4 + 3 = 1
THERE ARE STORIES TO BE FORGED FOR COMMON DENOMINATORS TO COME FORTH AND SOCIAL BALANCE TO BE RESTORED
Radiobooks Sundays 16:00
With bela, Léuli Eshrāghi, Mixtape Menage and Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock, Tanka Fonta, Nkisi, Mayra A. Rodriguez Castro, D'Andrade, Raisa Galofre, Angelo Plessas, Leila Bencharnia, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Devika Chotoe, Lynnée Denise, and Doña Isabel Martínez
SAVVYZΛΛR Online streaming and on Berlin 88.4 FM & Potsdam 90.7 FM
31.10.2021 Book 1: Subtle Energy in Poetry with a Beat With Eliyas and Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock
28.11.2021 Book 2: Subtle Energy in Poetry with a Beat With Tanka Fonta
19.12.2021 Book 3: Cosmos | Time-Space / Ceremony With Nkisi
30.01.2022 Book 4: Cosmos With Léuli Eshrāghi
27.02.2022 Book 5: Cosmos | Time-Space / Ceremony With bela
27.03.2022 Book 6: Subtle Energy in Poetry with a Beat With Mayra Rodriguez Castro
24.04.2022 Book 7: In Between | Spirits With D'Andrade
29.05.2022 Book 8: Cosmos | Time-Space / Community With Raisa Galofre
29.06.2022 Book 9: Subtle Energy/ Cosmos / Community:The Invisible Kindred for Survival With Angelo Plessas
31.07.2022 Book 10: لحظة من اليابسة With Leila Bencharnia
28.08.2022 Book 11: Cosmos | Time-Space / Community With Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
13.11.2022 Book 12: Teri Khatir With Devika Chotoe
19.03.2023 Book 13: Roots of Techno – Alice Coltrane, Betty Carter, and Dorothy Ashby With DJ Lynnée Denise
02.04.2023 Book 14: El Bullerengue en Libertad // The Bullerengue in Liberty Town With Doña Isabel Martínez
These Radiobooks are one of the chapters through which our project 4 + 3 = 1 unfolds. In these chapters, we follow the question: How do we recompose a common in a society marked by separations?
In the form of a research process, a series of storytelling sessions, radio books, workshops, zines, and an exhibition accompanied by a discursive and performance programme, the project FourPlusThreeEqualsOne seeks to enact the common denominators that tell (hi)stories about the city of Berlin and its becoming. It engages with the possibilities of repairing and restoring societal balance(s).
This project unfolds in multiple chapters, each tailored specifically to work with Berlin based PoC communities. We also invite international voices, and experts in their field of work to travel across borders and binary thinking. We weave various formats that at times gather participants in intimate settings, and other times we meet in the performative through story with audiences to recalibrate balance systems.
With the RADIOBOOKS, we create, produce and delve into multi-format 1-hour-long radio features which will air monthly on SAVVYZΛΛR. The radio invites people from all walks of life, including artists, philosophers, writers but also informal communities living in Berlin to think of radio as both a tool of research, but also a book of its own. Each session will transmit from Berlin and carry on the knowledge shared onto the next listener, and the next one, creating a ripple effect of transmissions and conversations. The radio program accompanies the project throughout its whole duration, and each month will visit one segment, question, chapter of our framework.
Book 1: Subtle Energy in Poetry with a Beat
With Eliyas and Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock
In the beginning, there was the Mixtape:
Mixtape Menage, a poetic-philosophic reading travel to verbalisations and sound reverberations, sets us into the musicality of electricity and its relational magnitude. Created, arranged and tuned by Eiliyas, and accompanied by a guest, the sessions sonorise-visualise notes loudly unheard-of.
In this first 4+3 RadioBook dedicated to Subtle Energy, Eiliyas is joined by curator Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock, to manifest and enhance inscriptions by authors like Kodwo Eshun, Elise Kermani, RAMMELLZEE, and Saul Williams. They remind us of formulas of the living, encoded in subtle energies of hip hop and beyond. Or, to say it with Nikki Giovanni: it's poetry with a beat.
Book 2: Subtle Energy in Poetry with a Beat
With Tanka Fonta
Tanka Fonta takes over the thread from the first RadioBook with Eiliyas to weave further with the SUBTLE ENERGY IN POETRY WITH A BEAT.
Book 3: Cosmos | Time-Space / Ceremony
The direction we give into our lives depends on who we think we are.
