Listening to a Listening

Listening to a Listening: A conversation between Memory Biwa and Robert Machiri, is a collaborative project where we re-listen to the use of voice, language, instruments, bodily movements and sound technology in recordings, both archival and contemporary. We activate these sonic moments through installations and performances, as a way of deconstructing colonial archival practices, re-positioning subjects, and re-orienting sonic practices from our regions. We centre proposing new publics, so as to collectively hear/feel/create anew knowledge about the space and time in which we live.

Our practice with sound technology has parallel currents, whilst it draws on research on the use of African bodies in phonetic experiments in colonial linguists and ethnomusicology, we explore the concept of the body as sound technology and translation of voice to various instruments and vice versa. Through our performance we engage the possibilities enunciated by technology, the ability as Alexander Weheliye elucidates, ‘to split sound from source’, only to later reframe and amplify the sound within phonographies.