First contact: listened to Emergent Errors by Tegh. An evocative and truly powerful album centred around a mental illness called Cotard Delusion, a rare condition marked by the false belief that you or your body parts are dead, dying or don’t exist (also associated with delusions of negation leading to self-harm). Tegh (Shahin Entezami) started to mix his own surreal fiction into his sonic interpretation of the dialogues he read or heard – between patients and their doctors talking about the condition. He weaved elements of his own personal story into some of the unfolding drama. He collaborated with the violinist Nima Aghiani – whose melancholic strings feel like veins struggling to pump blood to limbs that maybe don’t exist but probably do. This was in the deep lockdown of winter 2020 and in mad isolation we wrote to Shahin to see if he’d be interested in collaborating with Beaconsfield – to make a track in response to what was happening to all of us – the democracy of the plague.
It was a shot in the dark, into the void of his sonic universe, another solar system where there were planets with life on them. This plague finally joined us all together in a human bond – and from our isolation we could start speaking. Shahin came back like a breath of fresh air. He had contracted Covid in the early waves as did Naomi from our side (the unvaccinated version), so he agreed to work on making a sound piece, a composition, an electronic surreal tale of Covid; of Tehran. When he sent us the .wav file we heard SINK, his version of what happened to him, something that encapsulated a specific time and its unique deformation. We suggested making a vinyl. Initially we discussed doing a remix of SINK, but somehow it felt more interesting to make a response that could pick at the abstract bones of the hulking form he had conjured from electrical impulses. We sent him our piece: VESSEL by BAW (Crawforth and Siderfin) that reflects the moment from our perspective, injected with inspiration from listening to Shahin (who then got to listen to us) and imagining his universe for the first time. Within the process, there was an interim piece Viral Traces by BAW and TEGH is about launch another album.
Sometimes we seek everything from our own perspective, and this dialogue has given us all another angle from which to listen and reflect. Now the two tracks sit side by side simultaneously playing in parallel universes – physically in Beaconsfield’s Arch space and Upper space – and embodied on the record, a hand cut lathe edition of 20 – providing simple spaces of aural contemplation.