Engaged on the way back to light,
we must know that while living on earth, we are children of the stars.
This knowledge or awareness is fundamental because
it is only from this moment that our incarnation unfolds...
The interstellar emptiness can be terrifying and
cosmic immensity is everything but reassuring.
As much as we are, as many others are,
It is the contact with each other that gives meaning to our lives, that reassures us.
How do you wake up remembering your night dreams?
The field of dreams is the first portal from which we access
the world beyond our material dimension.
We must therefore give importance to this oneiric universe.
We are everywhere at the same time,
a star-gate is a portal, as time is a frequency.
The stars are singing inside of you...
What gives life?
The invisible within is our inner sun.
Our inner fire.
The invisible shield...
Book 4: Cosmos
With Léuli Eshrāghi
In this RadioBook, we continue the thread of the Cosmos with Léuli Eshrāghi, Sāmoan/Persian/Cantonese interdisciplinary artist, writer, curator, and researcher working between Australia and Canada, to discuss Indigenous pleasures. With them, we move with the Samoan sciences teaching of multi-temporalities in simultaneity while expanding on notions of desire and its languages, planes of resistance, joys, longings, and heterogenous unities. Léuli speaks alongside project curators Kelly Krugman and Arlette-Louise Ndakoze.
This session features an excerpt from “Quiet riot 1: 'Fa'afafine towards decolonization” – a panel discussion moderated by artist Shigeyuki Kihara in 2015 . Fa’afafine is a Sāmoan word used to describe those who are gifted in the spirit of more than one gender. The word is also used to broadly describe those in the Sāmoan community who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual and Intersexed persons in the Western context. Moderated by interdisciplinary artist Shigeyuki Kihara, this panel brought together Sāmoan Fa’afafine – human rights advocate Tuisina Ymania Brown, lawyer Phineas Hartson and curator Léuli Eshrāghi – to discuss the Sāmoan Fa’afafine experience in the postcolonial era both in the Sāmoan Islands and the diaspora. This RadioBook is traveling through harmonised sounds by Te Vaka, Horomona Horo, Komuhauru Panpipe Band, and Liz Maureen Fuimaono-
Book 5: CEremony
Wishes are how we frame the future.
Wishes become sketches and structures, and many wishes collide and merge as they rush towards the now, solidating into the present (or, being fulfilled) as the great hand of the clock sweeps.
Wishes are some of the most precious concepts that can only be in the future.
As soon as a wish crosses the threshold of the now, it was.
As such, wishes are the immaterial shards of many universes, cosmos.
The number of wishes that float into our minds then float out is far greater than the number of wishes that are written into locks, wind lanterns, diaries, prayers, and cards.
Wishes make the future.
Rich with voids and smokes and the shining shards of what is to come.
Manifesting is realizing the future by focusing on the future you want.
It is a way to exist throughout.
Our wishes show us the forking pathways and it is us who help decide what the future will look, sound, smell and feel like, despite the harrowing weight of societies.
Wishing is a way to live in a non-linear timeframe.
Even when the past is almost set, the future is still full of infinite wishes beyond imagined possibilities. Hence, the immaterial structure can resemble a shape of a tree for every one of us.
(It is the wishes that became stories that feed the wishes to come: Past -wishes- Future -fulfillment- Past -wishes- Future and so on... an ouroboros of problem-solving)
In this fifth RadioBook, we listen closely to reflections of wishing and rituals by bela: there is a sacrificial aspect in focus, contemplating that you must first give in order to receive.
We hear echoes of Jeonghwasu (fresh morning water used for ceremony or a prayer) or human sacrifice and rituals, as told in the tale of Sim Cheong or the tale of Baridegi (stories of reincarnated female figures). Physical aspects like cleansing yourself, being on your knees, and putting your hands together are in spirited presence. The emotional aspect of being afraid to wish for something or the fear of witnessing the failure of your wishes may be present; the modern loneliness felt when you realize your wishes aren't singularly yours to activate. The reality of the inability to generate a wish, enerved by disaffection and alienation. The courage you must carry in dark times as you wish for a brighter future.
In this piece, the Korean bamboo flute of bela’s biological father stands as an offering. bela’s voice, 3/3 Korean rhythms, and iPhone recordings of exchanged wishes and sound coalesce with synthesized drums and noise. Electroacoustic music, spoken word, dub jangdan, and club music are interwoven. Join us in a steep and whirling travel into bela’s time-space ceremony.
