There’s an intriguing new album out via an organization called Wired for Sound, put together by Simon Attwell, founding member of the South African supergroup Freshlyground. The organization is known by its acronym OSISA (Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa). They have put together a modern roaming field-recording studio, taken it into remote regions of Southern Africa, in this case Mozambique. The mobile studio is compact at 4×4 feet, runs on solar power panels, and solar powered batteries. So, whilst recording in the remote areas, they didn’t have to rely on power outlets or fear running out of batteries. This mobile, solar powered set up allows Wired For Sound to easily record musicians who otherwise would never be heard outside their villages. This album also offers a glimpse into contemporary musical trends inside these remote areas, with 17 different artists/groups featured. They spent 5 weeks in Mozambique, spending a week in each location. The project states that proceeds of the album’s sales will go towards establishing solar powered recording set ups at each community radio station that Wired For Sound visited on their trip. Just another good reason to purchase this album!
Unlike classic field recordings done on portable reel-to-reel tape machines (think Alan Lomax, Colin Turnbull, Nico Jeronimidis), Wired for Sound provides studio-quality recordings, and allows artists to retain copies of their recordings so that they can promote their profiles via community radio and Soundcloud. Musicians don’t get many chances to record and distribute their music, so this has been an incredible opportunity.
Wired for Sound – Mozambique (or Moçambique which is the Portuguese spelling) is a wonderful and ambitious project which brings to world music fans performances that otherwise would never be heard outside these remote areas. The project contributors are: Simon Attwell (Music Producer), Kim Winters (Radio Producer), Julio Sigauque (Lead Collaborator). Sigauque is also the guitarist of Freshlyground.
Here is a behind-the-scenes video of the Wired For Sound – Mozambique project.