+243 ANGELS DRC/UG
In the summer of 2019, music producer and performance artist Soraya Lutangu (Bonaventure) initiated a collaborative sonic project with electronic producer Rey Sapiens called "+243 Angels", initiating conversations about their Congolese heritage. The starting point of their discussion revolved around how their respective trajectories and practices are informed by the concepts of how memory, identity, spirituality and the diasporic imaginary are formed.
Finding similar learning patterns encouraged them to look for Congolese choirs that would be interested in having an exchange between the Club and Church cultures. In the Congolese area of Kampala, The Kingdom Church have a reputation of a youth-focused and forward thinking church that holds some of the best Gospel concerts and dance shows of the neighbourhood. After their first time attending the Sunday service, Soraya and Rey presented to the church acapella ensemble their idea of collaborating with them through music and dance to create a communal storytelling language. The enthusiasm of the newly formed collective pushed them to meet several times a week at church and in their recording studio to write and record songs that would challenge the practice, significance and delivery of hymns of adoration by merging them with the rhythms and codes of progressive and contemporary club music. Moving away from the traditional expectations of spiritual rituals and embodiments, the choir members would expand the territory of performative art and punctuate recording sessions by spontaneously engaging in theatrical improvisations and comedy sketches about for example the perception of spirituality in the world, their processes of catharsis, the search for trance through praise or the flamboyance of their community.