Book 6: Subtle Energy in Poetry with a Beat
With Mayra A. Rodriguez Castro
Poet Mayra A. Rodriguez Castro is focusing on the Marimba de Chonta, a sacred instrument tuned by water. In the Pacific littoral of Colombia, the marimba is constructed entirely by hand from peach palmwood. The tree grows by the shore, where moon cycles pull on the tide, and seawater dampens the palm to produce a distinct musical timber, measured by ear for each instrument. The marimba bars are cut, polished, and dried to reach their internal tone. The artisan listens until the instrument sings its voice.
An improvisation in five parts interpreted by Washington Torres Quiñonez (Bordón) and Wilmer Vente Gómez (Requinta) in Buenaventura, Colombia. The Marimba de Chonta sings the rhythms of Juga, Bambuco Viejo, Agua Larga, Bunde, and Torbellino, notated by Mayra A. Rodríguez Castro in parallel scores for unborn poems.
Book 7: In Between | Spirits
Name Changer, a Soundscape
Name Changer, a journey through sounds and noises, uses field recordings and the methodology of tarot reading as a guide for listeners to pass through colors, shapes, and landscapes of sound. The question that permeates is: how can we create a point of transmutation where it is possible to die and be reborn with a new skin, a new name, a new body?
The process of creation within Name Changer moves predominantly within the spheres of sound poetry and the healing capacities of sound, modifying not only audible but also environmental frequencies. It is broadcasting as a mystical, telepathic, and tangible means of disseminating ideas for the end of war, towards escape, and the mollifying of broken hearts. It is the use of aural transmission as art’s potential to cool emotions struggling within the brunt of capitalism’s uneven weights, the wounds of racialization, and the colonial spectrums’ influence on the mind and body.
Through the soundscape, a visual mapping of emotional potentials is paired with an intuitive deepening of the mutability of character: where we can change our names, or expressions, to change the world we live and build, in relation.
Book 8: Cosmos | Time-Space / Community
With Raisa Galofre
By echoing mutual resonances through the presences and voices of the cantaoras (ancestral female singers) we are taken on a journey with the Afrocolombian baile cantao (sung dance) bullerengue. Traveling for centuries from generation to generation – since its birth in the first town of free enslaved people in America, San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia – this force and knowledge emanates and manifests through los tambores (the drums), los cantos (the chants) and the collective support by las palmas (the collective clapping). Rooted in African traditions and using repetition on a call-and-response basis, bullerengue defies the linear conception of time bringing and projecting at the same time past/present/future as dimensions where encounter, healing, storytelling, empowerment, and shared community are possible.
In this sound piece, this multidimensional and relational space of circular temporalities is lived and embodied in la rueda de bullerengue (bullerengue circle). The cantaoras stay at the core of this communal becoming, as storytellers and guides for present and future generations. While initially women had been the source as the storytellers and singers in bullerengue, for many decades now, the role of the cantaora has become open to all genders to sing and to recount.
With Graciela Salgado and Las Alegres Ambulancias, Rosalina Cañate Pardo, Emelia Reyes Salgado „La Burgo“, Joselina Llerena Martínez, Diana Miranda Herrera, Rosa Caraballo, Luis Carlos Cassiani Simarra, and Raisa Galofre.
This RadioBook was recorded in San Basilio de Palenque (Bolívar), María La Baja (Bolívar) and Barranquilla (Atlántico), Colombia 2021–2022. The recordings of Sambangolé and Chi man nkongo by Las Alegres Ambulancias were taken from the documentary film La Hija de La Luz (2010) by Roberto Flores Prieto (Kymera Producciones and Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla), where Raisa Galofre worked as direction assistant and script.
With immense gratitude for the support in the production of this RadioBook to Tyler Miranda, Xenia Cortés and Marvin Systermans.
Book 9: Subtle Energy/ Cosmos / Community:The Invisible Kindred for Survival
With Angelo Plessas
We flow and unravel together into the 9th RadioBook for 4+3=1 – moving towards the manifestation of the physical exhibition rising at SAVVY Contemporary next month.
Angelo Plessas leads us through a meditation and reflection. The meditation will vocalize prioritizations of care towards queerness, transmutational identity, and empowerment across interconnecting scales of nature, trauma, karma, and panspiritism. The meditation will be a manual for all who wish to practice resistance through kindness, resilience, and generosity towards re-establishing planetary commitment on all levels, in sensitive alliance.
