[Music: rhythmic texture, strong beat]
Can you remember the last time we went dancing? Was it dark? Was the music too loud? Did it smell like sweat and spilled beer?
Wait, let’s rewind some moments…
Did you hear the kick drum before you got inside? Just faintly pulsing while you call your friend. You tap your foot, our body is so full of energy, emotions ready to move. Is it the kick drum making our hearts beat faster?
‘I’ll be there soon mate, I’m just around the corner. How does it look?’
The line shuffles, the music thumping more, both sound and heat emanating from the open door. Our throat starts to dry up a little, anxiety feeling unusually good. A little chatter behind us, cigarette smoke, the sharp scratch of a lighter, a phone buzzes, our skin starts to tingle.
Some rain falls lightly, as if our hot skin had willed it to happen, the tiny drops making even tinier thuds on our clothes. Our hair starts to stick to our forehead, we brush it away. Our stomach is maybe already dancing, feeling fluttery, full of fireflies, like falling in love, but for a mass of seething bodies, falling in love then with the microclimate inside. We swallow a little dryly, almost there, our bodies remembering that feeling of sub-bass, trembling lasers – the way speakers create currents of wind.
The kick drum gets louder, our hearts now fully synced with the tempo, ready to go – this is the first of our body parts that will begin to align through the night, to resonate, to echo back not only the music and the vibe but the very matter of dancing bodies together. The sweat, bacteria, pheromones, spit and pleasure of us dancing in sync, a mini revolution or rather a total involution. We become all atmosphere, cloud-like blurs losing our edges, our cold dead-skin-shells, we become our hot senses, tiny total reverberations, all held in pure motion.
‘Hey hey, where are you? We are almost inside! Hey, hurry, let’s go.’
[Play with reverb – no music, or simple tone]
Both a how and a where, the atmosphere is a gaseous body layer. It is compressible, transparent, elastic – invisible while being perceptible through most senses, sites and situations. It is the condition of existence of all bodies it surrounds – and all other bodies are thought or sensed through it. Not exactly a space of contact, nor a medium, an atmosphere is in fact peculiar to each body or sub-body it surrounds.
Atmospheres transfer both material and emotional realities from one place to another, historical time to another. They are more and less than bodies, pressure and gravity dependent, inter-scalar, even interstellar continuities. Atmospheres can support life for some, for others, it can be lethal. We always speak of the atmosphere ‘of something’, yet the atmosphere pre-exists everything we think. It is the sphere in which we breathe, and it is breath itself.
[Guitar comes in – Music: Robert Johnson, Crossroad Blues]
The fable goes something like this: a young Robert Johnson is eager to learn the Blues guitar. He lives down in Tunica, about an hour south of Memphis. But he travels continuously, an itinerant musician; after all the Blues is something everyone carries inside and around them, like a shadow. One night at the crossroads outside of Clarksdale, Mississippi, the young Mr. Johnson meets with the Devil. It is dark there, maybe the full moon is out, casting long shadows. There are no cars or people for miles, just fields and fields of cotton. Maybe it is winter, it is deathly quiet, and the dark soil is cold and hard. In the grey moonlight the land looks bleak, isolated, uninhabited, scarred from recent farming and centuries of slave-blood spilled into the dark earth.
Robert Johnson, not yet 20 years old, shivers as he waits under the tree, eyes darting, a frayed collar turned up. The shadowy figure arrives, ready to make a deal. Robert Johnson trades his soul for mastery over the guitar.
[Pause Crossroad Blues, Choctaw flute comes in – Light drumming]
In a different myth from the same area, people of the Choctaw Nation believe humans have two souls: an inner soul and an outer one. After dying, the outer soul hangs around the grave of its owner, the other travels to the afterworld. The being that trades in souls is called the Shila Impa or Nalusa Chita. The myth goes that if you allow dark and depressed thoughts into yourself, then the Shila Impa arrives, substituting his evil soul for your depressed one. This soul that can be taken or traded is described as a free soul. It is not attached like in the Christian tradition to some metaphysical part of your body. The free soul is more like an entity of its own, both linked to your body but also free to move on its own accord. Perhaps inspired by our shadow, this free-soul is known to disappear at night; it merges into the darkness and only sometimes will it return when the sun rises.
