Mo Laudi - Movement (Mayibuye)

24/10/2020

Mo Laudi created a new sound composition, specially made for OORtreders Festival 2020, that examines the meaning of the festival's naming in relation to apartheid and his family history.

Multidisciplinary composer, sound artist and producer Mo Laudi has been involved in the Afro-electro scene in London for many years. At the request of OORtreders Festival, he created a new sound artwork which draws from his South African roots and the name of the festival. ‘Oortreder' in Afrikaans means 'transgressor' or 'trespasser'. Although in the Dutch language this word is more so linked to 'ear' and 'hear', in African culture the word evokes very different connotations. What is the meaning of this term in relation to South African culture and the contemporary history of apartheid? When is someone a transgressor? Who has the power to give a name? 

“Recently, my family rediscovered a grave where my great-grandmother was buried. For years, they had had no access to the location where the grave was. When apartheid laws where implemented, Black people were forcibly removed from their homes, the land was given to White people, the most known situations being District Six and Sophiatown. So was the land where my greatgrandmother was buried, the grave became part of the land owned by a White farmer and my family, through generations, had no access.” - Mo Laudi

The composition criticises the issue of access to, or exclusion from, land imposed by apartheid, which remains unresolved to this day. But at the same time the piece creates a space for open conversation. Based on archives and an original score, the sonic architecture of reverbs weave a tapestry or quilt of distant syncopated ancestral drums juxtaposed with voices and organic sounds from South African urban and savannah landscapes.

Listen to the composition, Movement, here.