Original work by Nyokabi Kariũki

Ochre

This is a short extract. The full piece is 11'42".

A sunny winter’s day on a Florentine street is lifted into the realm of the metaphysical, gently pointing to the fragmentation of memory. Opening with the sound of suspended time transmitting over airwaves, and incorporating her own voice, mingling breath with the Italian winds. A collective spread of ringing expands temporally from the past to the digital present in this new piece from an artist whose work is inherently political, even when poetic and seemingly whimsical in nature.

The piece builds around the church bells on Via dei Calzaiuoli, recorded on a visit in December 2021: “Distorted voices and meandering piano improvisations tiptoe through the piece, with wind chimes clinging together eerily, representing fragments of the visit - a memory warmed by the soft, yellowness of Florence on a winter’s day.”

Sounding colour is an ambitious undertaking in itself, something the artist consciously tackles: “When I see a colour, I hear a certain sound”. “Ochre” is a shade of what Canadian author Stan Rogal described as “a very lonely sounding colour”, yet this poetic amalgam of sound also rings true to the artistic practice of field recording in that it demonstrates appreciation of place and locality.

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