Brothers and Sisters Records Presents:
Travelogue : Addis Ababa
Travelogue is a sound collage of music improvisations/performances and ambient sounds I recorded in Addis Ababa in May, 2009. At the time I was accompanying a film crew making a documentary entitled ‘Destino’, for which I had been asked by the film’s director, Caswell Coggins, to compose the music score.
The documentary follows two internationally acclaimed dancers, Addisu Demissie and Junaid Jemal Sendi, as they return to the city of their birth to perform and choreograph an ambitious community performance. Both the performance and the film were produced by the UK based charity Dance Utd.
I tagged along with the film crew around the city, taking the opportunity to capture the sounds wherever we went onto my portable Roland 4-track recorder; traffic, rain, conversations in cafes, dance rehearsals, market places; a collection of ambiences and memories.
A large part of the music on Travelogue is taken from an afternoon spent in the company of Tewolde, who was working as an assistant at the National Theatre were the dance performances were being held. He was also a folk musician and invited me into his home to play some music together; myself on nylon string acoustic guitar and Tewolde playing a variety of Ethiopian instruments such as the ‘Masenqo’ and the ‘Krar.’ The improvised pieces we recorded are a communication of different cultural backgrounds, that manage to find a common ground in melody and rhythm. This experience strengthened my belief that music transcends all divisions of language and culture and unifies us in spirit.