Upcoming musics (Spring 2023)

/// Updates ///

My next album Earth Variations will be out early next year 2023. As often happens, the album would be ready for release in late November/early December, but due to the holidays it wouldn’t be delivered to the streaming platforms until January-February at the earliest. So once again, I’ll take the opportunity of the quiet during the wintry rural days to go through the album one more time, ears refreshed.

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I’m currently working also on a new EP titled Radiant City, an offshoot of the new album Interspaces. It will feature the piece Radiant City from the album as well as four new compositions: Trade I, Trade II, Monday Morning in Lagos and Midnight in Fez.

As the title suggests, the EP is inspired by an idea of the city: a dynamic, hybrid, inclusive and thriving multiplicity – not the Corbusier’s vision of a linear and ordered metropolis of the future but one of an indeterminate and colourful incubator of our present (and near future).

The pieces, which incorporate city sounds into the music, have been partially created by using generative music algorithms, where an algorithmic system (designed by me) has improvised the music or soundscape from the sonic material and instructions I’ve provided, thus producing results which I as the composer might not have envisioned or chosen. The process and its outcomes are a bit like the life in a city: indeterminately unfolding yet always retaining a recognisable character.

The EP will be out next Spring.

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I’m also considering releasing a new version of my album Pulses / Radiance from 2017. I came across it recently after a long time, heard the tracks in a wrong order, and was surprised how sensuous, fresh and invigorating it sounded. It’s a shame that works like this, by a multitude of artists, have to disappear into the ocean of indifference (online music publishing) so quickly; “digital amnesia”, as architect Rem Koolhaas described our online culture…And where the art world tends to embrace and elevate visual diversity, the music world tends to eschew similar sonic diversity (for the obvious physiological, cultural and economic reasons). Nevertheless, the album probably suffered from a slightly naïve production at the time as it was a whole new direction for me, and now with experience – better mixing, editing, soundscaping and mastering – its idea might come through clearer and stronger: it might even float in that ocean for few seconds before sinking. 😊 The record was a precursor to both Earth Variations and Radiant City, so in that sense this revisit would be exciting and timely as well. Let’s see (I’m already hearing musicians from jazz, classical and intercultural ensembles playing on the revised version…dreams).

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Finally, I’m also preparing a collection of my previously unreleased ambient and piano pieces from 1998-2022.

Tentatively titled A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, the album includes 10 compositions which have always represented the most welcome quiet waters to me when the stream of music has become exhausting, yet they have never managed to find a suitable home on any of my previous releases. And while I have often contemplated releasing purely an ambient album, the timing, the feelings, the drugs*, the ideas have tended to be wrong.

Until now, when my feelings are becoming toward less is more: less music that sounds like more music; less sound, more space; less perfection, more beauty; less engine noise, more bird song; less industry standard professionalism, more life-affirming authenticity; less centre stages, more environments; and so forth.

The album, which features contributions from composers-pianists Midori Hirano and Sylvie Walder, will arrive early next Spring.

Warmth x

*coffee, tea and wine in my case (thought of clarifying this 🙂 )

Sharawadji out now

The latest album of mine, Sharawadji, will be available on all the major music streaming services on Fri 11 February. The album is currently available on Bandcamp where the release includes additional artwork and high quality download.

Here are a few photos of some of the locations where the album was recorded (I have lost most of my photos to broken harddrives over the years). Had a little nostalgia trip while going through these, and it reinforced my view that a piece of music is indeed a lot more than the end product: it’s the whole process and journey that goes into making it (that’s why AI can never replace music made by humans: it can of course make music based on its own processes and journeys, but never replicate the human experience…).

Sharawadji: a new release coming soon

// A new curiosity release coming soon //

Next month I’ll be releasing an album of curiosities titled Sharawadji. The album presents a fusion of Somadelia, Juju Space Jazz, Sahelian Generative, Nordic Throb and Post-Tribal Bliss (yes, existing genres have become rather inadequate to describe current musics 😉 ). Recorded and crafted in various locations over the years, the music paints an impression of the rhythms, melodies and sonic textures of its geographies: Lagos, Cotonou, Ouagadougou, Dakar, Fez, London, Barcelona, Berlin, Helsinki and Paris.

The release – which has also gone through titles like ‘Migrant’, ‘The Itinerant’, ‘Border Eraser’ and ‘Invisible Geographies’ – consists of outtakes from my forthcoming Interspaces and Earth Variations albums as well as from the previous Flash of the Spirit, Pulses/Radiance and Sahara albums – featuring also Noel Saizonou of Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble on vocals and percussion. It’ll also include a previously unreleased track from LOS-HEL: Possible Cities, with a Lagos Soundscape by Emeka Ogboh.

As Interspaces and Earth Variations continue falling into place (or into space) slowly, delayed by me continuing to encounter new exciting musicians and possible collaborators here in Paris, I came to notice these outtakes together formed already a rather coherent and interesting whole: like a more colourful sibling or ancestor to the two albums-in-progress. More info to follow soon.