Tanz Mein Herz (fr) + Pega (pt/b)
happy birthday 97th birthday Marshall Allen!! picture by Laurent Orseau
this week we're hosting Giovanni Di Domenico + Pak Yan Lau + Manuel Mota + Joe Talia + Stan Maris in residency.
The trumpeter and modular synthesist duo share their latest collaboration, recorded in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg's disused water tank
“Working with Axel is always an interesting balance between knowing and unknowing and weighing up which of the many paths available in any one moment to take,” says UK modular synthesist and composer Richard Scott, speaking of his sometime collaborator, German trumpeter Axel Dörner. “One is never certain one has taken the right decision, or how long that decision remains valid but it is essential to commit as completely as possible to what is happening between us at any one moment, without distinction over which one us is playing. That individualistic aspect really has no meaning in the moment of playing the music.”
Scott is reflecting on their latest duo project A Journal Of Elasticity – a two-part site-specific composition recorded at the disused water tank in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin (also the site of Paris based musician Tomoko Sauvage's 2020 recording Fischgeist).Amplified through a hexaphonic sound system, Scott worked with a Eurorack modular synthesizer, an EMS Synthi A and a Ciat-Lonbarde Tetrazzi (in its maker's words, "a mandala of analogue oscillator circuits that can cross-modulate to form an empire of infinite circuitry"), while Dörner played trumpet with additional live sampling via Max/MSP and a controller interface developed by Sukandar Kartadinata. “The Near-Field Of An Accelerating Dislocation” making up the first side of the LP was recorded in the tank with only the musicians present, whereas “Discontinuity Within A Continuum In The Presence Of Electromagnetic Fields” was recorded with an audience, altering the building's resonance.
“This sense of constant ambiguity and elasticity between the two of us, and between listening and making decisions was further multiplied on these two recordings by the influence of the fascinating sonic environment,” continues Scott. “I am not sure how well a recording can witness just how non-linear the environment was, constituting an interactive compositional element in its own right, creating transformational possibilities and limitations on literally every sound we perform. Despite being midsummer, and by far the hottest part of the year outside, I recall it was pretty bloody cold in there too. Is that audible? Perhaps...”
Belgian filmmaker Johan Grimonprez, who examined the ties between the international arms industry and Western political establishments in his recent documentaries, the award-winning “Shadow World” and “Blue Orchids,” is set to explore its impact in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in his new project, “Soundtrack to a Coup d’Etat.”
Grimonprez and producer Daan Milius are presenting the project at the Copenhagen Documentary Film Festival’s CPH:Forum financing and co-production event, which runs April 26-30.
“Soundtrack to a Coup d’Etat” looks back at the hopeful rise of Patrice Lumumba, who became the first prime minister of the newly independent Congo in 1960, only to be deposed a few months later and executed the following year. Lumumba, who is also the subject of a new feature film project, had alarmed Belgium and the United States with his assertions that Congo’s riches should belong to the country’s people. He also came to personify the growing Pan-African movement, which likewise threatened Western hegemony on the African continent.
The film also delves into the CIA’s history of arts patronage and how it used Black American jazz artists, such as Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie, to promote America’s image abroad, particularly in non-aligned countries. As part of an African tour sponsored by the State Department and PepsiCo, Armstrong arrived in Congo in October 1960, a month after Lumumba’s overthrow, a seeming diversion from the unfolding civil war triggered by the CIA-backed coup.
Speaking to Variety, Grimonprez says there is growing international awareness of Lumumba and of the atrocities committed in Congo during Belgium’s colonial rule, particularly under King Leopold II, who instituted slavery and oversaw the slaughter of an estimated 10 million people during his plunder of the country.
“There are political earthquakes happening in Belgium – they’re toppling the statues,” Grimonprez says, noting the protests that occurred in the country last year during the international Black Lives Matter demonstrations across Europe.
“I think they should also topple the Royal Palace and the Palais de Justice because they were all built with rubber money. That’s maybe a very drastic statement but that’s what it is. Brussels is basically built on rubber money, the avenues and everything, so toppling a statue is not really saying much. But we now have a Lumumba street.”
Grimonprez says Belgium’s dark history in Congo was never discussed when he was growing up despite its massive impact in Africa and the world. “It was the first genocide. We all talk about the Nazis, but the African genocide was much larger, a much bigger span. So there’s a trauma to overcome there.”
“Soundtrack to a Coup d’Etat” will trace the budding hope that was emanating in the Global South and being felt in the West in 1960, Milius says. “At that moment, in the United States and in Europe, in Africa and in Indonesia, around the world, there was this growing consciousness about the fact that things were fundamentally unfair, that they could actually change and that there was the willingness for this change.”
Laurent Baudoux & Julien Meert in residency this week at les ateliers claus
Last day Charl Telosqa her residency. Recording tonight for Radio Klara
Arto Lindsay @ Les Ateliers Claus / 2018 - pic by Laurent Orseau
This week we're hosting Charl Telosqa at les ateliers claus. She's preparing her future live shows and making a live recording for Klara Radio.
Charl Telosqa is the artistic solo project of Charlotte Schoeters. With her mainly classical vocal training, she’s always looked beyond borders of musical genres and kept writing her own music. During her opera studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, she got offered the opportunity to record a few of her first songs at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. With her music she tries to translate her vivid inner world.
Her band consists of Tom De Cock (Ictus Ensemble) on micro percussion/electronics/soundscapes, Mattijs Vanderleen (Marble Sounds) on drums & Charl Telosqa on vocals/movement/performance.