Afro-Sonic Mapping – Tracing Aural Histories via Sonic Transmigrations
Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin, Germany 01 Nov 2019 - 17 Nov 2019
Satch Hoyt, Bleed, 2017 | Courtesy of the artist / Photo: Trevor Lloyd Morgan
What musical patterns have been preserved in the sounds of the African Diaspora, thus defying time and forced migration? What sonic affinities exist between Dakar and New Orleans or between Lagos, Kingston and New York City? How did postcolonial appropriations and transatlantic transfer processes become inscribed in contemporary rhythms?
The artist and musician Satch Hoyt takes early music recordings from Angola and the Congo documented by European anthropologists between 1890 and 1907 as the starting point for his project. He perceives them as acoustic mappings of history – testimonies of enslavement and expulsion, but also of resistance and empowerment. Hoyt takes those early recordings back to their places of origin and traces the sounds of the African Diaspora as far as music scenes of the lusophone triangle across Luanda, Salvador da Bahia and Lisbon. Together with local musicians from the postcolonial cities, he searches for musical connections between the historical recordings and present-day urban rhythms, creating new musical compositions. At HKW, Hoyt presents the various collaborations and outcomes of his research travels in talks, concerts and an exhibition of paintings that can be read as musical scores and sonic compositions.