This is an album. It is designed for listening. It is also about listening and the force of listening. It is also the beginning of a chain of responses based on what listening enables – a space to observe and record important information.
Listening is not a passive act. Listening is not the process of ears capturing sound, you know this as “hearing.” Listening is a very active and intentional act that notices what it notices and is noticed by what it notices. More importantly, it is almost impossible to listen without responding or taking action. Listening does not, in fact, require sound at all. Listening is the beginning of a chain of responses and it creates the inertia that drives action.
This album was conceived as a praxis in listening as well as artistic dialogue. The title of the album is an homage to the ideas shared by David Kantor and known as the Four Player Model. We won’t spoil the teachings of the Four Player Model here, rather explain how we used these concepts of structural dynamics and dialogue to create a work whose pieces are more connected than any other collaborative concept album.
We deployed Kantor’s roles of Mover, Follower, Opposer, and Active Bystander. Each artist on this album played one of these roles. The process began with the Mover. We found our Mover, Nour, through pure happenstance when a friend of hers gave a lecture we were attending, where we heard the first song on this album for the first time. The Journey of A Worshipper is a recording she created in the early 2010’s while living in Cairo, Egypt from where she hails. The Follower, a role designed to support the dialogue started by the Mover, was Lorenz Erdmann, an artist from Berlin Germany. Erdmann‘s composition was the first dialogue with Nour‘s work, the first response in the chain of responses. Simultaneously but separately, Spätzer (artist Aiken Bömers-Muller), played the role of Opposer from his studio in Bellingham, USA. His response to Nour‘s composition was intended to offer an alternative viewpoint, to butt up against it, as well as play the Devil‘s advocate. Finally, all three compositions were shared as a collection with George Sarah, a composer based in Los Angeles. Sarah‘s role was the Bystander, a role designed to ask questions as part of the group dialogue. Not a role that takes sides or follows or opposes, rather a role that facilitates a dialogue that incorporates the different perspectives as a result of listening to all parties.
The next listener is you. We are happy you have decided to listen in to this conversation and we would love to hear your response.
1. Nur – The Journey of a Worshipper
2. Lorenz Erdmann – Idiophonic Thoughts Revisited
3. Spätzer – Yai
4. George Sarah – Black Snow
Journey of a Worshipper – Nur
Idiophonic Thoughts Revisited – Lorenz Erdmann
Yai – Spätzer
Black Snow – George Sarah