[Crackle, dawn chorus – Music: Arjuna Neuman with Denise Ferreira da Silva, Soot Breath]
Ooh, standin’ at the crossroad, tried to flag a ride
Ooh-ee, I tried to flag a ride
Didn’t nobody seem to know me, babe, everybody pass me by
Standin’ at the crossroad, baby, risin’ sun goin’ down
Standin’ at the crossroad, baby, eee-eee, risin’ sun goin’ down
I believe to my soul, now, poor Bob is sinkin’ down
Two things in these lyrics from Johnson’s Crossroad Blues reflect the Choctaw myth rather than its usual Faustian or Hoodoo interpretation. In the first verse, Robert Johnson, or a part of himself, is disappearing in two ways: he is being ignored and cannot hitch a ride, an effect of ongoing racism; and at the same time, he is entering the spirit world. In the second verse, as the sun sets, Robert Johnson refers to himself in the third person, ‘poor Bob is sinkin’ down’, as if to say his shadow-self or outer soul is melting into the darkness that comes with the setting sun. Perhaps Robert Johnson’s outer-soul is drifting away into the night and as the Blues enter his body or rises up from within, the Shila Impa has arrived at the crossroads to eat his free soul and leave some of his own shadow-being behind, and with it, virtuous musical chops.
And so, one legacy of the Blues was born; Robert Johnson masters the guitar in such a way that when he plays, it sounds as if the guitar itself has been possessed.
[Change of voice, crackling sound]
In the German language, there’s this word Stimmung. It can be translated as an atmosphere, or more precisely as something between a mood, a spirit, a soul, a feeling or an affect. The term applies to both spaces and people interchangeably. It can stand for both the atmosphere of a place and the mood of a person, atmosphere of a soul and the mood of a place. Perhaps the word jaou (جو) in Arabic is similar – standing for weather, atmosphere, ambience, air. Stimmungcomes from the word Stimme which means the voice, both the voice that sings and the voice that votes. The voice or the vote being what sounds, is, or feels right! Das stimmt!
While some will argue that its meaning pre-exists musical connotations, Stimmung is generally considered as tuning – both the subject and object of attunement with a strong correlation to vibration: attunement to the key, and to the pitch between spaces, breath, air, body and humidity. The key relation between this semantic cosmos orbiting the stimm is the notion of resonance. A Stimmung depicts the quality and texture of a relation rather than its actors or destination. Let’s say then that Stimmung is a form of mood that is atmospheric, that surpasses atomised or individualised experience. It is foundational, prior to both knowledge and will. It is something we are immersed in, attuned through and through.
[Music: John Lee Hooker, Guitar Blues]
Central Mississippi is always flooding. The ground is most often soft when not frozen and sinking into the mud is part of daily life, even today.
So, when Robert Johnson sings of himself, Bob sinking down, he foreshadows these lyrics with a satanic guitar whose notes are tender like the soil after a flood. These ‘muddy’ notes have been described more traditionally as Blue Notes – they bend, sink, and slur away from the fixed notation of Classical European music. Think of a guitar string bending a semi-tone or two away from its original fixed position – one pitch expands to several.
What this Blue or Muddy Note marks is an important shift from 2 to 3 dimensions, where pitch is no longer fixed on an axis or line, but is free to be bent up or sunk down, creating a zone commonly called Pitch Space. This technique creates a space out of nowhere, a kind of musical shelter, a home for the descendants of the enslaved to call their own, a place to thrive in and to heal. Where precisely through the trauma that is expressed by the Blues, a different world is imagined and remade in its image, or in this case, in its sound.
