sound space & agency

2019 ongoing

Taking inspiration from the ancient transmission and correspondence technologies of the Great Zimbabwe and other civilizations scattered throughout the African continent, mujejeje is a sound/broadcast engine that is conceived and devised around ancient technologies. Lithophone - that is - sound technologies that were found within the vicinities of Great Zimbabwe, Ziwa, Matopos, Timbavati, to name a few, are understood as musical technologies, though they were, in fact, more than mere instruments as may be read from a music history perspective. These rock gongs, as they are sometimes referred to today, were not just meant to create sound, they were in addition broadcasting and amplifying systems that were used to pay homage to various astral phenomena meant for gathering the people, or summoning warrior regimentsin times of conflict, and to mark transitions of seasons such as the beginning of the agricultural calendar.


The vibrations or surfaces of some of the various rocks themselves were said to heal, or cause multiple sensations such as fear or dread, and by beating against these large boulders using smaller handheld rocks attendants of the king were able to broadcast important messages such as impending possibilities of war or even healing sensations to the people of the land. Large strips of stone were at times placed upright into the earth, though this was not always the case. In other instances, immovable boulders on mountains or close to the King’s court would be used. Hitting against the side of these large boulders using smaller stones created wild tintinnabulations (according to Credo Mutwa) to acknowledge the stars or herald a new season. These sound sensations were understood by the people to have particular meaning as messages from those above (kingship) or from beyond (space/spirit), this technology was not only confined to Zimbabwe though, it was a ritual commission fundamental inmaintaining the entire continent’s well-being.

mujejeje is an ongoing project that strives to form a consolidated sonic network using sophisticated broadcast techniques from various (connected) transmission points. Sonic contributions from friends and partners in the form of compilations are based on individual and collective meditation upon the intersection of memory, resilience and geography. It is a reading of cities through sound. A network resounding solidarity, broadcasting disruptive frequencies in entangled waves, echoing across time and African airspace.

© 2013 - 2018 Njelele Art Station