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An Agreement Of Sorts

by Robert Jarvis & Michel Banabila

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It was back in February 2012 that Michel contacted me to say he had sent me an mp3 "with a funny melody". "I am just wondering if you can play that. Exactly with the same tuning", he said. I had a listen and thought "You must be joking", as what I was presented with appeared to have no fixed notes nor conventional tuning, and sounded almost impossible to play. (I learnt later that the synthesized tune he had sent me was a melodic tracking - via software - of the musical pitches inherent in the voice of a man talking, recorded in Ghana by his friend Mark Dingemanse from the Radboud University). I put the strange sounding melody on repeat so that I could listen to it again and again, and by playing along continuously with it I eventually found the required notes on the trombone. After a week I could play the whole thing. And that was 2012. More recently, I found myself thinking, "Whatever happened to that tune". I had done a lot of work on it, and it seemed to have disappeared with no resulting composition appearing. So, I searched through my archives, found mine and Michel's original recordings, and played around with them until I had the beginnings of something coherent. At this point I contacted Michel, and he performed his usual magic, and eight years later we have our composition! Over the years Michel and I have occasionally swapped musical ideas, and our 'B-side' is the result of another such exchange, from a recording a year earlier.

(Robert Jarvis, Faversham, December, 2020)

Reviews / quotes:

Een musicus waar Banabila reeds lang mee samenwerkt is de trombonist Robert Jarvis. De basis voor ‘An Agreement Of Sorts’ ligt in 2012. Banabila stuurde Jarvis een melodie met het verzoek die op trombone te spelen, dat bleek beduidend lastiger dan gedacht, het kostte Jarvis een week om het voor elkaar te krijgen en toen viel het project stil. Onlangs pakte Jarvis het weer op, dat is dan weer het voordeel van zo’n stille tijd en wist Banabila te motiveren het nu maar eens af te maken. Het leuke van de twee stukken op dit album, ‘An Agreement Of Sorts’ en ‘A Disagreement Of Sorts’, is dat op het eerste nummer het Banabila is die de melodie neerzet, waar Jarvis op varieert, terwijl het in de tweede andersom is. Overigens kent de eerste meer structuur dan de tweede, maar dat zit eigenlijk ook al een beetje in de titels van de stukken. (Ben Taffijn).


released December 12, 2020

Robert Jarvis: trombone.
Michel Banabila: synth, sampler & percussion.
Recorded in Faversham & Rotterdam via file sharing.
Written & performed by Robert Jarvis & Michel Banabila.

Buy this on CD: banabila.bandcamp.com/album/singles-2020-2022

Cat. nr. TR121220.
2020 ℗ Tapu Records.
UPC 195497778669.
Cover art by Michel Banabila.


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Michel Banabila Rotterdam, Netherlands

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