The pitch-bending of a note is also inspired by instances of excessive emotional expression. This we are most familiar with in everyday speech, where a voice overwhelmed with emotion loses its constant tone and pitch, suddenly breaking. This bending to breaking point happens right before crying, where the body and feelings override the cognitive function of normal speech and its semantics: making straight talk impossible. Such emotional excess overriding the voice sometimes even surprises the speaker, cluing them in to the intensity of feelings they had perhaps not yet registered.
This excess of emotion conveyed in the pitch-bent notes of the Blues, is inspired by a particular sensibility and tonality, shared across the cultures of Indigenous Americans and the descendents of plantation slavery. This is to say, that within their musical traditions, their historical experience, even within their very voices, lies the potential for sonic solidarity.
[Choctaw chants and dance slip over the music]
The word atmosphere is congregated from the words atmos and sphere. In Proto-Indo European language the root of the word atmo is awet-mo, as in wet and ‘to blow’ or emanate, to inspire or spiritually arouse. Think of the concept Atman in Sanskrit, a self of all permeability, or atmen in German that means to breathe. The atmosphere is the sphere in which the process of breathing is made possible, breathing being the exchange of gas between external and internal environments.
Sphere on the other hand is understood since antiquity as a celestial body in the shape of a ball. It is at the very construction of the word, as it is used to describe the steam around celestial bodies, that the atmosphere depicts a space of-in-between, at the threshold of matter, shapes and the immaterial. Not a medium of communication, but a medium of sensing between past and future, the human and the chemical, a witness to the living and the non-living.
The atmosphere is the sphere in which we breathe, it pre-exists everything we think. The atmosphere is the sphere in which we breathe, it pre-exists everything we feel.
[The voice of Kurt Vonnegut reading from his novel, Cat’s Cradle]
‘There were no smells. There was no movement. Every step I took made a gravelly squeak in blue-white frost. And every squeak was echoed loudly. The season of locking was over. The Earth was locked up tight. It was winter, now and forever.’
At the centre of Kurt Vonnegut’s 1963 novel, Cat’s Cradle, lies a material called Ice Nine. Ice Nine is a molecular structure of water that means it is solid at room temperature; instead of melting at 0° Celsius, it melts at over 45°C. When even a tiny shred of Ice Nine comes into contact with liquid water, it acts as a seed crystal that teaches normal water to change its chemical structure and freeze solid, transforming it into more Ice Nine. In the novel, Ice Nine is invented by the scientist Dr. Felix Hoenikker, father of the atom bomb, conceived at the request of the U.S. Marines, in order to solve the ‘problem’ of mud.
[Music: Robert Johnson, Hellhoud Blues plays over weather sounds]
Twenty years before Cat’s Cradle was published, Kurt Vonnegut was working at the Research Laboratory of General Electric in Schenectady, New York, alongside his brother Bernard. In 1946, the Vonneguts’ colleague, Vincent Schaefer, invented cloud seeding in the lab. Photographs from the time show Schaefer leaning over a black, velvet-lined deep freezer. Icicles hang in cartoon-like daggers from the freezer’s edges, and a mist wafts from its depths. To produce clouds, Schaefer would exhale into the chamber and his breath condense; he would then experiment with inserting different substances – salt, dust, chemicals – into the breath-clouds to try and produce rain or snow.
On one hot morning, when the cold chamber was too warm for his breath, Schaefer used dry ice (solid CO2) to try and cool the chamber down. In the empty freezer, ice crystals suddenly appeared and formed a strange bluish fog. The carbon dioxide had provided nuclei – tiny cores – on which the water molecules in the chamber could condense to form droplets, and freeze. It was snowing inside the chamber.
