Soundwalk Collective: Patti Smith
CD | Alternative | 08 Nov 2019
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A sonic cross-continental experience, Mummer Love is the second album in the Perfect Vision triptych collaboration between Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith.
For this body of work, Soundwalk Collective journeyed to Africa to explore the intricacies of Arthur Rimbaud's most obscure period. After leaving France and what he deemed the ‘western stagnation', Rimbaud found himself in Harar, Ethiopia – an epicenter of Sufism in Africa. Sufi practise focuses on the renunciation of worldly things, the purification of the soul and the mystical contemplation of God's nature.
Sufism is a mystical form of Islam, and its music is about reaching a communal ecstatic state, and once you find yourself there, you are granted access to the unknown. The Soundwalk Collective spent time with the Sufi group of Sheikh Ibrahim to record their music and chants in the shrine with the use of Audio-Technica microphones. "You obtain connections to other levels of yourself and consciousness," Stephan Crasneanscki mentions of the musical process. "This connection, like poetry, is a universal language. A language of the soul, for the soul."
As with the other albums in the triptych, the Collective searched for hidden, earthy sounds that hold memories and embed existence. For Mummer Love, they also found themselves recording under the tree where Rimbaud photographed the shrine of Sheik Abadir Umar ar-Rida al Harari, the founder of the holy city Harar. "As the rain fell, I wondered if I was hearing the drops hitting the leaves the same way Rimbaud did 140 years ago," Crasneanscki says. These sounds and Sufi chants coexist with Patti Smith's interpretation of Rimbaud's poems, as she recites and sings among them in a call and response, sharing the same musical and spiritual space.
Entitled The Perfect Vision, this musical triptych, which has been co-produced with Leonardo Heiblum and supported by the Analogue Foundation, aims to go beyond 20/20 vision and explore a dimension that exists on a non-physical plane. What one can physically see is only the beginning – this project transcends what we think we see, by multiplying experiences, languages and energies. "We went through places like Mexico, Ethiopia and India to search for a perfect vision, in spaces where you can still feel a sacred presence – where the Gods are still among you," says Crasneanscki. "In this idea of perfect vision, there is the idea of oneness, and with that comes a sense of supreme love."
Mummer Love will be released to mark the anniversary of the death of Arthur Rimbaud, on 10th November (1891).
Title: Mummer Love
Release Date: 08 Nov 2019
Artist: Soundwalk Collective: Patti Smith
Catalogue No: BELLA958CD
1. Aw Abadir
2. La Maison de Rimbaud
4. Song Of The Highest Tower
5. Mummer Love
7. Bad Blood