Browns Focus: TSAU
Arguably the most mysterious of our Browns Focus collaborators, TSAU is the brand that fuses designer Bevan Aygemang’s unique vision and distils it with the essence of his collaborators. This process, alongside his meticulous research, creates a kind of magical aura around his collections, one that evokes “TSAU”, meaning “the space in between”. From the 1300s to the 1920s to the future, TSAU finds its reference points across the landscape of history, creating garments that are similarly timeless, dreamlike and Utopian.
Teaming up with musician Azekel, watch the film and read on to discover their meditations on the theme of spiritual jazz.
Bevan: The collection was initially inspired by Felix Eberty's book The Stars and The Earth: Thoughts Upon Space Time and Eternity. I had previously spent seven nights in the desert which connected me to an ancestral nomadic lifestyle across the Sudanic belt of Africa within The Sahel. Historically “The Sahel” had offered an exchange of styles and commodities throughout Africa, The Middle East and South Asia. Transactions that took place on earth thousands of years ago are visible in a distant fixed star.
Whilst producing the collection I listened to extremely dense, patterned improvised sounds from jazz musicians such as Pharoah Sanders, Roland Kirk and Alice Coltrane. They too had shared the exploration of the Cosmos, the circle of fifths and its relation to sacred geometry, which helped me create portals to contextualise the pieces. I've always allowed chance to play a role in determining the form of my work, as it expresses my most authentic emotion and human value.
Azekel: The musical piece, Distant Child, was initially inspired by a shared appreciation with TSAU for music rooted in the spiritual, from the otherworldly sounds to the peripheral philosophies around these. This collaboration also emerged for me as a space in which to expand my musical practice into conducting performance. Whilst guitar and bass are at the core of my songwriting and composition process, arranging three lead string instruments invited each of us to be profoundly present in our collective recital.
The transcendent rhythms of the kora and the celestial sounds of the harp guided me into the spiritual realm of creativity, as connecting to the soul through sound remains what makes music making so sacred for me. The improvisational nature of jazz music has always made it precious for that purpose, as is evident in the works of so many of my greatest inspirations and influences: Fela Kuti, Sun Ra and his Arkestra, Pharoah Sanders as well as John and Alice Coltrane. The entity that we call Music is a spiritual one, and I’m always keeping aware of this, making sure that I am intentional with what I create.
Discover more from Browns Focus: Series One here.
Photographer and Director: Filmawi
Stylist: Yves Alawe
Art Direction: Bevan Agyemang
Set Design: Khalid Wildman
Models: Graham and Dennis
Kora Instrumentalist: Mosi