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The source of the composition is an entirely natural collage of local sounds recorded at the corner of Mosley Street and Parker Street, Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester. It comprises the voice of a black-African street preacher, the indifferent hubbub of passersby, the noise of Metrolink trams, and the distant pulse and shouts from a live performance of West-African drummers and dancers. Together, they express a heady fusion of earnestness and enthusiasm. On occasions, the rhythms of the preacher’s declamations matched those of the drums; the whoop of the performing troupe seemed to be in affirmation of his assertions; while the toot of the trams punctuated proceedings like celebratory trumpets. The composition makes these components and their connections clearer and consistent.

Jesus is alive!
He died on the cross!
They buried him!
On the third day, he rose again!
This is the religion I want to follow.

Every ‘truth’ is a lie!
Political ‘truth’ is a lie!
Religious ‘truth' is a lie!
It is only Jesus!
He is the way, he is the truth, and he is alive!

Let me ask you a question:
If you were to stand before God tonight;
if you were to die tonight,
will you go to heaven, or will you go to hell?

Let’s think logically! Logically!

You don’t have to be afraid
Make a decision today
You have a right to make a decision, today.

God will forgive you!
It doesn’t matter: your lifestyle.
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done.
Jesus will forgive you!
I am talking about forgiveness.
And, that forgiveness is revealed in the man we call Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the answer!
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the way!
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the truth!
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is your life!

Personnel: Anonymous street preacher, drummers, dancers, crowd, and John Harvey.

Instrumentation: Adobe Audition 3.0, Apple MacBook Pro OS X 10.8, and Canon PowerShot G12 camera.

Source: Sample derived from a recording of street preaching at the closing celebrations of the ‘We Face Forward: Music from West Africa Today’, free festival held at Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, UK, September 15, 2012.


from The Bible in Translation (disc 2) [album], released September 1, 2016


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John Harvey Ceredigion, UK

I’m a practitioner and historian of sound art and visual art, and Emeritus Professor of Art at the School of Art, Aberystwyth University, UK. My research field is the sonic and visual culture of religion. I explore the sonic articulations of the Christian religion by engaging visual, textual, and audible sources, theological and cultural ideas, and systemic and audiovisualogical processes. ... more

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