Schaefer’s obituary would eventually hail him as ‘the first person to actually do something about the weather and not just talk about it’. Not long after his discovery, it was Bernard Vonnegut, Kurt’s brother, who discovered that cloud seeding could be done much more efficiently with silver iodide, a light-sensitive chemical commonly used in analogue photographic processes. Silver iodide is now deployed all over the world, to make it rain.
[303 comes in with fragments from intro techno]
Cloud seeding was swiftly militarised, with mixed results. General Electric was sued for damages after a hurricane on the east coast of the US was seeded with over 100kg of dry ice, changed direction, and careered into Georgia, where it caused severe damage. In the 1970s, the US military used cloud-seeding extensively during the Vietnam War. Operation Popeye extended the monsoon season over the Ho Chi Minh trail by several weeks, with the aim of bogging the enemy down in mud, creating cover for attacks, and producing acidic rainfall – which can interfere with radar. In 1976 the UN passed the Environmental Modification Convention, banning weather control as a tool of warfare.
In the decades since, cloud seeding has continued all over the world, most prominently in the name of agricultural development. Although less visible today as a tool of warfare, its potential for violence has not diminished.
[Music: Underground Resistance, Aint No Sunshine, samples]
Israel has been seeding clouds since the 1950s. The practice has been concentrated on the north of Palestine – the Galilee and Golan Heights – with the aim of increasing rainfall and advancing Israeli agriculture. Such practices have complex ideological and colonial precedents. One of Israel’s great founding myths is the notion that Palestine was ‘a land without people, for a people without land’, a fiction that enabled continuous Jewish immigration to Palestine in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. To those that argued that Palestine was already inhabited by Arabs, Zionists emphasised the technical superiority of their agriculture to that of native farmers. Indeed, a central theme of historical Zionism was the idea that Jewish people could reclaim their dignity after centuries of urban occupation through a return to agricultural labour, manifested in kibbutz culture. The myth of Palestine as a ‘desert’ wasteland rescued by Zionist civilisation is a device that continues to justify land-grabs, afforestation and occupation to this day.
The use of cloud seeding to control rainfall and ensure crop survival on the occupied side of the Palestinian territories intersects with the violence Israel wreaks on Palestine through the denial of water rights. Israel appropriates and controls all sources and supplies of water in Palestine, from rainfall to aquifer; 80% of water from the West Bank mountain aquifer is siphoned off by Israel for its own use. Israel obstructs the development of new infrastructure in Palestine, refusing to authorise Palestinian-built wells, and actively destroying what exists already. While Ramallah enjoys more annual rainfall than London, only 70 litres of water are available per person per day for Palestinians in the West Bank, which is significantly less than the WHO guidelines of 100 litres per day. For comparison, Londoners get 150 litres, Israelis 300.
Israeli control of the entire water cycle, from rainfall to tap, from evaporation to precipitation, contributes to the slow asphyxiation of Palestinian agriculture and biodiversity. Although the weather appears natural, beyond politics, and outside of our purview or control, appropriation of water is part of Israel’s strategy of occupation both over and underground, on the land and in the air, within and outside of the colonised body. The weaponisation of aridity, weather, and the strategic withdrawal of water has not only economic ramifications but also deeply felt psycho-social effects that span generations. Drought and the inability to produce food induce debilitating anxiety about simply surviving. Without water, life ceases to exist.
[Music: Bill Withers, Ain’t No Sunshine]
To attune to atmospheres is to help us think and feel beyond individual experience, its body, its memory. Atmospheres are pure phases, passage-states in which bodies’ transition from one possibility to another, through chemical and political transformation. Maybe it would be an exaggeration to say that an atmosphere thinks. But it breathes, remembers, and renders the Earth habitable. The atmosphere enters and exits bodies constantly, the air is both old and young, formless and formative. Air quality is directly and indirectly correlated to events of the past. An atmosphere also comes after and beyond the self, it is pre- and post-personal; it includes in both biochemical and social terms an anticipation, its own qualitative transformation. It is the product of billions of years of living organisms’ transpirations. Therefore, the air we breathe now, upon which we are completely dependent as organisms and organisations, is the vapour of a more or less pressurised version of past material events.
