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Sonic Continuum
Hannah Catherine Jones, Owed to Diaspora(s), 2020, video still. Courtesy the artist.

[Tran]script*

*a dialogue between speaking and writing

Hello and welcome to Owed to Perpetual Healing.
As 2020 has unfolded, unfurled, unravelled, we find ourselves in June, which continues to present us with unparalleled unpredictable unrest across the globe.

I imagine there will be people from all walks of life listening to this podcast and I think what unites everyone during this time is the ongoing uncertainty…
And although this unknowing is unsettling, I for one do not want things to go back to ‘normal’.
Nothing was ‘normal’ pre-pandemic.

Inequity and inequality remain to be deadly plagues symptomatic of the interlocking systems of the imperialist capitalist white-supremacist patriarchy.

I’m grieving. I’m tired. I’m exhausted.

I ask of you, the listener, to contemplate: what are you grieving? What is exhausting you right now? And of course, this is multi-faceted…

You may be grieving the loss of loved ones, perhaps recently – due to the virus, or perhaps historic ongoing grief…
You may be grieving the loss of loved ones due to the violence of the system – recently or historically…
Are you grieving for the once regular interactions with family, friends, lovers?
Are you grieving touch in all its forms: the gentle togetherness of an exercise class, a rehearsal, a gig, a club…
Are you exhausted by the news?
Are you exhausted because you have never had to think about your part in white supremacy, perhaps at all, and certainly never as intensely as now?
Are you exhausted because you feel personally attacked by the resounding and necessary three words echoing around the world?

BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.

Are you exhausted because you are experiencing white people beginning to realise that racism is real? That only now in 2020 are institutions of all kinds, academic and otherwise, even beginning to address and respond to the lived experiences of diasporic peoples, albeit in the most surface way?
Are you exhausted that you have been fighting for these changes for as long as you can remember, and witnessing even the symbolic changes of the dismantling of white supremacy comes along with an unknown exhaustion and overwhelm…?

Are you exhausted because you feel guilty about not having attended protests, perhaps due to mental and physical health issues, the threat of the virus, the threat of democide: police brutality, or perhaps because you don’t think that any of these issues apply to you?
Are you exhausted because you have been to the protests? And although the togetherness is what we need more than ever, the fear of police brutality and potential democide and the aftermath of potentially spreading the virus further amongst the people who it is affecting the most is further draining you…?

If you’re not exhausted, then perhaps you can spend some time reflecting on how you and your action or in-action is affecting the current interlocking crises…

I’ve selected some tracks that speak to my sorrow and current overwhelm at the world. Perhaps they are tracks that I would use in an imaginary ongoing memorial service for the endless and seemingly infinite list of black lives that clearly did not matter…

George Floyd, Alton Sterling, Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown, Sean Riggs, Belly Mujinga, Mark Duggan, Rashan Charles, Grenfell, Tamir Rice, Soweto Uprisings, Juneteenth, Philando Castile, Bussa…

The list is long.
There are too many.

I know perhaps the thing I miss the most about the pre-pandemic world is the communal absorption and production of the most healing entity we have – MUSIC.

The tracks I have selected have all been tuned to the frequency of 432 Hz. There are theories that this frequency is more attuned to the resonating frequencies of the earth, of the human body, and to nature, and therefore possesses healing properties.

There are numerous theories about how the current standardisation of tuning our instruments, and therefore ourselves, to A 440 Hz is a conspiracy theory established by the Nazis to ensure people are aligned to an unnatural, strained state, to ensure we stay anxious and dissatisfied, feeding into overconsumption, conformity, compliancy, submission.

There are theories about how the pitch we tune our instruments, and therefore ourselves to, is completely arbitrary, as the vibrations of the planet and its inhabitants cannot be analysed to a single frequency that would resonate with all.

My experience is that the 432 Hz frequency is something that I felt affect me positively, physiologically. The track I have been speaking over was sent to me by my mum when I was extremely ill. It is tuned to 528 Hz, which is the frequency used by genetic biochemists to repair broken DNA. It is through this track that I discovered 432 Hz, and so is the origin of my relationship to alternative frequencies, now an integral part of my perpetual healing practice.

I invite you to listen to the following tracks. I hope to have created a space for meditative reflection, contemplation, towards empathy, catharsis and hope.

We all must play our part in healing the wounds inflicted by the interlocking crises. The broken system feels like an impenetrable abstract entity. But it is comprised of individuals. Seemingly small interactions matter – they create psychological ripples with the potential to accumulate into monumental waves of change. I urge you to seek difficult conversations, to support those who are more exhausted than you, move through the discomfort…

Perhaps we will not see, hear, feel, witness, experience, the change we want to see in our lifetimes, but we have to find the radical energy, courage, hope, humility and humanity, to move forward.

The practice of actively listening to music, sound waves, vibrations, can help us to transcend hearing and into listening more profoundly to one another. I invite you to be both physically and psychologically present for Owed to Perpetual Healing, if you are able to. Thank you for having me and stay safe.

Tracklist

 

PowerThoughts Meditation Club – 528 Miracle Tone: Whole Body Regeneration (excerpt)

Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda – Er Ra

Angel Bat Dawid – What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black?

Abel Selaocoe – Lamentatio (excerpt)

Mica Levi – Death

Southern University Quartet – I’m Troubled in Mind

Vivaldi / Andreas Scholl – Cum Dederit

Caroline Shaw / Attacca Quartet – Plan & Elevation: IV. The Orangery

Vision – Woman

Sweet Honey in the Rock – Breaths

Donald Byrd – Cristo Redentor

Luxolo Gospel Choir – Simoni

Albert E. Brumley / Kanye West – I’ll Fly Away

Pastor T.L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir – Like A Ship… (Without A Sail)

Beverly Glenn-Copeland – Sunset Village