Recording in the Dzanga-Sangha Reserve

Related articles:

David Monacchi: Notes from Africa

Steven Feld: Music from Accra

Produced by
Electronic Music Foundation
Ear to the Earth 09

Sounds from Africa

David Monacchi
Sounds of the Dzanga-Sangha Reserve

Steven Feld
Nii Otoo Annan
Bufo Variations

David Monacchi reports on a recent trip to the Central African Republic. Steven Feld presents Ni Otoo Annan, master drummer from Accra, Ghana, who demonstrates how rhythms pass from the environment to musical language.

Saturday, October 10, 8pm
Judson Church
55 Washington Square South

$15 / $10 students, seniors, and EMF Subscribers


< Back to the festival index

PROGRAM w/ SCENES AND SOUNDS FROM THE PERFORMANCE

Sounds of the Dzanga-Sangha Reserve........................................................................David Monacchi
    Field recordings by David Monacchi


David Monacchi telling his story


A sample of sound from the Dzanga-Sangha Reserve

Bufo Variations...............................................................................................................Steven Feld
    Nii Otoo Annan, master drummer, Accra, Ghana



Nii Otoo Annan playing the rhythms

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

 

David Monacchi
Composer, sound artist, researcher in acoustic ecology, David Monacchi records natural sonic environments throughout the world to create documentaries, installations, and compositions. His music has been performed at festivals in Berlin, Venice, Rome, Paris, and New York. His honors include the Erato Farnesina Fellowship from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a Fulbright fellowship.


Steven Feld
Musician, author, ethnomusicologist, documentary sound artist, Steven Feld's research concerns the anthropology of sound and voice, music and aesthetics, and acoustics and ecology. His honors include a MacArthur fellowship and the Fumio Koizumi Prize. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Professor at the Institute of Musicology at the University of Oslo, Norway.


Nii Otoo Annan
Master percussionist Nii Otoo Annan is a ritual and traditional drummer in Accra, Ghana. He has performed with Nii Noi Nortey in the African Sound Project and together with Nortey and Steven Feld, he recorded and toured as Accra Trane Station which was featured on four VoxLox/Accra Trane Station recordings, among them Meditations, a tribute to John Coltrane’s classic.

MORE ABOUT THE CONCERT

Describing his trip in August, 2008, David Monacchi took us into the protected area of the Dzanga Sangha Dense Forest Reserve in southern Central African Republic. "My goal in these trips," as he put it, "is to explore, document, and communicate in sound the organic equilibrium and intrinsic beauty in the ecosystems of the world's areas of primary equatorial rainforest ..." For his field recordings, he designed custom microphones and used a special SoundField 3D system capable of capturing sound from a large spatial area, and the result was an immersive 3D sensation of being there.

· · ·

During a 2004 visit to Ghana to study bells as time-keepers in drum ensembles, Steven Feld became fascinated with the way in which the deep-night croaking of Bufo Regularis toads, emanating from sewers and flanking city roads in early evening, defined time and space. Listening to Feld’s Bufo soundscapes, Nii Otoo Annan, Ghanaian master drummer, remarked: "The crickets are sounding like the bell with very strict time, and the kawkawdene (toads) are the master drummers, making many rhythms on top." Feld and Annan began a collaboration in 2005.

For Ear to the Earth 09, Feld and Annan joined forces to perform a set of improvised variations, bringing out the dynamic interplay between the acoustic ecology of toad and cricket sounds as they are heard in Accra, and the polymetric and polyrhymic characteristics of Ghanaian musical practice, thereby demonstrating how environmental sounds can influence our music and speech.