Congolese music archives revisited.
An ode to compromise, the uninterrupted song for the city traverses the history of musical and cultural dispersion, which began with the slave trade in the Kongo kingdom and its surroundings and continued later with the colonial destructuring of traditional Congolese societies. The city is the supreme place of what the colonial authorities called an extra-customary zone, to signify that individuals living there had left the local socio-political and economic frameworks and were therefore embracing the new order of things carved out according to the catechism of modernity. The city thus becomes the place of compromise which, with time and the hold of the new political order and its economy, will be the reason for everything.
Kinshasa, the city of Congolese cities, is thus a vast entity that is both fiercely centred on itself and largely turned outwards. This is the heart of the compromise set up as a fertilising principle. This is where things, goods, people, rhythms, words, sensitivities, minerals, songs will leave from now on, and this is where everything will return transformed, to continue the process of transformation of oneself and the world. Compromise is positive and becomes a ferment of renewal of the imaginary.
This work, which is part of The Improbable Memorial, a commemorative fiction that the artist has been building for two years, revisits songs and scores produced according to the culture and pre-colonial knowledge of the different regions of Congo. Selected from the sound collection of the Africa Museum in Brussels, they are the traces of practices and performances that have almost disappeared, having not resisted the development of the cities, while some of them were forbidden by the colonial authorities. They are then confronted, through an artificial intelligence, with the forms of music developed later, with the contact between the rhythms of slaves from Congo Square in New Orleans and composers of European classical music, Afro-American culture and contemporary urban cultures. The result is a symphony of synthesis and expansion that can be played live with musicians.
Sinzo Aanza – creation & installation
Vincent Glanzmann – percussion
Huguette Tolinga – percussion
Vladimir Petrov – AI Art
curated by Sinzo Aanza & Hiromi Gut