Lucky Lartey and the Jamestown Collective will come together again this October to bring audiences INFUSION No Movement No Sound. Below is an interview with Lucky, choreographer, dancer and musician and the mastermind behind this new collaboration.
Q: Lucky, tell us about the inspiration for this latest collaboration.
Africa has its own dynamic history of creating music and movement from everyday activities - integrating song, rhythm and movement into everyday work activities to make the time go by and celebrating the time spent together. Whether it is a group of fisherman hauling in their nets on the beach and chanting to the rhythm of hauling, or miners in South Africa using their gumboots to create rhythm and song – African social life and culture provides a rich tapestry of rhythm and music.
I wanted to bring these everyday features of everyday life around Africa to the stage in order to provide insight and share the source of music and rhythm, to celebrate its routineness as well as its richness.
Growing up in the urban areas of Ghana opens your eyes and mind to the hybridity of movement and sound. I wanted to create a work that shared with audiences the everyday innovation that occurs in places like Accra, Ghana. I wanted to share with people how everyday forms of music making have been embedded into everyday life communicate about who we are and how we connect with one another through voice and movement.
INFUSION is an attempt to give my ancestry a voice and to create a work celebrating the rich music and rhythms created from everyday life in Ghana and from around Africa.
Q: Who are choosing to collaborate with and why?
“Rhythms are how we keep stories and tradition alive and working with multiple traditions of rhythm we can find connections together.”
Dancers Pepsie Magonya (Zimbabwe) and Diane Busuttil (Australia) and myself accompanied by Maharshi Raval on Tabla (India) and Byron Mark, percussion and keyboards (Australia) will collaborate as the Jamestown Collective to present INFUSION No Movement No Sound at the 2017 Uptown Festival Quarry Green Ultimo on the 28th of October and at The Fuse Box @ The Factory thanks to Onespace on the 29th of October 2017.
Together we are using movement – body percussion, tap dance, and gumboot dance, urban sample beats, recorded sound from everyday social activities in Ghana, and live music based on Ghanaian polyrhythms and Indian tabla using percussion instruments, drums and keyboard.
For Pepsi, Maharshi and I collaborating together has been an opportunity to explore how the rhythms from across our cultures meet and how to build on and create layers of rhythm using our own unique knowledge from our cultural heritage. Byron offers a unique perspective as a Western trained musician who is also well versed in world percussion and the box drum. Diane Busuttil then brings tap dance and her physical theatre training to the mix. The collaboration provides an opportunity to re-arrange traditional rhythms into a contemporary and highly multicultural context.
Q: For you is this work a departure from your other works or a progression of what you have done before?
I am always looking for opportunities to share my culture and to highlight the way that music is created in multifaceted and dynamic ways in Africa. INFUSION I would say is a deepening of my work and a further exploration of specific ways of creating movement and rhythm.
Since I collaborated on Jamestown! In 2015, I have travelled to Singapore, Burkina Faso, Indonesia and back to Ghana. Travelling has broadened my own insight into the richness of my own culture from Ghana and also helped me to understand my culture of rhythm and movement practices with more awareness and a deeper appreciation.
In INFUSION I have worked specifically with minimalistic polyrhythms especially the 6/8 rhythms from the Ewe tribe of Ghana as well as how to generate music and movement from social games, chants, tongue twisters and rhymes from Ghana, Zimbabwe and India. Collaborating on this work has been an opportunity to investigate how to bring what is really an ancient culture that has produced rhythms ad rhythm based movement for centuries and explore it in a contemporary setting.
Jamestown Collective will present Infusion No Movement No Sound @The Factory, Sunday 29 October 2017. BOOK TICKETS HERE
Thanks to Shane Rozario for the photo's. Shane Rozario has photographed many of my projects over the years. I really love his style because he has a unique way of observing what's going on. He also teaches photography check out his new project www.weareobservers.com.