Sogokuru is a performative installation and part two of Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman’s series (Non) Humanism & Animism: an ongoing research into (modern) forms of animism, and how animistic worldviews have managed to survive in spite of severe oppression through heavy colonization. Herself born in Rwanda but raised in Belgium, Lierman takes direct inspiration from a series of life-changing encounters with Kanyoni Ladislas, her 109-year-old grandfather. One of the last living Rwandan traditional hunters and doctors that has seen the pre-colonial country of his childhood pass through two colonization events (German and Belgian), the 1950s revolution for independence, the genocide and post-war massacres of the 90s, and the country’s present-day turmoil. Lierman’s family visits have resulted in an ongoing investigation into the soundscape of contemporary urban and rural East Africa, and of her native region of Virunga in particular. Sogokuru – grandfather in Kinyarwanda – is Lierman’s sonic ode to the incredible resilience and wisdom of her grandfather. Her Happy Anniversary Wish to Kanyoni Ladislas, loud and proud for everyone to be heard!
Performers: But What About ft. Maya Felixbrodt, Yung-Tuan Ku
Composition, Concept, Choreography & Scenography: Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman
Form: performative installation for 4 moving musicians, binaural audio, Silent Disco headphones
Instrumentation: voice, clarinet, frame drum, kalimba, berimbau, double windwand bullroarer, melodica, viola, toy instruments, foley, blue tooth speaker, digital tape, etc.
Awards: Sogokuru is the winning project of CTM Radiolab 2019, realised in the framework of “CTM 2019 – PERSISTENCE“
Premiere: CTM 2019 Festival / HAU2, Jan 30th 2019, Berlin (world premiere)
Rewire Festival 2019, Korzo Theater, March 31st, The Hague (Dutch premiere)
ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst festival, autumn 2019 date tba, Graz
Radio Broadcasts (Online Streaming/Download)
Klangkunst, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, March 22nd 2019, Berlin (radio premiere)
ORF Zeit-Ton and Ö1 Kunstradio shows, September 29th 2019, Vienna
WDR3, Autumn 2019, date tbc, Köln
N.B. Please listen with HEADPHONES ONLY as Sogokuru is conceived in 3D audio !
The Wire Magazine, Oct 1st 2018, London
Wochenzeitung, Feb 22nd 2019, Zurich
Mr. Mantle, Feb 2019, Utrecht
The Lake Radio (mini documentary), March 16th 2019, Copenhagen
Klangkunst, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, March 22nd 2019, Berlin
The Quietus, Sept 24th 2019, London
Nutida Musik, Aug 2020, Stockholm
”(Non) Humanism & Animism will give festival attendees and radio listeners a unique perspective into a contrasting cultural perspective, one that we hope will transport listeners into another reality while providing an insight into a colonial past that needs confronting as well as a powerful, living example of persistence.” – Phil England, The Wire Magazine, Oct 2018
“Equally ambivalent was the play “Sogokuru” by the Rwandan-Belgian sound artist Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman, in which the visitors were catapulted into a world of radical calm, interrupted by songs and drums, sometimes by birdsong or other animal sounds. Together with the direct sound of the acoustic instruments, a three-dimensional listening experience emerged, a ghostly idyll. An idyll that was destroyed in Rwanda by the colonial regime and later the genocide of the 1990s – but could survive through optimists like the medicine man Kanyoni Ladislas, Lierman’s grandfather, whose animistic rituals the piece narrates.” – Philipp Rensius, Wochenzeitung, Feb 2019
“…By becoming so acutely aware of the direction of a sound, the field recording is, in one sense, physically modelled live on stage. Out of all the efforts of representation this weekend, screens, holograms, videogame engines and tables of knobs and controllers, Lierman’s invention was perhaps the most inspiring.” - Emile Frankel, The Quietus, Sept 2019
“ … Mooi concert, waarbij het publiek allemaal een koptelefoon op kreeg. Terwijl het ensemble door de zaal bewoog werden ze ook tegelijkertijd opgenomen en (ruimtelijk) over de koptelefoon afgespeeld, hierdoor vervaagde de grens tussen wat je direct hoorde en indirect over de koptelefoon. Dit crëerde een verwarrend effect waardoor er een eigen ruimte ontstond waarin de compositie van Aurélie bestond, dat effect was heel vet. De compositie verder was soms wel erg abstract, maar de ervaring was wel erg bijzonder.“ – Mr. Mantel, Utrecht, Feb 2019
Commission, Funds & Support: Sogokuru is a co-production with CTM Festival and Deutschlandfunk Kultur. It is co-funded by Deutschlandfunk Kultur and ORF. With support of Musikprotokoll im Steirischen Herbst, Goethe Institut and The Wire Magazine. The first phase of this project was commissioned by Gaudeamus and supported by Fonds Podiumkunsten.
– Photo portrait Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman by Herre Vermeer, all rights reserved
- Photo portrait Kanyoni Ladislas by Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman, all rights reserved