EX CATHEDRA | "an intercontinental ‘sonic friendship’, where worlds don’t so much collide as collaborate" - African Sanctus review

“It was clear from the outset that they didn’t merely understand but had fully embraced Fanshawe’s unquenchable, zealous exuberance. It took a while to come to terms with the paradox of seeing such a well-presented group of singers unleash such wild shouts and ululations, gabbling through Fanshawe’s rapid-fire syllabic writing before turning on a dime to switch into gentle, mellifluous music… but here there was never any doubt that the tilting and veering between such disparate modes of expression made absolute, coherent sense…

“It no doubt took some courage to seek to blend the two worlds together, but quite apart from its musical effectiveness, there’s a profound importance in the way boundaries are acknowledged yet rendered moot in African Sanctus

“Infinitely more meaningful than half-baked, phony religious notions of ‘ecumenism’, African Sanctus proclaims, and demonstrates, what could be called an intercontinental ‘sonic friendship’, where worlds don’t so much collide as collaborate. The accounts of Fanshawe’s travels suggest the African peoples found him a charismatic, engaging and sympathetic figure, and were glad to share their sounds and actions with him, and in turn keen for him to share them with the wider world. The fact that some of the African performers died soon after the recordings were made – from a mixture of natural and violent causes (due to political oppression and persecution) – only makes their pristine preservation all the more valuable.”

Read the full review at www.5against4.com