Pressure/past/events boom into the future, breathing into another time, breathing now. Can you? Through oxygen, all temporalities are entangled. An atom one inhales could predate the birth of the solar system. Our sun is ironically not gigantic enough to form molecules the size of oxygen, they were ejected by far more massive stars from the nebula of those that would eventually form the planets. Oxygen predates our world by a microsecond.
[Down to silence with a tone…]
This all-and-at-once state of oxygen and our breath, reminds us that our bodies and the environment, feelings and climate, affect and place, are not severed and separate as we are told in school – but can be quite continuous. They, or we, exist in what should be called a body-climate continuum. This is a deeply implicated and highly coextensive ontology. It is also the cornerstone of many indigenous world views, including that of the Choctaw Nation from the Yazoo Delta.
Delta Blues, from the same geographic region, is one of the few non-aboriginal philosophies to articulate and embrace this body-climate continuum. It does this through a sensibility and cultural tradition that reproduces a Blues Body – what we described earlier as a dancing, healing, revolutionary subject seamlessly coextensive with atmosphere. A subject unable to enact slow violence on their environment, knowing too well that we are, in fact, our own environment, and the environment is us, a continuum, just as an arm is a part of a body.
This Blues Body urgently appears, perhaps in resistance, during a pivotal moment in the history of industrialisation. Most Blues musicians at the time were simple tenement farmers, living agricultural lifestyles, predominantly outside. These farmers witnessed and documented the rapid onset of factory-building and urbanisation, as well as new forms of poverty, alienation, disease, and exploitation. So not only do many Blues songs describe the body-climate continuum, the intimacy and connection of feeling and place, they also lament its total rupture. This, the heartbreak of our fundamental separation from nature, was outlined and defined during the Enlightenment. The twentieth century songs document and witness this moment of separation as it starts to take its mature form, accelerating after the colonial period through to today’s ramping up of resource extraction and slow violence enacted against the planet and its inhabitants. In short, these songs warn of climate catastrophe.
At the same time, the Blues in solidarity with Choctaw music, also holds methods for resisting this violence. We can hear and feel the critique and its resistance when we listen to the late Bill Withers’ song Ain’t No Sunshine from 1972. In typical Blues fashion, the song conflates the weather with a set of feelings. While continuing the trope of heartbreak as a metonym for legacies of violent displacement. This sliding across scales, from the personal to the historical, is made possible because the Blues is both a feeling, something carried around in all of us, but it is also the environment, the atmosphere, and the space within which feelings happen.
When Bill Withers sings ‘ain’t no sunshine when she gone’, the phrase could refer to two heartbreaks: to a woman Bill is pining for, or the afterlife of slavery. Or it could even refer to a third, the rupture in the body-climate continuum – when nature gone, there literally ain’t no sunshine.
[Music: Fast Eddie, Acid Thunder]
This final reading extends the classical interpretation of the Blues from two to three heartbreaks, where traditionally the personal and the historical are the causes of the Blues, of melancholy. Here we add an environmental and ontological heartbreak: our primal severance from the natural world. This third heartbreak and its latent potential within the Black Radical Tradition is made explicit when Underground Resistance release a techno homage with the same name: Ain’t no Sunshine on their Acid Rain 2 EP. The flipside of the record liner explicitly describes the increase of acid rain over Detroit caused by automobile factories and its polluting, toxic, melting effect on the city and wider region.
In the third verse, Bill sings ‘I know’ 26 times. When asked why he didn’t use more elaborate lyrics, he said he works in a factory and these lyrics are true to the factory experience. Bill thus inadvertently makes a fierce critique of Enlightenment epistemology: presenting the factory as a modern-day plantation, whose processes degrade both physical bodies and the planetary body. A factory then of slow death, environmental racism, extraction, and violence, all inextricably entangled with the very way we know things.
