Voice artist, composer and radio producer: Rwandan-Belgian artist Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman is all of it. In her work, she fuses voice art, audio art and contemporary composition in a very personal way, calling upon a large collection of unique field recordings and soundscapes that she recorded in East Africa. In the past, she has worked closely with the legendary British experimental-music collective Nurse with Wound, composer Samuel Vriezen and artist Vincent Meessen. At November Music , Lierman will present the work Umva!, a new long-term performative installation, in collaboration with production house Silbersee.
Umva! (meaning “listening”) shows the outcome of Lierman’s research into forms of animism, the belief in a complete, animated world. She is particularly interested in the ways animistic worldviews have managed to survive despite intense oppression through heavy colonization. Lierman draws direct inspiration from a series of life-changing encounters with Kanyoni Ladislas, her 113-year-old Rwandan grandfather. An absolute living legend, who during his long life as a traditional doctor and hunter saw Rwanda transformed through times of colonisation, independence struggles, genocides and post-war conflict into the fragile stability it is today. The ongoing conversations between grandfather and granddaughter Aurélie form the basis for the installation and concert Umva!
For Umva!, Lierman works with so-called binaural sound (3D audio). Each listener receives a wireless FM headphone set, allowing him or her to experience an intimate, live radiophonic experience. Five moving musicians – including, in addition to Lierman, percussionist Gaetan La Mela, multi-instrumentalist Kaito Winse, violinist Maya Felixbrodt and flutist Raphaela Danksagmüller – play Lierman’s musical, acoustic and choreographic scores. She receives support from the likes of Yannis Kyriakides (musical dramaturgy), Keren Levi (final direction) and Soa Ratsifandrihana (dance, choreography). Thus unfolds a hybrid sonic world with instrumental music, vocal experiments, Afrique Concrète and abstract electronics.
UMVA! will also be presented by Sounds Now partner Musica Impulscentrum in 2024.
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Photo from the November Music website