Dogon Alive with Humans

WE CAME
WE HEARD
WE SOUND

The aim for the year was : “Dogon Alive with Humans”
Here in Estonia, we have begun to experience this. 

In Berlin, we met with other musicians, old friends and made some sounds, some of them Dogon. In Riga, we played live and made a few friends. But at Kukemuru we encountered something unusual:

a community of listeners and sound makers spending time together. 

Here we participated in the way they recommended - first as listeners and then making our own sounds.  And through this process we found something.  

 

Kukemuru artists at Samliku - from left, LauNau, Lost Harbours, Dogon, Antother Fine Day.

Kukemuru artists at Samliku - from left, LauNau, Lost Harbours, Dogon, Antother Fine Day.

Here at Samliku, the riverside reclaimed schoolhouse where the artists were accomodated, we shared rich conversation concerning ambient nature, music and the life's work of combining the two. For a day or two we formed a network of ambient providers (NAP). Pictured here are the inspiring collaborators: LauNau, Richard Thompson (Lost Harbours), Dogon, Tom Green (Another Fine Day).  

Not pictured performers/collaborators: Ameera, Thomas Noya, Robert Jürjendal, David Rothenberg, Paolo Monti (The Star Pillow), Stereo Hypnosis, Wojaz, Ekke, Woldemare and Tiiu Kiik (so many others . . . )  

We have two persons to thank for this creation of community and listening - the founders of Kukemuru Ambient Festival, Kaido Kirkmae and Sander Meentalo - their dream and vision is a certain gentle reality. Long live Kukemuru!

Kukemuru Ambient Festival founders, Kaido Kirkmae and Sander Meentalo.

Kukemuru Ambient Festival founders, Kaido Kirkmae and Sander Meentalo.

Standing by the wall . . .

Dogon at the Berlin Wall

Dogon at the Berlin Wall

Live from Berlin, its Wednesday morning . . .   not jet lag, just strange sleep hours. Nodding off every few hours on trains, 26 hours travel to get here, and pedalling 15k around Berlin -- we are lucky. The world is collapsing and we are in it. We met a young Syrian refugee on the train from Frankfurt and I realized I should get out more. He was the kindest person I have encountered in days and he shared his wifi with us so I could try and navigate to our destination. Here on the wall is a long mural, WaronWall dedicated to telling the story of the Syrian war, using the attention the Wall receives to focus on other victims of separation.

Berliners seem extremely chilled out and sit between the Wall and the River Spree gently sipping cool beverages in groups of two and three. Some Irish musicians perform a Silent Disco, there must be strong rules about street music, it is otherwise very quiet on the streets, day and night - no public music going on.  The American election cycle seems far far away as does the collapse of Venezuela. But we are not simply tourists here, we are trying to exchange music and so, though no gig was settled, we have set up a Free Open Rehearsal and invited all our musician friends who are available to participate. So far there will be Shawn Casselle, American ex-pat songwriter, singer, guitarist and two Venezuelan musicians of some renown. Will you join us as well? 

Leaving Las Vegas

Paul Godwin in silhouette, projected image by Ameera.

Paul Godwin in silhouette, projected image by Ameera.

Just a few more days in the USA. People keep giving me gentle warnings about "staying safe out there" and Europe is under attack. But what about Baton Rouge? Cleveland? Orlando? San Bernadino? Caracas? Anyway, we are staying close to music and honoring the mantra for the year: "Dogon Alive With Humans."
 

Miguel Noya of Dogon

Miguel Noya of Dogon

This includes us playing live in front of audiences and collaborating with other musicians around the world. We've had some nice times here on the left coast jamming with Mark Verlander, Charith Premawardhana, Ari Gorman, Jef Stott, Ishtar Hernandez, Eric Mantras, Karen Marcelo, Ameera and you.  

Dogon Alive at Underwater Benefit. photos by Mark Verlander

Dogon Alive at Underwater Benefit. photos by Mark Verlander

We had a sweet moment in the foothills when Jeremy Wagner hosted a fundraiser for us and we actually raised some funds for the tour and documentary.  Many thanks to all of you who've contributed and shared a moment with Dogon this summer. We'll keep you posted as we make more music in Berlin, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Italy and Sweden. See you out there, humans.  