Not only does Bill wrap a staunch critique of slave and labour politics into a pop hit, he also anticipates sample culture and with it, like the Blues before him, a way to resist the colonisation of knowledge he describes. By automating his own voice and by extension his factory-body, towards musical healing and dancing ends Bill reclaims power. This radical creativity and the reclaiming of autonomy against factory automation, contributes to the sampling-genome at the heart of rap. At the same time, he accidentally produces the first techno, or proto-techno song. Put differently, Bill Withers was instrumental in transforming the repetition of the factory into the dancing beat and healing pulse of Black electronic music.
Israel’s total control of the water cycle in Palestine is central to the Zionist imagination that defines Palestine as a tabula rasa. Having constructed a myth of the land as empty, the logical next step was to fill it in, fill it up, to replace one indigeneity with another. The Zionist process of “making the desert bloom” involved the relentless, large-scale planting of trees across Palestine. Fast-growing conifers, particularly pine and cypress, were planted strategically to cover over the remains of Palestinian villages demolished in 1948; to fortify the physical limits of the occupation and to proclaim Israeli presence and control over the so-called wildness of the landscape. This is partly why cloud-seeding became important after the Nakba: rain was needed to spur the growth of new forests.
[Music: George Michael, Careless Whisper creeps in underneath the voice]
The greening of the country had colonial precedents; originally from forested Europe, Israel’s early leaders aspired to turn their new homeland into an oasis that resembled the lush woods of their old ones. The creation of an Ashkenazi pastoral was led by the Israeli forestry authority, the KKL, and the Jewish National Fund. Massive public tree planting campaigns began in the 1960s, becoming a significant cultural gesture for many families and communities in Israel, the USA and elsewhere. Even today, paying for the planting of trees in Israel is an important demonstration of American Zionism.
After Vincent Schaefer discovered cloud-seeding with dry ice in the GE lab, it did not take long for Bernard Vonnegut to find silver iodide was a more efficient material for making it rain. Until Vonnegut’s discovery, however, silver iodide’s most common use was in photography: highly light-sensitive, it was used to coat celluloid film.
In the early twentieth century, tens of thousands of aerial photographs of Palestine were taken by Prussian, Australian, British and German Air Forces for the purposes of surveying and mapping territory, and strategic use in the First World War. Such early photographs, inscribed on silver iodide-coated film, were taken from planes. This technologically-millitarised sky-view – the same one that decades later would enable cloud seeding – advanced Zionist representations of Palestine as empty, ‘a land without people’. In these photographs, the landscape is figured in terms of biblical anticipation: untouched, ancient, mythic, waiting for its chosen people to return. In more secular terms, as a barren, pristine wilderness, crying out for proper care by Zionist agriculture following centuries of mismanagement by uncivilised locals, a narrative we know from the long history of colonialism still deployed today.
In Israel’s use of silver iodide for cloud-seeding, therefore, there is an elemental and material connection between ‘making the desert bloom’ through geo-engineered rainfall and the production of photographic representations of the same land as empty and ripe for the taking.
Pictured from a great height, the landscape in the aerial photograph is abstracted both visually and spiritually. In such images, Palestine is rendered only a surface, reduced to monochrome textures. The images record the rhythm of mountains, the cuts of valleys, the flow of rivers and the contractions of the earth. Such a sky-view cannot record the traces of local communities or itinerant farming, or the sound of a child playing in the grass, the kind of human presence that moves with the seasons, is situated for centuries, which reflects the availability and sharing of local resources. The apparent absence of European markers of civilisation (the metropolis, or modern agricultural infrastructure), advanced the settler-colonial agenda to wipe Palestine off the map, and place Israel on it.
