John Wynne - James Kamotho Kimani
  Year :   1995
  Location :   England
  Worktype :   Sonic Portrait
  Materials:   -
  Info :   International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM), Copenhagen Released by Unknown Public, London (UP05: Voicebox)





 
Listening
Context
  Work Details  
  The starting point for this piece is the voice of James Kamotho Kimani from Kiambu, a member of the Kikuyu community living in Nairobi. When I was introduced to him I recorded the brief ‘speech’ he made - half in Kiswahili, half in English - welcoming me to Kenya and enjoining me to “give greetings to people on your side”. This piece is my way of passing on those greetings and of thanking him for his hospitality. As phatic statements the greetings also interested me because they signify little more than the act of greeting: they symbolise the relationship between visitor and visited and are thus already some half way between language and pure sound. Back in the studio, listening to the recording of James, I was struck by the extraordinary depth of his voice and developed the idea of taking these utterances still further in the direction of abstract sound while at the same time using rhythmic composition as a means of anchoring them to their context.