Dialogues Between Ancient and Novel Sonic Potentialities
B(l)(e)(e)(n)dings is a performance relying on collaborative art practice research on indigenous technologies, namely, playing and composing with groups of performers, while observing and analysing the processes of development and technologies of instrument building. The augmentation of the purely material »thingness« and motility of the musical instrument is proposed here as sonic potential allowing dialogues with the spirits. The instruments involve inherent material processes and rituals in the Southern African cultural context. B(l)(e)(e)(n)dings is the result of three years of musical collaborations and research in several regions of Southern Africa (Mozambique, Eswatini and South Africa). During the preparation of the project, in May 2018, I had the opportunity to interview the composer, filmmaker, and photographer Phill Niblock. He generously provided unreleased 16 mm-footage of rural manual labour, shot in the 1970s in South Africa and Lesotho, transferred to digital. The two films are screened during the concerts.