Satch Hoyt

(UK / Jamaica) *in London

The musician, composer and visual artist Satch Hoyt has created three versions of an installation for the Blickachsen 12 venues in Bad Homburg, Eschborn and Frankfurt. In his musical and visual works, Hoyt reflects the cultural history of the transnational African diaspora. In doing so, he seeks to break open entrenched ways of thinking. His sculptures and installations often have a musical connection. Thus his series of works “Kush Yard Totem” is, according to the artist, inspired by an old sound recording from Ethiopia of the syncopated chanting of nomadic people drawing water from a well. In the Bad Homburg Kurpark, Hoyt has placed eight pillar-shaped “totems” around an injured copper beech that has been fenced in. They are formed out of plastic buckets in the colours of the Pan-African movement, and symbolically represent containers for the elixir of life, water. Four monochromatic red totems here reflect the leaves of the blood-red beech – and their positioning by the artist behind the fence serves to provide an additional range of meanings. Hoyt’s accompanying sonic text can be called up at the site via QR code or on – together with two companion lyrical texts by Jordane Maurs.

Satch Hoyt, of British and Afro-Jamaican descent, was born in London and currently lives and works in Berlin. As musician and composer, he has for instance played the flute on Louise Bourgeois’ album “Otte”, and also worked with Grace Jones, co-writing a number of her popular songs. Hoyt often appears as a singer, percussionist and flautist. Sound and music also play a central role in his visual art, which has been exhibited internationally. This includes sculptures and installations accompanied by his own compositions, as well as painting and drawing. Hoyt conceives his three-dimensional works as “Afro Sonic Signifiers”, as carriers of meaning for African sounds. In his “Kush Yard Totem. Octavian Graphic Score” installations created for Blickachsen 12 in Bad Homburg, Eschborn and Frankfurt, there are three sound elements: they were inspired by an old sound recording from Ethiopia, they come to form a graphic score and are accompanied by a sonic text that Hoyt, working from the historical recording, has composed for them. “Through research, narrative, imagination, myth and fantasy”, writes Hoyt, “I persevere to contribute to the ongoing construction of a new all-inclusive Black cultural identity.”

Eight strange columns made of coloured plastic buckets form a circle in the middle of a meadow on the Campus Westend at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. “Kush Yard Totem. Octavian Graphic Score 3” is the companion to two further works that Satch Hoyt has installed in Bad Homburg and Eschborn for Blickachsen 12. Starting from the octave as the primordial law of harmony, the colours of the eight totems, each with 14 elements, form unfixed graphic scores of sound associations, which can be read both horizontally and vertically. “Their rhythm, indicated by wind factor, echoes the sounds that eternally circumnavigate the cosmos of the Transnational African Diaspora and the African continent”, explains Hoyt. The four mono-black columns in Frankfurt are set against the ‘Neue Sachlichkeit’ architecture of the IG-Farben building, and its dark history. “Kush”, by contrast, the ancient Egyptian term for Ethiopia, the cradle of mankind, refers to the provenance of a sound recording of nomadic people chanting and drawing water, which inspired Hoyt to create this polysemous installation: “The simple yet complex quotidian act prompted me to dream of a utopian state, a harmonious zone where we could all exist.”