Angelo Plessas lives and works in Athens. His work highlights the ambiguous approach of spirituality with technology delving into a broad set of cosmologies, activating modes of communal interconnectivity, social relations, and identity. Plessas’ activities range from performances to artist residencies; from self-publishing to interactive websites; from quilted sculptures to live-stream events and educational projects. Over the last years, he has organized the annual, weeklong gatherings of the Eternal Internet Brotherhood/Sisterhood and Experimental Education Protocol in different remote places in the world.
His work has been exhibited internationally such as recent shows 8th Biennale of Gherdëina, the 13th Gwangju Biennale, S. Korea, documenta 14, both in Kassel and Athens; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Jeu de Paume, Paris; the DESTE Foundation, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens. Plessas is the founder of P.E.T. Projects in Athens, a Fulbright alumnus, and he has been awarded the DESTE Prize in 2015.
Book 10: لحظة من اليابسة
With Leila Bencharnia
لحظة من اليابسة (an instant of dry land) is a multilayered sound flux where elements crackle, break, blow, and burn in constant active metamorphosis. Gushing out from the deep within, music appears as glimpses of solid grounds before sinking back into gulfs. With this sonic conversation, Leila Bencharnia takes us across times, elements, and spaces.
Born in El Kelaa, Leila Bencharnia is a sound artist, acousmatique interpreter, and musician based in Milan. Daughter of a traditional Moroccan musician, her passion for music began in the western desert of Morocco where she grew up. Her sonic landscape is made out of analogic material – such as tapes, vinyls, and synthesizers. She uses the listening practice as a modality of transmissions of knowledge. Seeking to decolonize listening practices is a way for her to impact directly on social and political issues.
Featuring: natural recordings; microphonation on slime that records the expansion and depth of mangrove roots; microphonation on frozen river monitoring oxygen bubbles breaking through ice depths; synthesizer; continum mini
Eliana Radigue: OPUS17
Rain Forest: Spiritual Enslavement
Henning Christiansen: Stone song
Walter Marchetti: Antibarbarus
Carl Gari & Abdullah Miniawy: The act of falling from the 8th floor
Abde Azrié: Eau et vent
Wadi Al Safi
BOOK 11: Cosmos | Time-Space / Community
With Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Interview research by Arlette-Louise Ndakoze and Kelly Krugman
RadioBook edit by Elizabeth Glauser
Through the RadioBook's virtual pages, we digitally connect with theoretical cosmologist Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein who is Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy and a Core Faculty Member in Women's and Gender Studies at the University of New Hampshire. Her theory research focuses on the crossings of particle physics, cosmology, and astrophysics. Informed by Black feminism, she moves from analysis on dark matter to lineages of ancestral storytelling, the vitality of queerness, and the urgencies of intersectional liberation across marginalized spheres of science and beyond. With her, we move along the material and immaterial visibilities and contemplations of our cosmos from within and without, to complexify the relations and processes of modern science and observational astronomy’s technical presuppositions.
As Dr. Prescod-Weinstein's work addresses the needs for ethical inquiries to be underpinned by nuanced interpersonal questions, our RadioBook retains the essential links between the cosmic, the social, and the systemically emancipatory.
Book 12: Teri Khatir
With Devika Chotoe
Edited & Mixed by Paula Montecinos
How do we connect to histories that have been silenced or intentionally erased? How do we trace embodied archives and invoke the voices of those who were not registered into hegemonic texts, to re-trace and re-attune our affective registers of the now? Can we coordinate ourselves to infra-low frequencies: sounds that must go beyond hearing alone to also being felt?
This RadioBook is a live recording of Teri Khatir: a moment of simultaneous mourning and celebration where infinite loopings of the voice are evocative practices to activate, record, amalgamate, and shapeshift different bodies and their knowledges. Teri Khatir is a sonic and physical journey through multiple languages, rhythms and communal selves. With the conviction that rhythm, just like self and shared actualities, are reinforced through repetition: repetitions that can certainly be subverted to re-equalize common denominators.
Devika Chotoe is an artist whose work emerges from a concern for justice and a desire to heal and transform embodied systemic oppressions. The aim being self and collective empowerment. They view their artistic processes as a resistance praxis: a space for resilience where care, support, (co)dependency, vulnerability, and healing are centered and form the main conditions for constructing processes and realities of transformation. Creating work within a queer intersectional framework, she uses performance art and language as entry points into understanding how hegemonic technologies of power shape bodies, times, spaces, and their interrelationality. Striving to translate desires of predecessors, ancient rhythms and queer futurities move within prefigurative politics and a poetics of change.
