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By Dr. Eckehard Pistrick

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Sounds of Mobility

How do experiences of displacement, social loss and nostalgia translate into sound? In what way do sound events and silence comment on the tension between absence and presence? To what extent does musical creativity represent a processing strategy for migration trauma? In what way do sound environments correspond to the idea of transculturalism? What role can sounds play in the cultural mediation process between “home” and “diaspora”? To what extent does human mobility generate artistic creativity and what subversive potential is involved in it?

The series Sounds of Mobility, curated by the ethnomusicologist Dr. Eckehard Pistrick, focuses on the interface between music, migration and identity. The programme invites you to listen to the musical traces of migratory movements together with musicians, activists, sound artists, and scholars and to explore the sound of transcultural life forms.

Eckehard Pistrick has been researching and teaching as an ethnomusicologist at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg since 2009 on the themes of Music and Migration. He also works as a journalist, curator, concert manager, and film director. In 2015 he published the monograph Performing Nostalgia- Migration Culture and Creativity in South Albania(Ashgate, 2015) and in 2016 he was involved in the content development of the Albanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

To the events

Films

THE SOUNDS OF THE LIVING DEAD

“The living dead” – with this term Albanians refer to their migrated compatriots. Migration leaves social and cultural gaps, which are often compensated by cultural creativity. This public audio event makes creative local strategies to cope with uprooting, separation and nostalgia a listening experience – presenting rare field recordings as well as commercial videoclips and vinyl artist records. It conversation with curator Eckehard Pistrick, musician and composer Volker Zander reflects on music as a migrative and diasporic art form, his participation as publisher for the Albanian pavilion at this years Architecture Biennale in Venice, and how music is distributed in the post-digital age.

Volker Zander (born 1968 in Fulda) studied urban planning and works since 2011 as a composer, musician and author in Cologne. Between 1998 and 2012 he was bass player in the American Rock group Calexico. Since 2005 he runs the label for artist records Apparent Extent

The Passenger

EXILE

During the month of April 2011, based in Tangier in a house especially equipped with long-range antennas and scanners, the Soundwalk Collective recorded along the shores of the Strait of Gibraltar, over a range of 40 miles, an infinite variety of sound fragments through “sound fishing”. Barbara Klein compliments this sound diary with her filming and photography and reflects on the abstraction and stylization of migration events and the human existence in a no mans land.

Simone Merli, member of the Soundwalk Collective (New York) and the multimedia artist Barbara Klein give exclusive insights into a recent media work of the Soundwalk Collective: The Exil project is based on The Passenger, a multimedia project across the waterway of Gibraltar between Tarifa and Tangier, Spain and Morocco, but also Europe and Africa.

Barbara Klein is a Berlin-based Polish musician, videographer and photographer who is a specialist in music videography. Between 2011 and 2014 she worked as a videographer and photographer with Techno-Guru Richie Hawtin, capturing his global tours in the form of tour diaries, event recaps and conceptual films. She has collaborated with the Soundwalk Collective for the Passenger project. She also works in the realm of sound design, conceptual design and press photography.

Simone Merli is founding member of the New York based Soundwalk Collective, who consider themselves as "sonic nomads" and since 2000 have been working on an ambitious sonic mapping project of the world. With different artistic questions, they ventured into the Arabian Desert, the Black Sea and, finally, the rain forest of the Amazon, an expedition that culminated in an installation on New York’s Times Square in 2016.

Sounds of Greeks Across the Atlantic

VOCAL LETTERS

A flea market in Athens. 19 home-recorded acetate records. An artist and an anthropologist. These are the protagonists of an adventurous Sound Archaeology. Artist Panos Charalambous and sound anthropologist/artist Panos Panopoulos discovered and listened to records of a Greek migrant in the USA, sending back home his sound postcards and vocal letters. This was the starting point for finding those places and people to which the sounds belong. A labyrinthine journey into the interconnection between sound and memory, which eventually led into the tiny village of Roino in the Peloponnese, where the artists found relatives of those who had received those vocal letters more than half a century ago. A rare listening experience with poetry, nostalgic clarinets and desperate lamentations – recalling the migrant condition.

Panos Panopoulos, sound anthropologist from Lesbos, speaks about his work Vocal Letters – Sounds of Greeks across the Atlantic with curator Eckehard Pistrick.

Panos Panopoulos is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of the Aegean, Mytilini, Greece. He has been a Research Visiting Scholar at Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley. He is a specialist in the anthropology of sound and performance. His ethnographic publications concern the symbolism of sound and hearing in modern Greece, notably on the sound symbolism of animal bells. He has extensively collaborated with Steven Feld and is the co-author of Skyros Carnival (2011). He is involved in several projects concerning the collaboration of anthropologists and artists (e.g. Fonés, 2011-2016) and he has also conducted research on the culture of the Deaf community in Greece.

