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

This unresolved excerpt exemplifies the method by which my “sonic sketches” help the discussion between myself and my collaborator about the mood, instrumentation and treatment of the musical output. ‘Makambo’ was originally the name of a song by Geoffrey Oryema from his album Exile (1990) produced by Brian Eno. Oryema sings about the pain of being forced to flee his native land, for he lived in exile in France following his father’s murder in Uganda in 1977 where his father had been a cabinet minister under Idi Amin.

I had not heard the song for a long time when I received a streaming link to the album, sent to me by my friend, curator and educator Nana Adusei-Poku last year. It reminded me that, although digital exchanges have now increased due to the global pandemic, rather than being a novelty, remote transmission has, in fact, always existed for diasporic communities. One letter a month, one audio-cassette or VHS tape a year, one phone call or video call a week, archipelagos of identities have been kept alive over the ages by sharing from a distance. My version of the song is thus dedicated to refugees and displaced people across the world as their plight is now further exacerbated by the urgency of the pandemic.