The sound of walking in a Mexican canyon transforms into the distinct beat of the heart, distant chants, sticks, stones, and the whistle of blowing wind: The Peyote Dance, a new album by Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith, out 31st May via Bella Union, is a soundtrack of elements that invites us to explore a sacred space.
The album takes as its starting point Antonin Artaud’s book “The Peyote Dance”, a work inspired by his revelatory experiences with the Rarámuri in 1936.
The Peyote Dance is the first in a triptych of albums to be released by Bella Union over the next year titled The Perfect Vision, which take their inspiration from the writings of three emblematic French poets: Antonin Artaud, Arthur Rimbaud and René Daumal, and their necessity to travel to different lands to acquire a new vision and perspective on themselves and artworks. Perhaps a perfect vision, it is one that allowed them to transcend forms and borders, both physical and mental.
Recorded in the Sierra Tarahumara of Mexico, Abyssinian valley of Ethiopia, and Himalayan Summit of India respectively, the central idea is that each landscape holds sleeping memories that are the witness of human passage. Each album retraces the poets’ footsteps, channelled through on-location recorded soundscapes and musicalities, with Patti Smith revisiting the words that have been inspired by the landscapes. The triptych marks a new chapter in the collaboration between Soundwalk Collective (Stephan Crasneanscki and Simone Merli) and Patti Smith, who first worked together on the album Killer Road in 2016.