Atalante Göteborg 15-16 september 2022
Under flera år har GEIGER haft samtal med den Berlinbaserade musikern, forskaren och arrangören Cedrik Fermont om att samarbeta kring något av hans projekt. Efter mer än två decenniers forskning om noise, alternativ, elektronisk och experimentell musik i och från Asien och Afrika, publicerade han nyligen några samlingsskivor dedikerade till detta samt flera essäer om elektroakustisk, noise och experimentell musik från de bägge kontinenterna. När han 2020 gav ut samlings-CD:n ”Alternate African Reality – Electronic, electro acoustic and experimental from Africa and the diaspora” bestämde vi oss för att bjuda in Cedrik att tillsammans med oss kurera en festival, med den här CD:n som utgångspunkt. Den elektroniska och experimentella musikens historia i Afrika börjar ungefär på 1950-talet (med det anmärkningsvärda undantaget Halim El-Dabh 1944) och idag är detta musiklandskap rikt och varierat.
For several years, GEIGER have discussed with Berlin-based artist, researcher, and label manager Cedrik Fermont about collaborating on some of his projects. Following more than two decades of research in alternative electronic, experimental, and noise music in and from Asia and Africa, he recently published some compilations dedicated to this topic and several essays about electroacoustic, noise, and experimental music on these continents. With the release of the compilation CD ”Alternate African Reality – Electronic, electro acoustic and experimental from Africa and the diaspora” in 2020, we invited Cedrik to curate this festival together with us, with this CD as a starting point. The history of electronic and experimental music in Africa roughly started in the 1950s (with the notable exception of Halim El-Dabh in 1944) and today this music landscape is a rich and various one.
THURSDAY 15 SEPTEMBER 19.00
19.00 Cedrik Fermont
FRIDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 17.00-PANEL/ARTIST TALK, 19.00 CONSERT
17.00-(to c:a 18.30) Panel talk in the foyer with some of the artists moderated by Cedrik Fermont. Free admission!
19.00 Cobi van Tonder
20.00 Aurélie Lierman
21.00 Robert Machiri
22.00 Farida Amadou
A new reality or better say another reality, another view on Africa, far from the usual clichés, Alternate Africa aims to challenge how the world perceives music in and from Africa and its varied diaspora and cultures.
This is neither Afrofuturism, nor the future of music, this is not some kind of exceptional music from Africa, this is one of the many current realities: music from Africa and its diaspora is not stuck into traditional memes, it’s vibrant, innovative and travels as fast as the speed of light, like everywhere else, but with one notable difference: its lack of representation outside of the continent.
Electronic, electroacoustic, free improvised music do not belong to a geographic place (anymore?), rather they belong to an era. Our contemporary era is hyper connected and the past two decades have seen the music world embracing the digital age. If there is a new geography, we will find it inside this new world, as imperfect as it is, as elitist it still can be, rhizomatic networks are under permanent constructions.
We find artists who embrace full digital technology, others whose music archives blend languages, culture, ancient and modern technology, cut-up techniques meeting turntablism or journalistic adventures, cinematic electroacoustic music meets free improvisation. We all use similar technologies and add our own cultural imprints that rather than creating larger gaps, bring colourful ideas and feedback of cultural exchanges.
These networks spread their arms in every direction, once and for all, we wish this to be an experience shared by everyone and not a one way street; we build bridges, not cabinets of curiosities!
Electroacoustic, experimental and other forms of electronic music are not new on the continent: from Halib El-Dab’s (proto) musique concrete experiments in 1944 in Egypt, to June Schneider’s multimedia installations in the 1970s’ South Africa and today’s young composers all over the continent, there is a whole world of sounds that has been put aside for too long and we hope this small introduction will engage the listeners and the players into deeper conversations and collaborations.
Cedrik Fermont, festival co-producer
In 2019 Martin Khanja (aka Lord Spike Heart) (vocals) and Sam Karugu (guitarist, producer), both emerging from Nairobi’s underground metal scene, formed Duma. Their debut album fuses hardcore punk and thrash metal with noise, taking the African metal scene into new, experimental territories. The lyrics depict the band’s everyday life: love, hate, drugs, being young and broke. But there are also songs such as Pembe 666, which includes passages from the Book of Revelation in Swahili.
FRKTL is the solo project of British- Egyptian interdisciplinary artist Sarah Badr, now based in Riga. A classically trained multi-instrumentalist, she incorporates live sampling and improvisation, vocal manipulation, field recordings and generative rhythms to compose immersive sound explorations. Most recently, visual sound spatialisation technologies allow her to examine the relation between form and place in digital spaces. Over the past decade, Badr’s artistic practise has expounded on mixed reality and world creation through CGI, augmented scene capture, and sound design.
Cedrik Fermont (BE)
Cedrik – or C-drík, cdrk or Kirdec or any of his many personas – was born in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), grew up in Belgium and now lives in Berlin. He is an artist, activist, curator, promoter, DJ, label owner and author, as well as the co-curator of this GEIGER festival. Following over two decades of research on alternative electronic, experimental, and noise music in and from Africa and Asia, he recently published compilations, as well as several essays, dedicated to these topics. With the release of the compilation CD ”Alternate African Reality – electronic, electroacoustic and experimental music from Africa and the diaspora” in 2020, we invited Cedrik to curate this festival together with us, taking this CD as a starting point.
Farida Amadou (NE/BE)
Farida Amadou is a self-taught bass player based in Liège, Belgium. Her music spans over a wide range of genres such as blues, jazz, hip-hop, and improvised music. After a year as bass player in belgian punk band Cocaine Piss in 2017, Farida has been focusing on her solo improvisation practice and collaborations with musicians like Steve Noble, Thurston Moore, Peter Brötzmann, and Mette Rasmussen.
Aurélie Lierman (BE/RW)
Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman was born in Rwanda but grew up in Belgium. She is an independent radio producer, vocalist, and composer fusing radio- and vocal art, and composition. Her main focus is her field recordings: unique sounds and soundscapes from contemporary East‐Africa, which she transforms into what she calls “Afrique Concrète”. Lierman has released two albums with Nurse With Wound, collaborated with artist Vincent Meessen, and toured the US premiering her solo sets for voice and tape. She performed the leading role in What Happened | Plays, a Gertrude Stein-inspired opera by Samuel Vriezen and Adam Frank.
Cobi van Tonder (ZA)
Cobi van Tonder was born in South Africa and worked as a musician in Johannesburg with bands (e.g. Nothing and Otoplasma) in the late 1990s and early 2000s. She explores diverse avenues of listening as art-making space that she describes as ‘expanded listening’. Some of her pieces revolve around microtonal drone music, exploring aspects such as beating patterns and sonic illusions. She also explores acoustics as a prominent musical parameter which has led to her project ACOUSTIC ATLAS. Here, a space (or interior) becomes another ‘instrument’ with unique properties of echo and resonance.
Robert Machiri/Pungwee listening (ZW)
Robert Machiri is a sound worker born in Harare. Previously based in Johannesburg he currently resides in Berlin. He is a hoarder of things and ideas inspired by a biographical recollection of music; an embodied source for sonic study and memory. His work exists at the interstice of two streams of practice; his curatorial concepts and art which are presented through embodied critique as learning-through-unlearning, interwoven by sound, music and image-making. His most notable project PUNGWE is an interdisciplinary project circling sound in Africa with related contemporary arts discourses and spaces.