(Edited by) Gilles Aubry, Kathrin Wildner – The Amplification Of Souls


adocs publishing, ISBN: 9783943253092, English, 80 pages, 2014, Germany

As a result of the Global Prayers project on the manifestation of religion in urban spaces, sound artist Gilles Aubry has conducted extensive research into Christian charismatic churches in Kinshasa, (D.R. of Congo). This research is documented in this book through prayers, photographs, analysis, an interview and two tracks on an accompanying CD. The pervasive power of sounds (it has been noted that we can close or cover our eyes, but we cannot switch off our ears) is here represented in a specific context and in three specific directions: the pictures, capturing the raw, loud audio equipment, where the force of amplification and distortion can almost be “seen;” the sound aesthetics, where the documentary elements, responsive and emotional, are strategically enriched; and finally the texts, which allow the listener to properly immerse themselves in the work and understand the importance of noise, recordings and feedback in this intense setting. The use of sounds in ancestral rituals is only slightly connected in this ardent scheme of communication, effectively engaging the believers. As the musicologist Johannes S. Ismaiel-Wendt notes in his essay: “Aubry is developing a material-based artistic form of analysis.” This is very different from an ethnographic one, leaving the artist with the freedom to compose, to enhance or to diminish, and to combine parts and details. Aubry’s view is invisibly embossed onto the recordings, creating a unique layered aural narrative.