Eyal Weizman describes the surface of such archival photographs in terms of the ‘threshold of detectability’: hiding as much as they reveal. In these colonial sky-view pictures, the historic presence of Palestinians, their culture and life, their faces and families, sit well below this threshold. From a cloud-distance, livestock pens, dwellings, wells, and people are smaller than a single grain of silver on the surface of the negative; a grain that has the capacity to fall as rain over forests planted to bloom supposedly empty land. The elision of real human and Palestinian life, first photographically and then agriculturally, meet in a grain of silver: both pixel and raindrop.
Without such geo- or metereologically-engineered intervention a humble raindrop normally falls to earth once a cloud is fully saturated. Anything from a dust particle through to a bacterium can provide the seed around which a water droplet forms and falls. This is to say that some raindrops are in fact living, and in principle, since a cloud has a lifespan of a few hours, clouds could be the mobile homes of bacteria.
[Music: Dinah Washington, This Bitter Earth plays until the credits]
Bacteria, we are learning, influence our emotions and moods, where our gut is not so much our second brain but our second heart, a mobile home of our feelings. Every time we utter tender words, on the edges of our whispers are thousands of living bacteria, which can either be inhaled by the beloved we are addressing, or get caught on a gust of wind, carrying it upwards to be held in an atmospheric patch of moisture: a cloud. Here they wait. They wait to fall back down to earth, sometimes thousands of miles away from where the first tender whisper was uttered.
Not only are clouds full of life and feelings, they are also incredibly sensitive. Clouds have a way of sensing humidity over land, and when a patch of land has recently been rained on by another cloud, indicating a higher-than-normal level of moisture, the cloud holds space and waits until it finds a less saturated region to rain down on. Clouds therefore are both highly sensitive, and arguably have a memory.
This is not at all to ascribe human characteristics to the white fluffy things that adorn our skies, but rather to acknowledge the atmospheric sensorium that they constitute. What if we begin to sense not with our Enlightenment-prescribed eyes, or Renaissance fixed points of view, or even with the contemporary techno-militarised view of planes, drones, satellites and geo-engineered landscapes? But instead, what if we aligned ourselves, our Blues bodies, our senses, feelings, and our thoughts with the atmospheric sensorium, with the poetic holding space of clouds, with the living, feeling, humble temerity of raindrops? What if instead, we practice a sensorial solidarity towards the re-healing of our body-climate-continuum?
Text and Composition: Arjuna Neuman, Lorde Selys and Rachel Dedman
Mixing and mastering: David Stampfli
Commissioned by Nottingham Contemporary – Public Programmes and Research
The elemental playlist for Pitch Blue includes:
Crossroad Blues – Robert Johnson
Choctaw-Chickasaw – Jump Dance with A Sampson
Soot Breath – Arjuna Neuman with Denise Ferreira da Silva
Hellhound Blues – Robert Johnson
Choctaw Flute – Presley Byington
Guitar Blues – John Lee Hooker (remixed by Arjuna Neuman)
Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers
Ain’t No Sunshine – Underground Resistance
Acid Thunder – Fast Eddie
Careless Whisper – George Michael
This Bitter Earth – Dinah Washington/Max Richter
Radio Earth Hold 003: Pitch Blue is commissioned for Nottingham Contemporary – Public Programmes and Research. It was developed, thought and felt through the Weather or Not watching and listening sessions organised at AM London between Summer 2019 and Winter 2020. Thank you to Lenart Pasch for lending us his space for those pre-Covid-19 encounters. The authors would like to thank for their participation, inspiration and work: Sophie Dyer, Sasha Engelman and JR Carpenter, Andrea Zarza Canova and Jack Chrysalis as well as all the people who popped in, passed through and listened during those sessions and whose input has been invaluable. Among them: Conor Lorigan, Jol Thomson, Tiago Patatas, James Goodwin, Sanjita Majumder, Simina Neagu, and Phyllis Koehler. A special thank you to Sofia Lemos, Ryan Kearney, and all places and people which and who, in a way or another, supported this commission.