An Evening With Christian Nyampeta
A mixtape streaming temporarily on music platforms including iTunes, Spotify and Tidal, from 21 December 2020

In the course of writing How to Live Together, my thesis at Goldsmiths, University of London where I was a doctoral student in the Department of Visual Cultures, I used to take frequent breaks from reading and typing to play an electronic keyboard.

Over the years, this experiment has spawned a growing library of sonic creations, which partly constitutes a way of resting in the company of the artists, musicians, theorists and other figures whose ideas I draw from, whose songs I cover or whose lyrics I evoke. The following selection contains an elegy, a dedication and a short preview of a forthcoming music album, the variety of the recordings reflecting the events that changed the global landscape over that period. In this sense, the songs are bookmarks to present the history that is unfolding across large geographical expanses, cultural shifts and societal tensions, all of which coalesce around renewed energies of planetary consciousness, mobilised as a resistance against the worldwide injustice and the annihilation of living on Earth.

The recordings commenced in London in the summer of 2011 at the time of the police shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham, North London, which sparked nationwide riots. Earlier that year, in March, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami had caused the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. In that same period, the Syrian Civil War erupted, starting as pro-democracy protests in the southern city of Deraa. The recording traverses this decade that also saw the rise of Black Lives Matter in 2013, a political and social movement founded in the US by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi as a response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of 17-year-old African-American Trayvon Martin, as well as the emergence of the likes of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg and her fellow youth environmental activists, who have been leading a climate crisis protest.

However, this particular selection focuses on the last three years and features a sample of solitary recordings that emerged from my breaks from writing, as well as in parallel with various group activities held through online programmes, occasional gatherings in temporary studios, exhibitions and sessions convened under the framework of Radius, a mostly online radio station, which is broadcasted from public institutions, intimate home circles, transnational research groups and across bodies and spaces that are not easy to describe.