Water covers over two-thirds of the earth’s surface. Our bodies consist of more water than anything else. And without water hardly anything of what we see around us would have existed. H2O, in other words, is a substance with almost magical qualities, and yet we take it for granted.
Akutuk – a duo consisting of Lois Géraldine Zongo and Odile Barlier Tellitocci – focuses on these properties of water. Zongo and Tellitocci masters the extraordinary art of using aquatic surfaces as drums, an ancient technique handed down through generations of women from the Cameroonian countryside.
Akutuk, as this technique is actually called, has traditionally been associated with feminine social activities like fishing and cleaning. Instead of staying on dry land, Cameroonian women would dive into bodies of water to celebrate their spirits with highly meaningful polyrhythms. Similar musics are found throughout the world, even in places as distant as the Pacific state of Vanuatu.
This emphasizes the deep universal power of Akutuk. As the duo explain, water makes us recall the origin of our emotions and «connects us with the future of peoples and the planet’s beauty». Thus, there is little doubt that their concert in the venerable Bislett Bad will have healing powers, a sonorous plaster for our existential wounds.
Text: Kim Klev