Code-Switch / Fetle Wondimu Nega
Code-Switch is a conversation between my voice and an emergent code-based music creation tool, Sonic Pi. It explores the sometimes dissonant, sometimes harmonious interaction of languages within my bilingual mind, where meaning is constructed at the intersection of two identities. When I entered kindergarten, speaking English became a necessity to interact with the Western world, suddenly encroaching on my understanding of self and the image I’d built of the world around me in my native tongue of Amharic. Now, English is my dominant language, and often the scaffold with which I build meaning and communicate my ideas. There are times, however, when it swallows up my Amharic and spits it back at me in disjointed sequences. Code-Switch describes my bilingual experience as an arc of loss into acceptance. It begins with a harmonic vocal-laden soundscape, an uncomfortable introduction symbolising language dissonance, followed by a hard-hitting Western drum pattern, and a final incorporation of African drums signalling the slow transition into acceptance.