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The Gospel of Combat


Earlier this year, I collaborated with David Hutchinson & John Lowell Anderson to create "The Gospel of Combat" - a short film documenting the life & community of Ben Kiyaga, an aikido instructor in Nairobi, Kenya. This is not only the story of a "freelancer", but an artist who functions as an evangelist of sorts. Ben teaches a passive form of combat that redirects an opponent's force against themselves; he teaches this gospel in the midst of a turbulent and aggressive political climate.

For "The Gospel of Combat," I took a step out of my normal role of music and did Sound Design & Post Sound Mixing. Sound Design is the creation and blending of sound effects, while Post Sound Mixing is the final gluing-together of all audio in the film. While what was needed from me is different than what I am used to, I still wore a musical hat amidst creating. Sound design requires a critical ear to texture and, much like a film score, must fill in the aural blank put forth by the visual. Sound design stresses, stings, and cadences. Much like aikido, it is a subtle form of art that makes use of what is more apparent & obvious to achieve its end. I thoroughly enjoyed working in artistic parallel with Ben's philosophy. Even though he is an artist on the other side of the world, and of a different trade, I connected to him.

"The Gospel of Combat" will be premiering at the Oaxaca FilmFest in Mexico this October. I am excited to be attending with David & John, and cannot wait for others to hear Ben's voice. His smile is bright, his voice is peaceful, and what he has to say is something from which we all may benefit.


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