Liner Notes

01. "24 Hours" by Producer Usaih

  1. 3:49

From dawn to dawn, this track imagines that activities happening in Gulu Municipality may be familiar elsewhere also. It imagines that life in Gulu is relatable beyond Gulu. Maybe the daily rhythms known to residents of Gulu are happening elsewhere, somewhere maybe it is the same thing or something related. To convey this, sounds from Gulu– the adhan, Catholic church bells, crowing roosters, barking dogs, Bajaj hooting, and more– are laid over instrumentation that combines southern, western, and eastern African musical inspiration.

Producer Usaih. 2018. “24 Hours.” Gulu SoundTracks: Remixing the Storied City, edited by Joella Bitter, 2020. http://gulusoundtracks.org/.

02. "Gulu Life Sound" by Doctor Kaunda

  1. 5:23

This track narrates Gulu life over the course of several days. Variations on a theme. Each day differs, but also each day shares similarities with the days before and the days after. Each night differs, but also each resembles the prior ones. If today starts with chirping birds, maybe tomorrow starts with ringing bells. If today town is active with vehicles, maybe tomorrow football fans fill town to watch a match. Every night, barking dogs animate the chorus. While consistently jaunty, the days’ rhythms are not always steady.  

Doctor Kaunda. 2018. “Gulu Life Sound.” Gulu SoundTracks: Remixing the Storied City, edited by Joella Bitter, 2020. http://gulusoundtracks.org/.

03. "Life Is Story" by Black da Massacre

  1. 5:22

Life unfolds in multiple directions at once. Are you ever quite sure what will come next? People come into our lives. Some people stay around, others leave. Some come and go and come and go. Some you’ve known since childhood. Whether paths deviate or join or circle back, all is part of the story of life. Perhaps the only thing that remains consistent is the act of breathing air, evoked here with blowing wind sounds recurring throughout the song. While it is a general story, it aims also to be specific, unfolding to a percussive African beat.

Black da Massacre. 2018. “Life Is Story.” Gulu SoundTracks: Remixing the Storied City, edited by Joella Bitter, 2020. http://gulusoundtracks.org/.

04. "Gulu Video Hall" by Producer Mellix

  1. 3:08

This track tells of the excitement of visiting a video hall as a young person in Uganda. An air of excitement builds as people enter and wait for the movie to start. How long you’ll wait, you can’t be sure. Once the place becomes full, they insert the disc and the movie begins. Maybe you meet friends there. Maybe they show an action film. Maybe they show a football match. Maybe they show a comedy. Regardless, people are happy. 

Producer Mellix. 2018. “Gulu Video Hall.” Gulu SoundTracks: Remixing the Storied City, edited by Joella Bitter, 2020. http://gulusoundtracks.org/.

05. "Fast Life" by Black da Massacre

  1. 4:24

Quick life, quick things; time has gone; you’re late; you’re behind time; you are rushing; tomorrow needs you; there are things that need you. Life is now fast; things are going. Nobody is going to wait for you. Welcome to “Fast Life,” a face-paced, high-tempo track that relates the need to go ahead no matter what. Through death, through birth, through war, through electricity outages, through any challenge. No matter what, you stay on the move; but pay attention to the signals that sound as you go. 

Black da Massacre. 2018. “Fast Life.” Gulu SoundTracks: Remixing the Storied City, edited by Joella Bitter, 2020. http://gulusoundtracks.org/.

06. "Gulu City Sound Mix" by Doctor Kaunda

  1. 4:36

A simple story of a person traveling through Gulu on foot. This journey follows a rather specific yet mundane path, from Cero Leno to Cuk Madit, through the industrial area, along the main roads, passing buses en-route to their destinations, generators rumbling, people are on the move, conversing as they go. It is a path the storyteller knows intimately, and made to feel especially familiar to those who know Gulu as it is narrated to an Acoli lakubukubu beat. 

Doctor Kaunda. 2018. “Gulu City Sound Mix.” Gulu SoundTracks: Remixing the Storied City, edited by Joella Bitter, 2020. http://gulusoundtracks.org/.

07. "Church Bell to Prayer" by Producer Mellix

  1. 3:02

It is daybreak in Gulu, the sun is rising, and the prayerful are rising too. The early morning Sunday air sings with frogs, crickets, roosters, and the Muslim adhan. As people awaken and become active, their footsteps join the morning ensemble. Then enters a Christian processional tune on the keyboard, Catholic church bells announce a service, and voices of those going and coming from church. 

Producer Mellix. 2018. “Church Bell to Prayer.” Gulu SoundTracks: Remixing the Storied City, edited by Joella Bitter, 2020. http://gulusoundtracks.org/.

08. "Sound from the Pearl" by Producer Usaih

  1. 3:47

Just imagine: it’s nighttime and you are somewhere far, maybe in the wild, maybe in a jungle, not seeing any signs of home. Surrounded by sounds you don’t understand, you are surely very alone. Or are you? Wait, what was that? Someone cutting something? Someone hitting something? Suddenly you are frightened. What will happen when morning comes? Yes, this may be the soundtrack to an African horror movie. 

Producer Usaih. 2018. “Sound from the Pearl.” Gulu SoundTracks: Remixing the Storied City, edited by Joella Bitter, 2020. http://gulusoundtracks.org/.