8 minutes 16 mm film transferred to HD-video. Commission for Berlin North, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 2004. Curated by Gabrielle Knapstein.
In The Session, two different styles of oral discourse are brought together and merge in a collaboration. It is a work, which springs out of my encounter with the street musicians Pardal da Saudade and Verde Lins, two “folklore rappers,” committed to the time-honoured tradition of Repente. These masters of improvisation do express themselves in a quick-witted style of spoken word, which has represented the critical voice of the people since Brazil’s colonial times. Their tools are parody, humour and a swing that can overcome tough realities. Increasingly feeling that this sharp verbal tradition had striking parallels with hip-hop, I decided to explore the potentialities of a musical encounter. Because although they might at first glance appear antithetical, rap music and Repenteboth spring from a shared delight in improvisation and the spoken word.In realizing the project,I approached the hip-hop group Z’Africa Brazil, which seeks to assimilate the diversity of rhythm and word to summon the treasures of historic traditions. The process of building up the premises for the final production is a part of the finished product; the method is an intrinsic component of the finished work. In The Session,Pardal & Verde join Z’Africa Brazil,in a gig; a salutation to improvisation.