Photo by Saucy Hill, projected image by Ameera

Photo by Saucy Hill, projected image by Ameera

After the Pride

The second date of the Summer 2016 Tour was at SF PRIDE VIP Party at City Hall in San Francisco.  Miguel and Paul created a set of David Bowie material which afforded room for improvisation with sounds, samples from the original Bowie and interviews with the man himself. In a cut-up, po-mo treatment, songs like "Space Oddity" and "Fashion" were given new life. We are continuing to keep some of those in the set, they were so much fun.  Miguel did an amazing electronic arrangement of "Warszawa" from the Low album.  

Photos by Mark Verlander

Photos by Mark Verlander

Dogon was joined by three members of Classical Revolution, Charith Premawhardana on Viola, Ishtar Hernandez on Violin and Ari Gorman on Upright Bowed Bass. They ventured from playing the exact parts Miguel had arranged on "Warszawa" to adding their own improvisations on pieces like "Heroes" and "Ashes to Ashes."  Though there were vocals on some pieces, the overall treatment was extremely ambient and seemed very well appreciated as it echoed around the upper reaches of the City Hall dome.  

It was a beautiful day for self-expression and individual spirit in San Francisco and though there was the constant presence of the recently murdered members of the Orlando Pulse community (their pictures looked down us from around the dome), the general mood was peaceful and joyous.  We were very grateful to have been a part of this community gathering and share our music along with the other amazing acts represented. 

Re:Set Midsummer redux

The first Dogon show of the Summer 2016 All My Relations Tour was a beautiful start to this collaboration.  We appeared at a sweet downtempo all-night party in Emeryville, CA - Re:Set Midsummer.  The evening began with meditative, transcendent content-driven DJ sets (with some live playing too) by Heartbeatz and Illuminertia. Followed by the exotic bellydance stylings of Aurora Rosa. 

Paul Godwin, Miguel Noya

Paul Godwin, Miguel Noya

Dogon took the stage just after 11 pm and began with their grounding, intentional "Increado," (the uncreated) - the piece was created three decades ago and appeared on their eponymous cassette release in Venezuela (1989). Followed by the evanescent opener of 2016 All My Relations (at peace), "All and Everything" - the set continued with their deep-space radio hit, "Chet's Dream" from 1996 Notdunjusta.  The band was joined by guest bass player, Ari Gorman who created the dubby groove for "Cloudy With a Chance of Meeting," from the recently released Smellucinations Vol. 1 and continued with the band on the rest of the set.  

Paul Godwin, Miguel Noya, Ari Gorman

Paul Godwin, Miguel Noya, Ari Gorman

A highlight of the evening was the first live performance of "Thousands of Uncountable Flowers," when Dogon was joined on percussion by Heartbeatz and Jef Stott. The song is inspired by the Zen Tarot of Master Osho - the theme is the multitude of personalities which compete for control of the self. A strong connection was made with the audience, an elevated bunch indeed who seemed to physically connect with the driving ethno-ambient rhythms and the lyrical themes equally.  An audience member reported afterward - "you moved me deeply, you are in your truth, doing exactly what you are set on earth to deliver, thank you!"

Miguel Noya, Stephen Hill, Paul Godwin, Ameera

Miguel Noya, Stephen Hill, Paul Godwin, Ameera

The set reached a climax with 1998's "The Round Buddha Factory" from The Sirius Expeditions and finished intensely with "I Lay Down" from All My Relations (at peace). Stephen Hill, the legendary space music pioneer, founder of record label and streaming music Music from the Hearts of Space was in attendance and likened the music to Peter Gabriel (an embraced influence on the band). Jef Stott, founder of Re:Set Gatherings and well known composer/DJ himself, reported "It was a wonderful performance. I wasn't expecting so much of a post-rock sort of thing but I really loved it!"

Jef Stott, Paul Godwin, Miguel Noya

Jef Stott, Paul Godwin, Miguel Noya

Visuals by the far-reaching Ameera created an immersive, "natural world gone psychedelic" counterpoint to the music of Dogon.  It was a great start to the summer's journeys. 

 

Dogon Tour Launches NOW!!

Hi Friends, Long time no speak cause we've been really busy making preparations for this huge wonderful 2016 DOGON Summer Tour!  Miguel leaves Venezuela for the U.S. on Monday but we officially began our flow last Sunday evening when Miguel performed his groundbreaking 30th Anniversary "Esferas Vivientes" in Caracas Live and Paul began collaborations with Classical Revolution who will join DOGON on their 2nd U.S. Date at SF City Hall on June 25th.  Here are some glimpses of those events.  

