The theme is London... Why?

I was asked to create a piece for Sabrina Fuller's project Love, Dinner, Flowers, Dances (Money, Work, Deadlines, Power)

The work was specifically about the collaboration process. The rules were to find another person to work with, make a short sound piece and each write a few lines about the experience of the collaboration process.

I chose to work with my partner Rivelino Lopes. As this was a piece about collaboration I recorded our conversations and this became part of the work.

Rivelino Lopes:

We had a discussion and Rebekah suggested that I start with a Cape Verdean beat and I decided to make one in Ableton from a traditional genre called Coladera. I passed it on to her, then we had a discussion about what the theme of the piece should be and she got cross with me because she thought I’d gone off in my own direction without collaborating.

She recorded our conversation and then started to chop it up in Logic and then put it to the beat and passed it back to me. I then added more percussion, chimes and effects in Ableton and passed back to her.

Image design: © Rebekah Ford

We had another conversation which she recorded and she chopped up more bits. Once this was arranged, we had another argument and then I suggested that we rearrange the order of the audio clips to make more linear sense. Once she had done this and worked on the levels, I added a small break in the work and a beat effect under something that she said in the piece as I had been inspired by the drum and bass gig I was at the night before. I then helped her master it.

This was an interesting project because I got to use my Cape Verdean roots in a different way. I enjoyed working on this as it’s the first time I’ve worked on a project that’s not just music. It was quite hard to find time to do this as work and commitments got in the way.

Rebekah Ford:

I read the brief out to Rive and then he immediately went off on a tangent about London. I did suggest that we start with something to do with his love of Cape Verdean beats and that we could in some way begin there. What he played me was really good and I liked it but he presented it as a fait accompli and that was what I got cross about.

It was quite interesting to find a different way of communicating with my partner; this is the first time that we have collaborated on a sound project so we were finding our feet and as with many creatives, we clashed on occasion. However, I thought that if I recorded our conversations about the work then we could use that as the nugget of the piece and stay on brief.

We decided to work in the style of an exquisite corpse for logistic reasons and keep handing it back and forth and layering our contributions. This was a bit confusing as we were using different software but we somehow managed. There was squabbling but an awful lot of laughing too which you can hear in the piece.

I took Rive’s beat and processed it through several effects then back into Logic, chopped all the audio from our two conversations and arranged. We had a heated discussion about the order of them but Rive was right (annoyingly) and so once I’d placed them all and set levels and done some basic effects, Rive showed me how to finish and master the piece properly which I’d not done before.

It’s been a really lovely thing for us to do and also quite challenging trying to understand where the other is coming from. Rive’s a beat maker and I’m a visual artist so we somehow found a middle ground that’s been a creative eye of the storm.