In 2018, Rian Treanor left his home in Rotherham, UK, and headed to Kampala for a residency at Nyege Nyege's villa studio. The mind-expanding experience inspired his critically acclaimed 2020 full-length "File Under UK Metaplasm", but that wasn't the end of the story. Treanor also spent time working alongside Acholi fiddle player Ocen James, developing an improvisation-heavy collaboration that would push both musicians' idiosyncrasies into completely new places.
Treanor wanted this collaboration to be as tactile and reactive as a live performance with traditional instruments, so he set about working on a digital process that would synchronize with James' approach. Using physical modelling techniques, Treanor created an instrument that explored the tunings and sounds of the a'dungu, an arched harp, and the nah or nag. With Ocen playing his rigi rigi, a single string violin, they intuitively experimented with the spectral properties of sound, using texture and acoustic contours as their structural framework. They were able to develop a sound together that was unconventionally rooted in traditional Ugandan culture, but shuttled into different dimensions of noise, computer music and radical UK rave.
This performance is in the lead up to their new LP which is coming out on Nyege Nyege soon.