I had the opportunity of interviewing Pauline Oliveros and Halim El-Dabh while attending Unyazi, Africa’s ‘first electronic music festival, back in 2005.
Pauline and Halim generously granted me an interview, the recording of which was unfortunately plagued by wind noise and barely listenable as a result. The file has been sitting on various hard discs through the years and I’ve long meant to transcribe it. Now, fifteen years later, with the possibilities provided by modern software, I’ve finally had a go at cleaning it up – to the extent that I can.
Pauline and Halim clearly enjoyed each other’s company and, against the background of the festival, discuss African knowledge and culture, the importance of the body in their work, the power of sound as a means of transformation and healing, dream states, (personal) histories, instruments, the environment, and sensing peoples’ vibrations.
00:06: Africa – Objects, Philosophy and Way of Life 01:34: Knowledge by Way of the Body 02:31: Sound and Healing 05:18: Pauline’s History 07:09: Sonic Meditations 08:25: Sound as a Tool of Transformation 11:25: African Art 12:23: Rituals, Opening Up 13:39: History 15:58: History and Healing 17:32: George Lewis 18:33: Institutions 19:23: The Western Canon 21:58: Halim’s Background 23:44: Pauline’s Beginnings 24:39: Accordions, Sho 26:17: Wire Recorders 26:34: Music and Architecture / Open Spaces 30:12: Tunings 32:09: Environmental Sound 34:34: Photographs, Aural Snapshots 35:47: Vibrations