Like the Grass documents and reimagines a warm summer’s evening in Basel, Switzerland.
In June 2018, four musicians convened: Johannesburg composer and bow expert Cara Stacey, South African violinist and composer Galina Juritz, German harpist Antonia Ravens and Swiss guitarist and sonic explorer Beat Keller. Together they improvised using a graphic score titled “Luhlata njengetjani” (“Green like the grass” in the southern African Siswati language), inspired by the rivers of eSwatini, blackbirds in the parks of Basel and the evocative, red-flowered umcinci or erythrina tree. The South African umrhubhe mouthbow’s dense harmonics folded around skittering, fractal violin loops; temperate swells of guitar were punctuated by agitated harp pings and the hearty thuds of Ugandan and Mozambican lamellophones.
This joyous, unfettered outpouring criss-crossed between southern Africa and Europe, forwards and backwards, for the following two years. Joined by two of their favourite producers in Michael Marshall (Object Agency, Poirier Marshall Partners) and Tom Skinner (Hello Skinny, Okumu Herbert Skinner Trio), Stacey and Juritz turned their attentions to the B side, unpicking the live fruits and arranging four new mosaics – ranging from frenetic techno to fractured R’n’B introspection, via languid hip hop and Cara’s rambling, euphoric closer.