Paul sings Bowie's "Five Years" with Classical Revolution, May 29th.

Paul sings Bowie's "Five Years" with Classical Revolution, May 29th.

We can feel the energy flowing and can't wait to see you in person. We're bringing music from all five of our albums to the live venues this year, classic favorites and new classics produced in a very organic hands-on methodology with live visuals by the amazing AMEERA. 

A great opportunity for Bay Area fans will be to join us at Re:Set Midsummer - an all-night party celebrating Solstice on June 18th at Guava in Emeryville.  We will be headlining along with sets by Jef Stott, Heartbeatz and Illuminertia!  We go on by 11 so don't be late!  Info and tickets here!

Stay in touch with tour dates as they get added and linked. 

Dogon Remix by Jhno from "Redunjsta" - Free today on Soundcloud

Today's track is "Departures on a Sacred Hymn of the Sirians" from our 1998 release Redunjusta. The remix is by Jhno, a very special artist and friend of our band. He is a musical nomad, living where the music takes him for the last two decades: Berlin, Istanbul or North Carolina - he could be coming to your town next! We had the opportunity to work with him in the 90s and got to tour with him on the Ambient Brunch Tour.  Here is a link to his work as a programmer and musician at Delicate Ear, his record label and website. 

The original track, "Lleno," is one of our favorites. It came about during the first sessions for Notdunjusta and was a mainstay of our live show in those days. There was a good deal of talk around then about Sirius and the transmissions of Doris Lessing in her SHIKASTA of visionary fiction.  "Lleno" channeled an internal Dogon melody and it was broadened to include vocals during our live shows and the subsequent remix by Jhno. He remained very faithful to the harmonic and melodic elements of the piece, simply mutating and double-timing our rhythms to create a metallic underworld which occasionally gains control of the track.

Una breve historia de Dogon Renacimiento Parte I

" aun recuerdo con claridad volando nuestra nave y detrás el colapso de Atlantis, explosión,

hundimiento y las anomalias espacio temporales e interdimensionales posteriores"

 

Estamos en 2013 y para este año ya cuento con 11 sin visitar mi familia, amigos y en especial mi compañero de creación Paul en Estados Unidos. Aun así gracias a la virtualidad de la internet el contacto al menos en palabras e ideas se ha mantenido. Mi ultima visita con actividad compartida con Paul y su bella familia fue en el 2002, un año muy movido en estas latitudes, fue uno de los últimos intentos de la luz de mantenerse visible aquí (Venezuela).

Nuestro encuentro incluyó terminar un proyecto de Paul para un sitio de navegación desarrollado como un espacio de encuentro de avatares en un medio 3D (there.com) al cual le adornó los diferentes ambientes una música original en formato midi. Este encuentro además incluyo una incursión por Burning Man y un rencuentro con amigos con los que hemos compartidos niveles en la noosfera y en ciertos puntos (grids) de la red neuronal del planeta. Mark, Erik (e-Ville), Jennifer, Zack, Brenda, Rob entre varios, una cena memorable con Amy y Mark Paulin.

Es principios de Marzo (2013) y mi hermano Francisco propone que haga un viaje exploratorio para conocer gente en lo que fue mi escuela Berklee College y así abrir nuevas posibilidades, luego de que llegamos a la conclusión que es imposible desarrollar nada en una sociedad sin pacto social y colapsada por sumirse en el lado oscuro de la fuerza (mosca Luke). Este viaje se inicio de súbito y es tan abrumador el cambio que por momentos me paralizo en situaciones por demás normal. Mi primera visita a un mercado de alimentos orgánicos fue como entrar en una realidad separada que trasciendia mis posibilidades de análisis racional.

De este primer viaje surgen una colaboración con mi hermana Diane para una obra de Danza Heart of the Matter, encuentros significativos con músicos e investigadores de alto nivel como Richard Boulanger y por encima de todo el compartir con mi hermano estos descubrimientos, pero sobre todo el reinicio en el tenis bajo las tutorías de Francisco (esto es el peak).

Es aquí desde Providence que hablando con Paul se abre la puerta del renacimiento de Dogon. Paul de una me invita y produce el viaje para San Francisco, el re-encuentro es un destello luminoso, además muy particular pues Paul me busca en el SF Airport saliendo de una ronda de Golf…(continuará)