SOUND OF CARDAMOM - Sound installation 2016


From where did this sound come to wake me up?

I cannot distinguish or describe it?

Is it the sound of a worried night bird?

If the sound were coming from beneath me I would wonder if it was an insect. But it’s penetrating my ears from above, emerging out of the center of darkness. There is also a smell, which is no stranger to me, but the strength of it worries me.

Everyone else in the village is sleeping.

I'm not far from the source of this sound; is it the sound of the dark? Does darkness have a sound? Or is it the sound of the Jinn from the unseen world?

I'm trying to sleep, looking up at the stars; I’ve never seen them so close, completely encircling me.

Someone is hitting a door and yelling, “stop the musical instruments; prayer time is coming and this house is in sin”. The sound is still a buzzing or whistling …

I thought of singing along, but I'm afraid of the Jinn; been told that the Jinn likes to sing, but this sound that penetrates my head is less familiar than that.

Do I move my bed amongst the cattle? Perhaps their company would comfort me, and their voices give my ears relief from this beautiful, awful sound.

Morning prayer time is approaching; the Mosque Imam has stopped hitting the door, given up; not long after, the sound suddenly stops, and the severe smell spreads, filling out every space.

Since then, every night I wake up to hear that same sound, pushing away the voice of the night; then silence, and the resilient aromatic scent arrives again.

Years passed and the villagers became dependent on that daybreak sound, and the aroma became a symbol of this village. One day I woke up as usual but the sound was unexpectedly weak, yet the perfumed smell remained as strong as ever.

This mood lasted for nine days and then on the tenth day, I woke up in a panic; there was no sound and no smell. We knocked on the door of the unknown home but as usual, no one answered; this time we needed that sound, we wanted that smell.

Everyone in the village had become addicted to the recurring presence of the sound and smell, which resonated, from that place; for the first time breaking the door down was not to stop the sound, but to ask for more.

On breaking down the door, there we found the old, deaf women that used to sell basil; she had passed away with a handful of cardamom, which she crushed with a copper Mortar to flavor her coffee every dawn.