Book 13: Roots of Techno – Alice Coltrane, Betty Carter, and Dorothy Ashby
With DJ Lynnée Denise
In this episode, Lynnée maps trails into the regional roots of techno, arguing how it includes three Black female jazz musicians from Detroit: Alice Coltrane, Dorothy Ashby, and Betty Carter.
The collective discographies of these women are not removed from electronic funk music that emerged from Detroit in the 1980s. In fact, their contributions to the sonic structures of techno and the overall soundscapes of Detroit are inseparable. Even so, Lynnée Denise notes that is difficult to find a woman who holds equal weight to the men credited with inventing techno or jazz, for that matter. More perplexing is that regardless of their groundbreaking sonic signatures, Alice, Betty, and Dorothy are hardly ever referenced in conversations about techno, even when their contemporaries, Yusef Lateef and Ron Carter, are constantly cited. To know techno is to know that as musicians, this trilogy of jazz and soul innovators are crucial in their sonic inscriptions – as they helped to usher in several genres on their merit and innovative contributions, and should be included in any form of techno music analysis.
The palatable re-packaging and uprooting of techno from its Detroit roots, coupled with the replanting of techno under the generic umbrella term EDM, has made it difficult to conceive of how Detroit Black female musicians and DJs were influential forces in techno in all its historical future-oriented possibilities. No form of music is possible, nor does it have a future, without non-men and queer people. More specifically, the unique contributions that Coltrane, Ashby, and Carter made to spiritual and cosmic jazz, bebop, and free jazz, not only changed the course of jazz but set one of the paths for techno to be imagined.
DJ Lynnée Denise is an artist, scholar, writer, and DJ whose work reflects on underground cultural movements, the 1980s, migration studies, theories of escape, and electronic music of the African Diaspora. Denise coined the phrase "DJ Scholarship" to re-position the role of the DJ from a party purveyor to an archivist, cultural custodian, and information specialist.
1. “At Les” Carl Craig
2. “Transfiguration” Alice Coltrane
3. “What is this Tune?” Betty Carter
4. “The Moving Finger” Dorothy Ashby
5. “My Favorite Things” Alice Coltrane
6. “My Favorite Things” Betty Carter
7. “Invitation” Dorothy Ashby
8. “Om Supreme” Alice Coltrane
9. “Open the Door” Betty Carter
10. “Myself When Young” Dorothy Ashby
11. “Galaxy In Satchidananda” Alice Coltrane
Book 14: El Bullerengue en Libertad // The Bullerengue in Liberty Town
With Doña Isabel Martínez
Doña Isabel Martínez relata la importancia del Bullerengue y el baile cantado en las culturas afrodescendientes del Atlántico Colombiano. Doña Isabel es una mujer afro, campesina, creadora del semillero Afro por la paz en la subregión de los montes de María, que se dedica a salvaguardar y desarrollar los conocimientos tradicionales de su cultura. Doña Isabel comparte sus experiencias durante la época de la violencia en esta región de Colombia y el roll que su cultura jugó en ese complejo momento para la comunidad.
Doña Isabel Martínez recounts the importance of the Bullerengue and the Baile Cantado in the Afro-descendant cultures of the Colombian Atlantic Coast. Doña Isabel is an Afro-descendant woman, peasant, and creator of an Afro-seedbed for peace in the sub-region of Montes de María, which is dedicated to safeguarding and developing the traditional knowledge of her culture. Doña Isabel shares her experiences during the time of violence in this region of Colombia and the role that her culture played in that complex moment for the community.
Cast: Isabel Martínez de Guzmán and Glesion Vanegas
Original Music: Isabel Martínez de Guzmán and Glesion Vanegas
Percussion: Augusto Pinzón Parraga, Camilo Conde Aldana
Choirs: Luisa Igüa
Direct Sound: Ayaris Isabel Guzmán Muñoz, Natalia Muñoz Berrío
Script and Production: Camilo Conde Aldana
Initial ARTISTIC DIRECTION Arlette-Louise Ndakoze
CURATION Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock, Kelly Krugman
Editing Elizabeth Glauser
MANAGEMENT AND PRODUCTION Onur Çimen
GENERAL MANAGEMENT Lema Sikod, Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock
COMMUNICATIONS Anna Jäger
GRAPHIC DESIGN Bilge Emir
FUNDING The project is funded by the Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa des Landes Berlin.