Untraining the Ear #7: Jessica Ekomane Etoua
"I like to reuse the occasional errors I make during my process, as a way to break against the sleek logic of the digital." –Jessica Ekomane Etoua
In searching for a guiding principle in Jessica Ekomane’s body of work, the listening body easily starts swerving away from sound-related vocabulary and dives into the realm of psychology, quasi astronomy, and nuclear physics. The listener is exposed to ever-changing, disintegrating/reforming, attracting/repelling atoms of sound, which constellate and re-constellate themselves over and over again while becoming active agents of her open scores.
Spelling out the music of Jessica Ekomane, we can discover how she confronts the reprogramming of sonic spontaneity with historical facts. The usage of Gestalt psychology rooted in the Berlin School of Experimental Psychology touches upon the wholeness of the self-governed mind in the present tense. She creates applied psychoacoustics effects through staging or imposing similar tones. The transformations she aims for in her techniques are a result of her attention to specific aspects in norms given to musical parameters, where she is following the misfits of “melody”, “harmony” and “rhythm”, “tone” or “texture”. Technology is rather a tool that adjusts in response to working with theoretical texts and previous musical knowledges. In her approach to research, data gathering processes inform the spontaneity of her creative endeavour rather than vice versa.
The audience, as the body of listeners, is invited to actively listen to her work performed in a quadraphonic set-up where imminent sounds are in an constant state of change, bouncing from the corners of the library space in SAVVY Contemporary into the ears of the listeners and back into the room, reshaping its classified illusory character. Following the listening experience, we gather in the same space to engage in a conversation with Jessica about the importance of technology as tool, the importance of referencing, archives and history, and the value of spontaneity and unintentional creation versus intention in sound-art and music making.
Jessica Ekomane's practice unfolds around music and sound installations. She is one of the Berlin Community Radio [INCUBATOR] residents for their 2017 edition. She has performed in various institutions across Japan, Australia and Europe such as CTM festival, KW (Berlin), Ars Electronica (Linz), Dommune (Tokyo) or MUMA (Melbourne).
About Untraining the Ear, Listening Sessions
This sixth listening session is part the Untraining the Ear series by SAVVY Contemporary, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and CTM Festival, which attempts to suggest alternative ways to listen to music and sound. The series invites up-and-coming Berlin based and international musicians and composers to perform uninterrupted listening sessions preceded by a moderated conversation between performers, curators, and listeners.
Moreover, in order to contextualise how we listen to the world today we also need to replay the past of abounding sonic references. We (the audience, the performers, the space, the radio, the moderators and the technicians) will rhetorically navigate through archives of maverick composers in the attempt to re-index their contributions, to create other possible genealogies and narratives. By involving sound practitioners coming from diverse genres to perform, and scholars to discuss works of the composers, we listen back to the influence and ingenuity of musicians and sound artists who defy the linearity of 20th century avant-garde music history. The series will thus shed light on and dives into the works of pioneers such as Halim El-Dabh, Eliane Radigue, and Jose Maceda to mention a few. The initiative will also commission new works to echo and reflect (with a contemporary take) rare archival body of works that have been marginalized by history of avant-garde music and sound art.
Curation: Kamila Metwaly
Co-Curation: Marcus Gammel, Jan Rohlf
Production: Beya Othmani, Ola Zielińska
Communications: Jasmina Al-Qaisi, Anna Jäger
Visuals: Elsa Westreicher
Management: Lema Sikod, Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock
In collaboration with: Deutschlandfunk Kultur and CTM Festival
On Air: Klangkunst by Deutschlandfunk Kultur, presented by Esther Schelander
Support: Musicboard Berlin
Media Partner: Norient Sounds
Presented by SAVVY Contemporary, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and CTM Festival