Thursday, November 27, 2014

THE RESTLESS DEAD & BIRD PEOPLE - Meet the Dervishes of Khartoum in a Confluence​-​of​-​the​-​Nile - FEF34

Chris Joynes: "The source recordings for this project come from around 3 hours of field recordings made in November 2004 at the weekly Sufi Dervish 'conference' that takes place every Sunday in the centre of the main cemetery in Khartoum, Sudan, which rests near the point of confluence between the White Nile and Blue Nile. 
The recordings sat gestating until spring 2008, when they were used as the basis for a Restless Dead event. On this occasion, the Restless Dead featured members of Jupiter Dogs, an improvising collective that operates as part of a small commune that has existed in East Anglia on an on-off basis for about 10 years, living on some land outside Soham. The commune is formed along religious/spiritual lines, specifically engagement with the mystic traditions of early Christianity as set out in the 1st-2nd century Gnostic Gospels discovered in Nag Hamadi in 1948, and also Islamic gnostic texts dating from around 800AD. 

This event involved playing an edited and sequenced version of the source field recordings on a loop though a small PA at Blue Arc (then based in a room above H Gees' on Mill Road in Cambridge) which the ensemble improvised along to continuously for about 7 or 8 hours, recording the results to minidisc through a single stereo mic placed in the middle of the room. This material was then shaped and edited down over the following three or four years, usually during empty periods spent in hotel rooms and airports, resulting in the 23-odd minutes of Side A. 

In 2013 this piece was sent to Feathered Coyote as a potential release, and was followed by the idea of recruiting Bird People to do a 'dub' version. However, on investigation, it was found that the 7 or 8 hours' of recordings from the Restless Dead event had been 'lost'. Since the original 2004 field recordings were still in existence, these were sent instead, and so, when Bird People went on retreat to Waidhofen/Ybbs, the field recordings were used as the starting point for their piece. There was little discussion over what would be produced, although some basic operating principles were agreed: 1. the recording should be made as part of one single event, rather than a series of 'takes' or overdubs; 2. all instruments should be wholly acoustic, although processing could take place after the event; 3. the final Bird People piece should be exactly the same length as the Restless Dead piece. The results are the 23-odd minutes of Side B."
Side One
The Restless Dead Meet the Dervishes of Khartoum in a Confluence-of-the-Nile (23:11)

Side Two
Bird People Meet the Dervishes of Khartoum in a Confluence-of-the-Nile (23:11)


Recorded, edited & produced by the Leith Hill Recordings Mobile Unit & Bird People November MMIV-April MMXIV
Khartoum, Histon, Cambridge, Asmara, Vienna, Waidhofen / Ybbs

Edition of 75

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