Sound installation, three remoulded brass instruments, surface transducers, media player, plastic chairs, 12′ loop, 2022
Arba Lijoch, forty children. Orphans (from destroyed Armenian villages of Vaspurakan, Karin, Zeytun, Sis), marching band, slow arrival through Palestine to Adis Ababa, 1924. Royal invitation to become the Imperial Marching Band of Ras Tafari, Emperor Selassie. An “angelic choir” as he says. The national anthem of Ethiopia, composed by a refugee.
Then later. Boys growing older, first musical schools, other marching bands, military bands, police bands, court bands. On after-hours a scene of nightlife emerges, clubs, jazz records, breathing heavily, breathing alive. Mahmoud Ahmed, Alemayehu Eshete and Tilahun Gessesse frequent the venues, study the brass, start playing the songs, diatonic, hypnotic, heat infused. A genre appears, others call it Ethio-jazz, from refugees to marching bands to slow warm sound of metal trembling with air.