Sonic Dawn is a listening space that unfolds in the space of a fictional night.
The only source of light in the dark room where people lay down, is a screen projecting the colour of the sea from late afternoon till the dawn, reduced to pure shade, as a single colour changing constantly during the night. It constitutes a fictional passage of time, slightly out of phase in respect with the outside time. Sonic Dawn is a night where to collectively experience different contributions on the emergence of the unheard. How do we further develop our ability to listen for what is left out, and to what degree are we able to listen to different kinds of voices and intelligences?
From the pioneering experiments of electronic music (Catherine Christer Hennix) to the unheard of gender power in hip hop culture (Lina Lapelytė); from the role of sound as investigating tool in the militarised border of the Mediterranean Sea (Maurice Stierl) to the act of recreating –through the sound of sketching– the architectural plans of demolished building in Palestine (Raafat Majzoub); from the poetry of Cameroonian artist Elsa M’bala, to four reflections on sound as resistance from Brandon LaBelle; from a concert giving voice to non-human elements (Enrico Malatesta) or to history (Ana Guedes), to a collective training to discover in one’s own mouth the presence of sound belonging to foreign languages (Aela Royer). Sonic Dawn invites to a sonic journey – from night till dawn– towards what was not audible and yet there.
Catherine Christer Hennix
Brandon La Belle
Sonic Dawn is a public programme by Aleppo for Homo Novus, Riga
Curators: Daniels Blanga Gubbay, Gundega Laiviņa
Live stream: Radio Apartment 22 راديو الشقة ٢٢
Thanks to: Ibrahim Nehme
Production: Lelde Prūse, New Theatre Institute of Latvia
Sonic Dawn is in partnership with: R22 Art Radio / Radio Apartment 22 راديو الشقة ٢٢, Rabat, Morocco
Catherine Christer Hennix
SOLITON(E) STAR, RESONANCE REGION lA [ZERO-TIME SONIC MIRROR]
«The concept of an infinitary composition assigns equal significance to any point of its continuum sound. In particular, no significance is assigned to its beginning or end while any significance that is assigned to any of its parts must also be assigned to any other of its points in time -as defined by this continuum». (Catherine Christer Hennix, SOLITON(E) STAR, RESONANCE REGION lA [ZERO-TIME SONIC MIRROR] ). Sonic Dawn starts with a historic sonic work of Catherine Christer Hennix, inviting into the concept of the infinitary composition. The possibility of a journey within the continuum sound, as a sonic invitation to travel the indeterminacy of the whole night.
Candy Shop is best known as a dirty rap hit by 50 Cent. Candy Shop reworks the games of power that are embedded in the rap songs into lullabies, narrating the story about beauty, gender and the mundane. For Sonic Dawn is conceived as a performance merging live and recording intervention. Born 1984 in Lithuania, Lina Lapelytė says of her practice, ‘it can be placed ‘in-between’; in-between classical and experimental, music and fine art, composing and improvising.’ Her work were shown in different contexts and locations including the Serpentine Pavilion in London, the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and the Venice Architecture Biennial (Venice/Italy). Together with Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė and Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelytė represent Lithuania in the current Venice Biennale with an opera/performance piece titled Sun & Sea (Marina), for which they receive the 2019 Golden Lion.
Sonic Agency: Four Figures of Resistance: The Invisible, the Overheard, the Itinerant, and the Weak
Four Sonic Lectures
In a world dominated by the visual, could contemporary resistances be auditory? In Sonic Agency, Sound and Emergent Forms of Resistance, (published in 2018) Brandon LaBelle sets out to engage the contemporary conditions of social and political crisis by way of sonic thought and imagination. He highlights existing sonic cultures and social initiatives that utilize or deploy sound and listening to address conflict by dividing sound's functions into four figures of resistance—the invisible, the overheard, the itinerant, and the weak. At the occasion of Sonic Dawn LaBelle streams throughout the night four micro-lectures corresponding to the four figures of resistance. By doing so he unsettles traditional notions of the “space of appearance”, inviting the sonic as the condition for political action and survival.
