Listening Session: A conversation between carved records by Masimba Hwati and Paul Stan Nataraj

From: 7th February 2024 6:30 pm

To: 7th February 2024 8:00 pm

Nottingham Contemporary

Nottingham Contemporary, Weekday Cross, Nottingham, UK




A listening session based on a sonic conversation between Masimba Hwati and Paul Stan Nataraj. The experimental sonic conversation will be based on the albums: A Thank you Mr DJ by Yvonne South Chaka Chaka and Fear of a Black Planet by Pubic Enemy.

A Thank you Mr DJ

Is a 1987 Record by African Singer Yvonne South Chaka Chaka. The record opens a nostalgic door that leads not only into Masimba Hwati’s childhood home but also to Soweto by way of a radio news broadcast.  “I have faint memories of floating pieces of news about how violence in the last days of apartheid in South Africa was escalated by the sabotage activities of Umkhonto weSizwe in several cities and other news of a landmine exploding under a vehicle in the township of Jabulani Soweto. In these cases, I approach sound via a methodology of nostalgic immersion and specific cultural reflection”. The record has been mediated and carved by Paul Nataraj as he engraved and part of Masimba Hwati’s research into Toyi toyi a Southern African Protest Dance and military drill.

Fear of a Black Planet

Is 1989 Public Enemy album that Paul Nataraj carved with the names of hundreds of Black people and people of colour who had been killed in police custody, detention centres, at border crossings, across Europe, in the UK and USA these names are engraved onto the surface of this record. “This record was given to me by an old friend who converted to Islam many years ago. He made the decision that he no longer needed his records and so gave them to me for safe keeping. When passing on the records in 2001 he expressed the desire to move away to the middle east, to fully embrace his faith. After he left that day, I didn’t see him for many years. Then suddenly in 2017 I bumped into him again in Blackburn town centre. After a converstion shared over a couple of cigarettes, it became clear that he had been struggling with his mental health, and was no longer pursuing his faith.”


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