Rest Assured. Bodi No Be Fayawood
In an unprecedented collaboration with Jazzfest Berlin the independent arts space SAVVY Contemporary in Wedding will create an island of radical care and an open space for encounters, exchange and regeneration to be shared by musicians, artists and theoreticians from communities that are constantly reminded that their breath and the mere act of breathing are permanently in a precarious state.
The last weeks, the last months, the last years have been exhausting. Indeed some existences – especially for Black and Brown people in certain societies – are exacting and debilitating. The struggles seem to be endless. Continuously, we are reminded of the fact that our breaths or the mere act of breathing, for some, is in a permanent state of precarity.
Breathe. Rest. Refuel.
With all the pressures, and the wish to stand our grounds in the face of adversities, we forget to retreat, to find ways of rejuvenation, to rehabilitate, to recoil. How do we stand our grounds, how do we fight back in contexts of prolonged adversity?
Breathe. Rest. Refuel.
“Rest Assured. Bodi No Be Fayawood” is an effort to take a break. To rest. It is an opportunity to claim the right to retreat as a possibility of invigoration. To breathe. In times when being and breathing, when walking, working, playing while black remains perilous, we need to create spaces in which we can find solace, sanctuaries of and for resuscitation. In an unprecedented collaboration with Jazzfest Berlin, the independent art space SAVVY Contemporary will create an island of radical care, of being and breathing for and with Black and Brown musicians, artists and theorists. After two days of encounters and regeneration, the artists will open up their exchange to the public in an INVOCATION of and on the poetics and precarity of breath with music, performances, lectures, and storytelling.
Breathe. Rest. Refuel.
Contributions & Contributors
Mazen Kerbaj: “I Will Be Assuming You Are on the Other Side of the Screen (and That You Are Focused)” Sonic Performance
Being an improvising musician means to be constantly in the here and now. Nowadays, in the age of social distancing, the now is still a possible reality, whereas the here is fragmented in as many pieces as there are viewers. This means for the musician that they need to make a big effort in substituting the camera for the audience, and to believe that behind the camera the audience is actually here and now. The audience however needs to make a bigger effort by extracting themselves mentally from their actual physical surroundings, in order to be here, now.
Kalaf Epalanga: “A Good Citizen” Sonic Experience
Cities are made of people, the legend Zé da Guiné told me – one of those musical beings who are only born from time to time – by pointing out how its citizens moved through spaces that we were not supposed to call home.
Eiliyas: “Improvisation” Sonic Performance
Seeking an alternative interface for music creation, a sonic feedback loop is created utilising various sonic processors for manipulating the sound. The initial premise was inspired by Thelonious Monk’s piano solos. The sonic output may seem quite different given the obvious fact that Eiliyas is a different person with different experiences and this method of sonic exploration is also noticeably different.
Jessica Ekomane: “Untitled” Sonic Performance
This performance is a musical play with rhythm perception in space, mostly using sine waves as main sound material. It explores the perception of separate elements as a whole to form meaning, transforming the addition of simple static sound elements into a complex polyrhythmical structure.
Audrey Chen and Hugo Esquinca: “Voice/Process” Sonic Performance
“Voice/Process” simultaneously explores the dynamics between a sonorous body, the processing interaction of a system that responds directly to the particularities of its spectra and the relation these two have with a defined space. In this sense, human-machine relations enter into a mediation through a double articulation. This double articulation emerges from the inherent temporalities of vocality and the processual speeds of computational devices which carry within them the capacity to extend the intervening at the same time as they react to the spatial characteristics of a defined architecture.
Lamin Fofana: “A Scattering of Spiral and Elliptical Galaxies” Sonic Performance
“A Scattering of Spiral and Elliptical Galaxies” is part of an ongoing project that amplifies notions of connectedness in a nonlinear and multidimensional timescape. The work is around black noise, and music not merely about music, but music as a tool to explore ideas, possibilities, or rather portals to new possibilities and ways of seeing. Through collective listening, we reflect solidarity, the complicated process of understanding ourselves and each other, and the possibility of breaking the constraints of our time and start dreaming up new sets of relationships.
