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2018, Fri, Nov 02

The Talking Drum – An Antique African Analog Radio

Exploration with Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman and Moussa Coulibaly

The radio is neither the only nor the first apparatus for wireless long-distance communication. The “talking drum” can be understood as a precolonial precursor of the radio. Throughout West Africa and beyond, the talking drum is both a musical instrument and a hybrid technological device for speech, sound, and telegraphy, an apparatus whose function is constantly switching between communication, entertainment, artistic expression, and ritual. Aurélie Nyriabikali Lierman’s performance explores the analogies and differences between the radiophonic space and the space of the talking drum system. Lierman collaborates with drummer Moussa Coulibaly in her performance.