

  3. Bishop Freddy Washington, Sr. says:

    Blessings to you both: Tannah & Coley! It’s so awesome to see what God has done in you both, and what He will do with your future. You come from a strong, God fearing foundation, and the ministry that He has given each one of you is the fulfillment of His promises to your Grandparents; how that the blessings will flow unto the third and fourth generation. You are truly blessed and highly favored. We are so happy to have been a part of your future destiny. God is taking you places, and our prayers and support will be with you as you grow and go!!!!!!!!!

  4. Janice Morris says:

    …..my turn, I’m blessed to be their Mother, Janice. This was a wonderfully grand experience and I am grateful to be a part of something so meaningful.. To Emile who taught me so much in a week…to read labels, shop locally, never waste anything and to work hard; and to his whole team-a job extremely well done! The writing is superb, the recording splendid, and the portraits fabulous! I will never understand how you do that and with just five pigments! You all captured the essence of my twins. Thank-you. I believe this honors my mother Christine and her mother, Minnie Conley Pope, who paved the way for my children working as a domestic, on her hands and knees, on a chicken farm in Elmer, NJ that became the magical Appel Farm. And the last shall be first, thank You God for Your favor.

    • Janice Morris says:

      P.S. I love you Coley and Tannah, you are the apples of my “ah-h-h-h”

      • Don Reid says:

        Tannah & Coley I’m so proud of the two of you. I love music and hopefully one day I will get a chance to see both of you perform. Further, if you produce CDs please update me so I could purchase them and add to my music collection. I wish you and Coley the greatest success! Janice you must be a very proud mother in witnessing how your hard work has paid off in raising them. Thank you immensely for sharing their work with us. Don Reid (Helena Morris-Reid son)

  5. Adrianna Miller says:

    Tannah & Coley I love you both and keep up the good work. You guys should be very honored to be apart of His journey and success. Very nice portraits and website!

  6. K. Morris says:

    Really nice Tannah & Coley! All the best in your each of your endeavors, keep up the amazing work!

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