Lady Antigua starts at the bow of the boat. Lying in the net, I couldn’t help noticing the bust of a black woman pinned to it. The poem is a fictional biography of her life, pointing to the imagination of black culture in the binaries of slavery and fetishism. And it began to reflect my own complicated displacement and confusion being a brown body in the polar tundra. We made this piece while the world was out on the streets chanting: Black Lives Matter. The pipe organ harks back to early hymns sung in the church, an institution of control and the force behind European colonial expansion, with the repetitive chord structure representing the repetition of history. The Hammond organ that follows was a portable, inexpensive instrument that led to the empowerment of small communities by placing faith and worship in individual hands. The free improvisation is this desire and celebration for freedom.
These audio soundscapes are pieces from Himali’s recently published almanac, we are opposite like that, available to order here.