Inspired by conversations with composer Halim el Dabh before his recent passing (1921-2017).

Great monuments speak of of grand noises and gestures, of pride and victory, while the microcosmic life that sustains and at once weathers them, the hands that made built all that remains or the persistent rivulets of rain water that shape them over time, is neglected. What of the path trodden by a tethered oxen, whose work resonate across millennia, not as sound but as vibrations.

Stridulations. Best heard on good speakers or earphones.

A radiophonic commission from Savvy Contemporary, Berlin for the occasion of ‘Here History Began‘, 2021. research, exhibition, performance and publication project within the framework of Maerzmusik–festival.

Savvy is set to also publish a book on El Dabh including my chapter comparing his life and work ethics to those of French film maker and critic Jean Epstein. Epstein might appreciate the video for the sound piece, which says little but shows a lot.

Broadcast in Germany in Nov 2021 on Deutschlandfunk Kultur :: Klangkunst radio.

‘Here History Began‘ is the culmination of a five year long research, and Savvy Contemporary’s second homage to the oeuvre of the Egyptian musician, Pan-Africanist, creative musicologist, and philosopher Halim El-Dabh, one of the most seminal composers of the 20th century who, this March, would have turned 100 years.