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Safia Siad: the best mixes for lovers

November 23rd, 2014 § 1 comment § permalink

Safia, courtesy of her.

Are you a full-time lover? Does love open its mouth for yours? Maybe you don’t have a love. Maybe they had the energy to wind you up but lacked the courage to stay. Maybe you hurt them so much they tried but couldn’t stay. Maybe you’re part-time this month. Maybe you’re in love in the wrong time. Maybe your heart is breaking. Maybe another person is mending it back.

Barthes says,

“Am I in love? –yes, since I am waiting. The other one never waits. Sometimes I want to play the part of the one who doesn’t wait; I try to busy myself elsewhere, to arrive late; but I always lose at this game. Whatever I do, I find myself there, with nothing to do, punctual, even ahead of time. The lover’s fatal identity is precisely this: I am the one who waits.”

No other person moves me with their mixes like Safia Siad does. No other woman has consistently introduced me to new music I love, ever. No one but Saf. She is also one of my favorite contemporary poets. It would do you well to read her when you’re not listening to her mixes/episodes on podmatic. They have titles that disarm in all the ways — *the burnt blue episode* / *the longest winter episode* / *the sumptuous feast episode* / *the come here episode* & so on. The latest one is the  *let go episode*

‘love is so short, forgetting is so long.’ -neruda

s.s.

track list:
spotless mind – jon brion
let go – little dragon
set me free – low leaf
without you – thundercat
okay – muhsinah
never catch me – flying lotus f. kendrick lamar
linger well – szjerdene
give up – fka twigs
happy be fine – poliça
means nothing – owusu and hannibal
see where you are – amel larrieux
gone (deep shoq remix) – lianne la havas
explode (mothy’s implosion) – lv & message to bears f. zaki
the day the sun rose twice – erimaj
~toujours~
always waiting – michael kiwanuka

Artist Series: Bérangère Maximin

November 15th, 2014 § 4 comments § permalink

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“When you work with somebody else, it’s more like you have your skills and the other person has theirs and you exchange what you do. It’s more like a game, like ping pong. You play with already have, and the other person plays with what they have.”

I wrote some words on the recondite world of Bérangère Maximina Paris-based French electro-acoustic composer and a former Denis Dufour (Groupe de recherches musicales [GRM]) student. Her discography spans several albums — Infinitesimal (2013), No one Is an Island(2012), and Tant Que Les heures Passent (As Long As The Hours Go Byreleased on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records label in 2008. She is one of the artists featured in my upcoming documentary, microfemininewarfare. I would love feedback or conversation.

You can read it on Medium.

 

musical dream trio — 0=0, loops haunt & boxcutter

May 8th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

750heighflyer

j has left Toronto for another EU tour. Some of the dates are posted here. I heard some of the components he’s working with and I wish I could be there and let my body go. He also put together a night with a magical musical trio I have been wanting to see on the same line up since years. LCL presents: loops haunt, boxcutter, & 0=0. At least I designed the flyer. =^.^=

 

The first time I ever heard Boxcutter (Barry) was j playing Mossy for me in his studio in early 2006:

… When I listen to Boxcutter all of the cells that make up my existence re-articulate their existence and open up to infinite possibilities. This all sounds cliche because it is how I always describe him, because his musical output’s great vastness permeates me that much.

I was in J’s music room in 216. It was early 2006. It was really bright outside. I was sitting in his lap on his gray oversized office chair that always swung back a bit too much and I was sure we’d both die this way. He played “Mossy” and I fell to the floor on his rug, closing in on my face with both hands the way I do when I hear music that overtakes me. I started crying and demanding the song be put on lifetime repeat. It was one of those moments that everything changed, that I heard something so new and so exciting that it made me want to keep being alive so I wouldn’t miss moments like these. I have those moments. They are rare, but they occur and when they do all of pessimistic insecure me seems implausible.

Mossy is one of the songs on Oneiric, Boxcutter’s first album on Planet Mu. When I hear oneiric in my head, I remember Mary Anne Hobbes talking about it when he did an exclusive session for the Breezeblock, and I managed to get myself in on the shout out as “Miss Riot” because that’s my handle on DOA from many many years ago. It mattered to be part of that moment so much then.

I got to see Barry play in Paris in 2011. I got colitis and ended up in the hospital for four nights after which I extended my trip to see Barry play. Coincidentally, Scott (loops haunt) was playing the night I got sick and I had to miss his performance. I’ve seen j play many times, and been lucky enough to VJ for him a few times also, but I haven’t seen him play live since 2011 and so much has changed. I am so grateful I got to see Scott perform at Bangface Weekender in 2011.

I discovered Loops Haunt in Brighton on our three day bender last year on Red’s laptop and there he was and just like that it happened. There’s always so much happening at Bangface. Seeing Scott preform live was like, yes, yes, this is how it should be. Like the Urban Tribe set, it was just so realized, even though he said it was some of him just trying out new things. I could insert some music journalist words here to describe his sounds, but not now, just listen.

