NYX, MA.MOYO and Nick Cobby meditate through nature, symbiosis and collective consciousness in Mutualism

A communal collaboration between 14 different artists, Mutualism was created as a collective response to humanity’s relationship to the natural world. The product of an iterative process of communal collaboration, Mutualism was developed over lockdown in 2020 by electronic drone choir NYX, spoken word and sound artist MA.MOYO, aka Belinda Zhawi, and visual artist Nick…
NYX, MA.MOYO and Nick Cobby meditate through nature, symbiosis and collective consciousness in Mutualism

A communal collaboration between 14 different artists, Mutualism was created as a collective response to humanity’s relationship to the natural world.

The product of an iterative process of communal collaboration, Mutualism was developed over lockdown in 2020 by electronic drone choir NYX, spoken word and sound artist MA.MOYO, aka Belinda Zhawi, and visual artist Nick Cobby. Described by NYX as “a metamorphic meditation, embodying our relationship with nature, symbiosis transformation and collective consciousness”, the 11-minute audiovisual work emerged from what the choir term ‘symbiotic working,’ intended to generate “a true sense of connection, expression and interdependence.” Unfolding from the image of a match being struck deep within a mass of dense and twisted foliage, Mutualism is slow, introspective trip through the leaves, stones and earth of the natural world, a call and response between the modulated vocal tones, live electronics and instrumental arrangements of NYX, the lysergic visuals of Nick Cobby and the incantatory performance of MA.MOYO.

NYX
NYX

“Moving slowly together, each phase of development returned a collective of 14 artists to creatively respond to each new iteration, an evolving relationship that became more than the sum of its parts,” explains NYX. Originally devised as 360-degree projection, the above presentation sees the work condensed into a single channel. Revealing itself slowly, Mutualism takes on the resonance of an esoteric ceremony, with NYX’s redefinition of choral music at once gesturing towards devotional forms while shedding light on the potential for new forms of communal performance and practice. By the time the piece bursts into fractals, heralding a stunning, textural polyphony of voice both sung and spoken, it is clear that, through the collective’s process of symbiotic working, Mutualism is a meditation that envelops both artist and audience in service of a truly interdependent experience.

NYX
NYX

It’s an urge that is reflected in Zhawi’s words, which continually return to a central mantra: “meet me in the middle.” Invoking fire, air, earth and water, MA.MOYO relates natural elements to her own physical senses, situating her body within a shared space and aligning herself to the world around her. “My freedom / Is your freedom,” she asserts. “For that is the only way to live.”

‘Mutualism’ is out now, on the NYX Bandcamp. The choir have enlisted Anna Wall, Deena Abdelwahed and LCY for Mutualism Remixed, which is also available now on the NYX Bandcamp.

You can find MA.MOYO on Instagram. For more information about Nick Cobby and his work you can visit his website. For more information about NYX and their projects, visit their website and follow them on Instagram.

Mutualism Lyrics:

Meet me in the middle

Says the fire

My freedom is your freedom

Yours is mine

Freedom

The grey matter in between

Is ours to share

But you hold the bow

and I the arrow

Its tip in my chest

You’re pulling away

I’m letting go

Will you meet me in the middle

Meet me in the middle

Says the air

Lying on my back, suspended

With nothing but air beneath me

With nothing but space beneath me

With nothing but time beneath me

And the end

Is the middle

Meet me in the middle

Says the earth

You nourish me

with your songs

Funny, and sad

Your words hold me

Anchored

Dug into the soil

I live by your means

By your cycles

For that is the only way to live

Meet me in the middle

Says the water

Your dilated eyes

watch the clouds gather

Meet me in the middle

Is the hour before dusk

The creek high

Reflecting low sky

My freedom

Is your freedom

Is mine

Is yours

Is my freedom

Is your freedom

Mutualism Credits:

Composer and Producer – Sian O’Gorman

Words – MA.MOYO

Contributing Vocalists – Adélaïde Pratoussy, Cecilia Forssberg, Kelechi Anucha, MA.MOYO, Ruth Corey, Rebekah Alero, Shireen Qureshi, Sian O’Gorman

Saxophone – David Boyce

Creative Directors – Josh Thomas, Philippa Neels, Sian O’Gorman

Motion Designer and Animator – Nick Cobby

3D Sound Design – Peter Rice

Embodiment Director – Imogen Knight

Remixes – Anna Wall, Deena Abdelwahed, LCY

Mastering – James Rand

Executive Producers – Josh Thomas, Philippa Neels

Production – NYX Collective Records Ltd.

Mutualism was created with the generous support of Arts Council England and Help Musicians UK, PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music.

Watch next: Fact Residency – Theresa Baumgartner

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