The Kenteverse is a multifaceted Art, Design & Music project exploring Kente’s innate power to create. I’m primarily using sounds sampled from the loom during the weaving process to generate new Kente designs and experiences.

When I started this project, I thought I was merely observing and dissecting the anatomy of Kente. I wasn’t aware of the fact that I was peering into a whole universe, The Kenteverse. Sound & Rhythm drove me here, and they’ve been my main points of contact in understanding the numerous locations within this universe. Language, History & Fashion are just some of the areas I’ve gained access to during my time here.

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Experiment: Audio Visual Analysis

I pushed this experiment further and started to look at the digital interpretation of these sounds. I was looking to do my analysis on the sound to build more intentional waveforms and patterns.

To do this, I sampled the sounds from a weaver while he weft. I then built a beat out of this to create more set conditions for the patterns to be made. In a way, I was alluding my process to the Kente making process.

In Kente making you:

  • Lay the background on the ground. Typically this background is polyester.

  • Next, you coil the polyester on a metal. Then you go to the loom and fix it on the design weaving hurdles.

  • Fix them in a 4/4 formation in the design weaving hurdles. Then you repeat in all holes for plain weaving hurdles.

  • Now move to the beater and set it to the beam.

  • After all that is done, you can start weaving.

Making The Beats

With the aforementioned process in mind, I applied this step-by-step approach to sample and create the ‘weaving’ beats. With my process:

I sampled parts of a lengthy interview where Mandela, the weaver weft.

These weaving samples served as the background I lay on the ground. These were made mainly of innate repeated sound patterns.

Next, I analyzed the BPM of these patterns, and these became what determined how I’d add different sounds over time. It also heavily contributed to the overall feel of the beat I was making.

This process is what birthed the ‘weaving’ beats. From this, I could then further analyze this repeated sound pattern in various ways. Either with newly added sounds or not. This depended on what I was trying to explore. If it was solely the weaving rhythm, I said no extra sounds but focused exclusively on the weaving. If I wanted to see how this could be expanded on, I added drums, snares, and other sounds to explore what this could sound like and look like.

Logic Pro Workflow

My workflow of actually choping up interesting parts of this long interview with Mandela somewhat mimicked this long pieced together cloth.

This sparked some ideas for some possible directions to further develop the project.