University of Pittsburgh

Lecture: Hisham Mayet of Sublime Frequencies

February 20, 2018 - 2:00pm

As a guest in the Department of Music’s Music in Africa course, Hisham Mayet, co-founder of the music label Sublime Frequencies, will discussing his new book on the photographs of musicologist Charles Duvelle as well as screen parts of his new film on Group Doueh.

Charles Duvelle’s work is indisputably one of the most important contributions to the human understanding of the rich biodiversity of our planet’s music and language. In 1977, his field recordings from Benin were selected by Carl Sagan for inclusion on the Voyager Golden Records, which were carried into outer space by the Voyager spacecraft to stand as an example of humanity’s highest musical expressions for the universe’s unknown listeners. Sublime Frequencies’ most ambitious project to date, this 296-page fine-art photography book comprises an exhaustive collection of Charles Duvelle’s field photography from 1959 to 1978, demonstrating that this master musicologist had an equally unerring eye for photography. It also contains an exhaustive interview with Charles Duvelle by Hisham Mayet, detailing the history of the label and offering Duvelle’s unique insights into the discipline of field recording.

For the the film, Group Doueh: Oulaya's Wedding, Mayet and his team were Doueh's personal guests and given unprecedented access to film and record the pageantry and stunning music of his daughter's traditional Sahraoui wedding.

The film will be screened in its entirety Wednesday the 21st for an event that will also include a book discussion and a DJ set with Mayet. Find out more about the screening here.

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