Charles Sammons: “Collective Charles Sammons’ Way Back Home” Sonic Performance
“Charles Sammons’ Way Back Home” is never the same experience. We disassemble melodies, stories, and our impressions alike to reveal what lies within the music which may evade our intellect and corporeal senses. It is paramount that colonial survivors are afforded the platform to both rejoice and examine; experience revelry and revulsion while we delight in healing ourselves and our brethren. We light a fire amongst ourselves and invite all to come and be warmed – to be nourished as we nourish one another.
Gugulethu Duma and Kechou: “Buffering Juju” Sonic Performance
“Buffering Juju”, the title of Dumama and Kechou’s debut album, relates to the process of “excavating spiritually charged content from within.” Their approach to music is a coalescence of their respective individual journeys into the self and society, making their sound – described as nomadic future folk music – the sonic result of an organic meditative process. “Buffering Juju” plays out as a lush narrative meeting its sonic equivalent; one whose world is self-contained and interwoven. The narrative unravels as a piece of magical realism informed by South African folklore and reality, detailing a woman’s liberation story where the characters shift shape and traverse multiple realms, deploying various iterations of their power or lack thereof. “It has an organic, natural, cyber and modern kind of energy – all rooted in African aesthetics of sound and storytelling,” says Kechou. All of this sits on a bed of the duo’s unique musical language, one that, although applied electronically in the form of looping and soundscaping, is founded on approaches to string, vocal and percussion tones that reflect a merger between northern and southern African heritage. Recorded primarily in Cape Town and Johannesburg over the first quarter of 2019, “Buffering Juju” is a conduit to a past we were not necessarily present for, and a future where threatened indigenous technologies thrive in an increasingly digitised world.
Jumoke Adeyanju: “Mo ti rí: Memoirs of a Seer” Poetry and Dance Performance
An ode to memories of the preverbal “Mo ti rí: Memoirs of a Seer” is a transfigurative rendering of a poetic movement piece, incorporating improvised elements from Hip-Hop, House and contemporary freestyle motions. Reconciling with the spatialised body, this movement remedy immerses from a mélange of Alice Coltrane’s transfigurative virtuoso sound, Detroit’s Omar S and Jumoke’s Yorùbá poetry.
Miya Masaoka: “An Ultra Moment: Excerpts in Isolation” Sonic Performance
Miya Masaoka, an experimental composer and musician, plays the One String Thing, with electricity and electronics.
Drummers of Joy: “A Prelude to a Tribute to Tony Allen” Sonic Performance
Drummers of Joy are representing the African Roots Music tradition in Berlin and worldwide. A new wave of Afrobeat music is spreading across the globe and they are joining the crusade. Come and dance and feel the rhythm of pure drums and vocals.
Christian Bakotessa and Jeff Chappah: “Untitled” Sonic Performance
Christian Bakotessa and Jeff Chappah are half of the four member band “Extra Nice” that has been playing together for eight years. They play Afro acoustic and are looking forward to being together through and in music.
Livestream from SAVVY Contemporary
13:30 SAVVY Team: collective poetry reading
13:45 Gugulethu Duma and Kechou: “Buffering Juju” Sonic Performance
14:30 Kalaf Epalanga: “A Good Citizen” Sonic Experience
14:50 Eiliyas: “Improvisation” Sonic Performance
15:35 Mazen Kerbaj: “I Will Be Assuming You Are on the Other Side of the Screen (and That You Are Focused)” Sonic Performance
16:00 Jessica Ekomane: “Untitled” Sonic Performance
Livestream from silent green
17:00 Charles Sammons Collective: “Charles Sammons’ Way Back Home” Sonic Performance
18:10 Gugulethu Duma and Kechou: “Buffering Juju” Sonic Performance
18:35 Audrey Chen and Hugo Esquinca: “Voice/Process” Sonic Performance
Livestream from SAVVY Contemporary
19:00 Jumoke Adeyanju: “Mo ti rí: Memoirs of a Seer” Poetry and Dance Performance
19:15 Lamin Fofana: “A Scattering of Spiral and Elliptical Galaxies” Sonic Performance
20:00 Miya Masaoka: “An Ultra Moment: Excerpts in Isolation” Sonic Performance
20:35 Drummers of Joy: “A Prelude to a Tribute to Tony Allen” Sonic Performance
21:40 Christian Bakotessa and Jeff Chappah: “Untitled” Sonic Performance