«Arba, Dâk Arba» is a soundtrack created by French experimental, multi-instrumentalist Frédéric D. Oberland, co-founder and leader of the art-rock band Oiseaux-Tempête and founder of the Nahal label, and Slovenian vocal artist-choreographer Irena Z. Tomažin’, known from the alternative band Borghesia, for an eponymous installation piece by the French visual and sound artist Fanny Béguély. This installation was presented at the group exhibition «Panorama 21 – ‘Les Revenants’» at Tourcoing’s Le Fresnoy Studio National des Arts Contemporains in December 2019.
Béguély painted eight photographs focused on humankind’s propensity for self-examination and its attempts to probe the mysteries of the past, present, and future. The chemical manipulation of the medium of photography was aimed to transcend the limits of human sensory perception and of irrationality and confront beliefs that shape our relationship to the world and our relationship to images.
Oberland’s focus here on the heavily processed electric hurdy-gurdy, the «boîte à bourdons» that produces continuous and abstract drone sounds quite similar to the Indian Shruti box. The hurdy-gurdy sounds are the basic foundation upon which Tomažin improvises with her signature glossolalic, tortured vocals, still, injecting ritualistic energy. The five dark, psychedelic soundscapes succeed to mediate a timeless dimension, somewhere between the mystic and the modern, the natural and the all-too-unreal, and even go further and examine our persistent desire to decipher the signs we find in nature.
The unsettling «Arba, Dâk Arba» is an immersive, almost hallucinatory experience, disturbing with its all-embracing physicality but liberating with its new psychic perceptions. Oberland and Tomažin lead the listener through this very effective sonic trip, with evocative, imaginative power, like kindred, yet freely wandering spirits.
Irena Z. Tomažin (v), Frédéric D. Oberland (electric hurdy-gurdy, processing)