Mission to the Land of Misplaced Words: “Shebeen Sounds”
Shebeen Sounds research period will collect, via audio and photographs, folk songs, music and the associated memories that accompany them. The audio will form the basis of a soundscape that is played throughout the public residency and the images will form part of the visual projections culminating in May 2016.

For Birmingham Heritage Week, as a Data Thief, I curated the launch of Shebeen Sounds, an experimental research project exploring the memories which reside in self-proclaimed cultural spaces, or “shebeens”, around Birmingham. We are going to work with Afro-Caribbean, Polish, Bangladeshi and Congolese communities to research and learn about their shebeen spaces. In May next year we will turn our findings into a piece of immersive sound and art.

At the launch event,  Shebeen Kings and Queens Caroline, Ken and Ian, told our guests about the project over Congolese tea, curry goat and rice and Polish cake.  I created pink noise for the memory collection room which was interspersed with cosmic themed DJ sets played by Gary and I. The aim was to immerse our guests into a chilled vibe to ease their memories being collected by Mission//Misplaced captain Gaylene Gould.

Here are some pictures from our launch event at Vivid Projects, taken by Marcin Szymczak.

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Good news news

For some time now, I’ve been really fed up with hearing about (mostly) bad news via the media, so typed ‘good news’ into my browser a few weeks back,

I came across this website, The Good News Network.

I like the following news stories:

1. Five Things We Need To Teach Our Girls About Female Friendships

2. Retiring Teacher Steals the Show With Hip-Hop Dance Moves, Teens Go Wild

3 . Although my roman catholic days ended with secondary education (I have BIG problems with the church’s views on homosexuality, abortion etc.), I found this news story quite moving. Watching the pope pull up in a rather humble blue ford focus, to bless a disabled woman tweaked the old heart strings. There was no media, no agenda to him stopping the car, I just saw a man using his position to genuinely care for people. That moved me.

Study Scores

Love that it’s easy to follow scores and listen to audio on youtube. It has been an amazing educational resource for my post-grad studies.

Here’s some of today’s listening:

Wojtek Blecharz — Small Talks

Claude Vivier – Zipangu

I like the use of texture and how there is also strong melodic content. I don’t get bars 39-39, they don’t sit right for me, but I find the piece interesting nontheless.

Mbongwana Star

“Mbongwana Star (‘Mbongwana’ meaning ‘change’) are a newly formed band from Kinshasa, Congo. Tired of the pre-conceptions around African music, they’re creating their own identity, fusing traditional Congolese rhythms with post punk and electronics. Full of energy and utterly original, here’s a brand new track from their forthcoming album.”

Liking the trippy psychedelic grooves. On the wish list.

It’s great to learn that Congolese musicians are fighting against ‘pre-conceptions’ about African music.

And what, with all the heinous activity happening out it’s great to hear such well crafted music. Enjoy!