by Dale Wisely
This is a 10-minute audio art piece I made in memory of Ahmaud Arbery, shot to death by two white men in South Georgia on February 23, 2020.
I found a wax-cylinder recording (Columbia Phonograph Co.: 10503, archived at http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/ ) of a Black preacher named Harry Spencer giving a sermon. It was recorded in about 1903. I clipped from the sermon a 2-second portion of Reverend Spencer singing “O Pharaoh, Save Me.” That small clip is repeated and manipulated digitally to make up the piece. As an artifact of the process, at least to my ears, there are parts of the piece when it sounds like female voices singing “Save him.”