I On Congo Str., 11 am

II Hotel Sikukuu, Fifth Floor, 5 pm

III Lullabies Above Pemba Str. (Swahili Nocturne), 3 am

Author: Aurélie Lierman
Premiere: Feb 2013
Venue: Theater Dakota, Homegrown Handmade, Den Haag (NL)

Genre: abstract radio drama

“KARIAKOO” won the 1st prize Category Soundscapes, at Sonic Arts Award 2013, Rome


Technical specifications: 37’30”, abstract radio play in 3 acts, for 2.1 speakers and 8 theater lights

Kariakoo 2011


KARIAKOO – nomen est omen

“KARIAKOO” is a portrait of Kariakoo, a vibrant neighborhood in Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania).

KARIAKOO – for any audience

“KARIAKOO” is in Dutch, English, Kiswahili and many other African languages. But all spoken languages are – ­just like the other sounds -­ a rather sonic and/or semiotic illustration of the specific scenes. A semantic translation is in Aurélie Lierman’s opinion not necessary. If possible she would like to invite every listener to enjoy “KARIAKOO” without following the script.

KARIAKOO – a multiple set of voices

It’s hard to speak of one specific ‘protagonist’ in “KARIAKOO”. Since the ‘superstar’ in this story is not a person but a geographical spot. Not one human being but a whole neighborhood. Not singular but plural.

KARIAKOO” is about the whole community of individuals who are living or working, visiting or just walking accidentally in and out Kariakoo: all together forming a highly unique polyphony of ‘voices’ creating a sonic environment with a clearly defined identity.

There are some voices that you may consider as ‘singular characters’ but in fact they are reduced to the function of supporting actors. Or as ‘humanized’ props, merely used like a vessel, to carry the narrative from one scene to another. Or like a medium through which the story of “KARIAKOO” gets transmitted or received, told or heard.

The making of … KARIAKOOKariakoo 2

Aurélie Lierman has this reputation of feverishly hunting and collecting all sorts of sounds in public space, as if they were endangered butterfly species. But it’s by pure accident she got exposed to and fell deeply in love with this highly energetic and fired up soundscape so characteristic for Kariakoo.

Actually it’s even a last minute city trip that got her there, not knowing what to expect at all. No preparation what so ever, not even a Lonely Planets. Though as only travel guide her indispensable tape recorder -­ Her most trust worthy travel companion when ever following her ears instead of physical roads, exploring imaginary sound maps instead of geographical maps.

Aurélie Lierman recorded all sounds within her first hours upon her arrival in Kariakoo. Relying on her experience as a radio documentary maker – not any action has been staged!

Once in the editing room Aurélie Lierman stepped out of her observational role. She left the radio documentary approach and distillated drama out of all those ‘documented’ daily life events. ‘Abstract drama’ to be more specific: as the story has no expository narrative. There is no voice over, no consistent human character whom the listener is expected to identify with, and there’s no reflexive element revealing the making process.

Aurélie Lierman’s editorial choices also came from a musical listening to the world. The rough recordings were full of musical gestures: ideal for a music-­compositional approach and another level of abstract narrative.

Kariakoo 2011

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