HAHA Sounds Collective
HAHA Sounds Collective is an experimental choral project singing alongside full band accompaniment working from Wilton Way Studio in Hackney, London.
The group of musicians have been working on a songbook of David Axelrod’s seminal record Earth Rot from 1970 for their opening performance on February 11 at Servant Jazz Quarters.
Founders Victoria Hamblett and Cathy Lucas brought together a community of singers with the aim of exploring avant-garde choral arrangements. As David Axelrod has only recently left this earth for a distant paradise, the group felt it was natural to choose this important piece of music as an ode to his prodigious talent. With today’s concerns about the environment and the political climate, it feels more important than ever to contemplate the challenges we face in society and beyond.
Earth Rot is, in effect, a cantata for the planet. These ancient yet timely words come from the book of Isaiah in the Bible and a Navajo legend called “Song of the Earth Spirit”.
It begins by celebrating the earth and then admonishing humans for messing it up -As dark as it was reputed to be at the time, with gorgeous tinges of flute and guitar, the half-step dissonance between pitches, the glimmer of consonance, this is a blissed-out record through and through. Gorgeous, lush, and full of gentleness.
To the groups knowledge, this is the first time Earth Rot has been publicly scored. Conductor at HAHA, Arthur Sajas, spent many an hour writing the parts out individually by ear, an endeavour which has resulted in the choir’s refreshing interpretation of the album, which they are excited to share through performance.