In her investigation through sound – field recording, texts and songs– M’bala takes a poetic and critical approach to investigating her lifeworlds, the conflicts that arise from these worlds, and her desire for change. Elsa M’bala was born in Yaoundé. She spent part of her early childhood in Cameroon before resettling in Germany and growing up there. Since 2009 she has been a member of the band Rising Thoughts and since 2001 has worked as a freelance educator. She lives in both Germany and Cameroon and is in the process of developing an extended cultural-pedagogical project in Cameroon. The complex experience of living as a black woman between two worlds is a central theme of her artistic activity as author, performer, and musician. For Sonic Dawn she creates a new iteration of Makai, a work inspired by a poem by young Cameroonian poet Antoine François Assoumou, and commissioned by the 10th Berlin Biennale.
Disobedient Listening at Sea
Talk / Listening Session
Illegalised migration across the Mediterranean Sea and its control are predominantly perceived through media images of indistinguishable masses of non-white bodies crammed onto unseaworthy vessels, images which are routinely embedded in a rhetoric of invasion and alarm in the face of the ‘Mediterranean migration crisis’. These images operate within an ambivalent regime of (in)visibility at play at EUrope’s maritime frontier, a “partition of the sensible”, which occludes as much as it reveals. It creates particular conditions of (dis)appearance, (in)audibility, (in)visibility. Starting from the creation of WatchTheMed Alarm Phone –an activist hotline supporting boats in distress in the Mediterranean Sea– and through the notion of disobedient listening, Maurice Stierl discloses his work by focusing on sound, and the right to listen in the unlikely and seemingly inaccessible spaces of the sea.
Slip off tongues
Listening Session / Workshop
Slip off tongues is a dive into the sonic heart of words ; an access to the vibrational substance of language, at the same time beyond and upstream the organisation of meaning. Gradually, the idea of tongue is processed into sounds, then being propagated, densified, modulated and stretched within the mouth that forms them. Their resonance and repetition start revealing bodies' inner spaces and open up places, elsewhere. Slip off tongues is also a practice, of travelling inside the human voice for it contains in substance any sound of any tongue ; before, as while, it gets actualised into words, cultures and differences. How can one give oneself access to otherness from the inside of one's voice and listening ? How can one seek, in the very matter of alterity, the constitutive details of primordial togetherness ?
Trained as a musician and a percussionist, Enrico Malatesta has a peculiar approach to materials and objects: he does not simply play them, but rather he gives voice to latent sounds they already contains. By doing this, he disconnects in a very sensitive way the notion of sound from an anthropocentric form of listening: sound exists independently on our ability to perceive it, and maybe non-human elements are listening to each other, while we are unable to listen to them. Working through vibrations, resonances and minimal listening, the concerts of Malatesta dive the listener in a new emergence of the unheard.
A closeup on the sound of blooming
Performance / Radio Transmission / Whatsapp Group Chat
A closeup on the sound of blooming is a durational performance that attempts—through the space of Sonic Dawn—to enable the impossible task of involving the artist in the process of reinstatement of 70 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem demolished by the IDF on 22/07/2019. For that journey, artist Raafat Majzoub uses Hekmat—one of the fictional characters in his novel—to travel to Palestine, a neighboring country that he is not allowed to visit due to a state of war between its occupant, Israel, and his nation state, Lebanon. For Sonic Dawn, this collaboration between fictions yields a visceral, paramilitary response to the demolition through a radio transmission from Riga to Palestine of the sounds generated by Hekmat sketching and re-tracing architectural drawings of the destroyed homes and a live Whatsapp group chat involving a transnational audience in an autobiography of another Arab World.
Performance / Concert
UNTITLED RECORDS is a performative sound installation by Ana Guedes (1981), weaving historical and emotional narratives through the “instrumentalisation” of a collection of records. An ensemble of reimagined record players are instruments built to perform an intimate selection from a family archive of popular music : “..a set of records carefully shipped home from a country at war forty years ago”. The vinyls were purchased in Angola, Portugal and Canada over a time span from the 60s to the early 80s and have travelled over three continents. They exist as passive witnesses of a displacement in time and space. The multi arm record players with which several timelines can be played - from one single record to an ensemble of vinyls intertwine a juxtaposition of temporalities and imagined narratives trapped within the collection.