Creative Strategies of Congolese Musical Migrants

SOUND MOVES

bi’bakaudio #04 presents an audiovisual journey into the sonic universe of Congolese popular music across two continents. Goma (Democratic Republic of Congo): creativity in a region devastated by thirty years of war. Melilla (Spanish North Africa): performances in the everydayness of a migrants detention center. London: Congolese music as part of the African cultural scene between cosmopolitan activism and flamboyant fashion lovers.

Across these three places Eugenio Giorgianni presents two life stories of Congolese artists – Emerson from ‘CETI star’ and Mulele Matondo Afrika, focusing on their creative strategies of music making “on the move”. Sound appears here at the same time as a survival tool and as a supernatural inspiration, as the vehicle for radical political ideas and as a commercial hook for international audiences. Visual and sonic samples of collaborative ethnography disclose the artists’ visions and desires together with the background of a six-year research.

Eugenio Giorgianni is a filmmaker and a PhD student in Music at Royal Holloway, University of London, graduated in Cultural Anthropology in Palermo, Italy, and in Visual Anthropology in Manchester, UK. He has conducted fieldwork in Italy, Spain, Morocco, UK and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, experimenting with collaborative practices of music filmmaking with a range of artists. He is member of WarToy and The Big Tree Collective.

Chernobyl and the sounds of forced displacement

TRAUMA, ABSENCES, SILENCES

Chernobyl is a place of sonic absences. After the hasty evacuation of local people from Pripyat in 1986, everyday life came to a sudden halt. Mariana Sadovska has been conducting research in the contaminated area for over 25 years and has recorded the songs of “those who stayed behind”. Her recordings are an invaluable source for exploring the sonic effects of disaster, displacement and social separation. They were also the initiation point for her own musical creations, such as the music for the theatre piece Sklavi – Song of a Migrant (directed by William Docolomanski), the song project Just not forever with her band Borderland, and most recently for the surreal immigration piece Adapt!, commissioned for the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. A current dimension of her work relates to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and its cultural aftermath. In her current program The Night Is Just Beginning, in which she mixes songs, poetry and rituals from the front line of the conflict with her creative musicality on the Indian Harmonium, piano and iPad, and with her own field recordings from the Donetsk region and villages near Volnovakha and Mariupol, she gives this human drama of displacement a voice.

Mariana Sadovska, Ukrainian musician and musicologist and theatre artist has gained fame with her experimental Band Borderland in which she fuses traditional sounds from her expatriate home with Jazz and avantgarde. She has a background as an actress and was musical director of the Gardzienice-Theater in Poland until 2001. In 2013 she was commissioned to compose a work on Chernobyl for the Kronos Quartet. In 2006 she received the Creole-NRW prize for World Music, 2013 the German World music prize RUTH.

The Electrification of Turkish Folk Music

MAKE ME SOUND ELECTRIC!

In 1965, Bob Dylan became the center of the so-called “Electric Dylan Controversy” when he was accused of having betrayed folk music and its political ideas by having electrified his music. In the same year, the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet started the “Golden Microphone”, a very popular song competition. The core task was to re-arrange and perform a Turkish folk song in a Western style. In this case, westernization mainly meant the electrification of traditional instruments or the use of the new electric or electronic instruments of pop music. This led to the development of a new Turkish style of music called Anatolian Rock, which combines country, city, folk and rock in a very specific way.

That evening is about the coming together of rural folk songs and urban electricity. And there was never mention of betrayal, on the contrary, this combination finally allowed for Atatürk’s program of East-West music to be realized with some audience appeal and for politics of electrification to take a new form while re-defining folk music in a completely new way.

Cornelia Lund is an art and media scientist, as well as curator. In 2011 and 2012 she held a substitute professorship for Art, Aesthetics, and Media at FH Düsseldorf and is currently working on a research project led by the German Research Society DFG at Hamburg University. Additionally, Cornelia Lund teaches design theory at HAW Hamburg. She is co-editor of Post-digital Culture (2015) and The Audiovisual Breakthrough (2015).

Together with Holger Lund, she is running the non-profit and independent media art platform Fluctuating Images e.V. (Berlin). Cornelia and Holger Lund published Audio.Visual – On Visual Music and Related Media (Arnoldsche, Stuttgart 2009) and Design der Zukunft (av edition, Stuttgart 2014).

Holger Lund is an art and design academic as well as curator and DJ. From 2008-2011 he held a substitute professorship for theories of design (Hochschule Pforzheim) and since 2011 he is working as professor for media design at DHBW Ravensburg. He runs the vinyl label Global Pop First Wave.

Together with Cornelia Lund, he runs the non-profit and independent media art platform Fluctuating Images e.V. (Berlin). They published Audio.Visual – On Visual Music and Related Media (Arnoldsche, Stuttgart 2009) and Design der Zukunft (av edition, Stuttgart 2014).

Eckehard Pistrick has been researching and teaching as an ethnomusicologist at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg since 2009 on the themes of Music and Migration. He also works as a journalist, curator, concert manager, and film director. In 2015 he published the monograph Performing Nostalgia- Migration Culture and Creativity in South Albania(Ashgate, 2015) and in 2016 he was involved in the content development of the Albanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.