At one point I took over Scott’s MacbookPro to judge him on his music taste and found a missing part of myself, a piece that I fell into but am now emotionally unable to make peace with. It came on and instantly I fell and fell and fell for three minutes and 22 seconds into the deepest well Murakami wrote about. “Rewind on that one.” I yelled from outside our chalet where I danced until I rushed back in to play it again. “Good call,” they all said. At that moment, I felt so much love. Fuck. Later the next night, everything was really intense and sharp (my heart is racing now!) I had to listen to it again. The stereo wasn’t hooked up properly and J + Scott managed to hook it up in no less than 30 minutes with full effort. “So I’m in a room with two music geniuses yet y’all cannot get a stereo hooked up to a laptop?!” And then it worked and then I found the deep well again. There was movement inside all of me, movement I hadn’t felt in a really long time. I was being opened and aired out (and yes, causing me to let it all out on the Monday early morning). I guess yeah, the song changed my life. Actually. “Don’t Make Me Over” was the first song Warwick recorded in 1964 and the lyrics, as it usually is with these things, couldn’t have come at a better time.

It was Medika and her crew that let j take over their night at The Dogstar in Brixton. Medika is a DJ/promoter/producer my age who left a wonderful impression on me. J introduced us over email because I wanted to interview and film her for my research on women electronic music artists. When I came to her show she was so generous with her time and made me feel at ease as the lonesome outsider. When people take extra effort to be inclusive it means so much, and it’s something I never forget, especially as someone who used to throw parties for many years in Toronto —be explicit in acknowledging how grateful you are for all the people that come.

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ps. if you know what LCL stands for, I love you.

Don’t Forget Love

March 29th, 2014 § 2 comments § permalink

0=0 & I made this mix because … Don’t Forget Love*

dontforget8

*also: summer

Tracklist

Julie Ruin – Stay Monkey
The Exposures – Collage of Digital Passion
Usher – Let it Burn (Maths Time Joy Rework)
Cassius – Feeling for You
CocoRosie – By Your Side
Kofi – Didn’t I
The Avalanches – Two Hearts in 3/4 Time
Francoise Hardy – Le Temps de L’amour
Dntel Feat. Mia Del Todd – Anywhere, Anyone
FaltyDL – Meta-Cognist
Sconeboy – loop
Donald Byrd and 125th St Band – Love Has Come Around
The Love Joys – I Belong to you
Rucyl – Heart Awake
DJ Nate – You’re Gonna Love Me
dBridge – Wonder Where
Digital – Ras ’78
Yoko Ono – Remember Love

MP3 download

a wounded brightness among your doubt

July 15th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


woundedbrightness

It’s been years since I posted up a mix publicly but this one needed the release. Please let me know what you think <3

podmatic MP3 link: a wounded brightness, 15 july 2013

Tracklisting:

Austra – Lose It

Rucyl – Heart Awake

Grimes – Crystal Ball (Doldrums Remix)

Lion Babe – Treat me like Fire

Pipilotti Rist – Wicked Game (Chris Isaak)

Xiu Xiu – I Luv the Valley OH

Lianne La Havas – Forget (Shlomo Remix)

Cat Power – Cherokee (Nicolas Jaar Remix)

µ-ziq – iesope

Jesse Boykins III – The Perfect Blues (Jacques Greene Remix)

datasette – Don’t

John Maus – Heaven is Real

Micah P Johnson – Beneath the Rose

Katie Stelmanis – Crying (Roy Orbison)

Arthur Russell – This is how we walk on the Moon

joseph nothing – Ballad for the Unloved

 

Mutations by Lillian Schwartz, 1973

March 31st, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

Since my PhD research is broadly concerned with feminist, or at least female, digital media production, I’ve been trying to track down documentation (other than the rare anecdotes in books & articles) on women doing cool shit. Assuming I had watched all the doc’s available on electronic music  OHM+: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music popped up. It’s a DVD collection of excerpts of interviews, performances, short films by some interesting pioneers in electronic music, perhaps not “gurus” but I guess this shit has to be marketed somehow. The experimental film Mutations definitely stood out. Mutations is a 1973 film done at the Bell Labs by computer art pioneer Lillian F. Schwartz with music by French composer Jean-Claude Risset, based on his Mutations I, also done at the Bells Labs in 1969 using Max Mathews’s Music V. Mutations I was completely computer synthesized & the first work to include FM synthesis. It was commissioned by Office de Radiodiffusion-Television Francaise. But for my purpose,s I want to focus on the film & the woman who made it happen.

The OHM+ booklet states: “Schwartz used computer-synthesized images animated by computer, along with speeded-up crystal growth filmed in polarized light, and laser beams difracted through transperent plastic volumes (the heat from the laser distorts the plastic, causing the beams to move).”

I wonder how the crystal growth was filmed to achieve these colours? Using some sort of microphotography? The taupe, pink, purple tones are incredible. I want a dress in this pattern! They work so well with the computer synthesized proto-pixel-art that looks like cells forming and dividing, that I’ve researched is actually The Game of Life.

Schwartz is a still a prolific artist and scholar of visual perception & sound, among other endeavours,  and has become my new obsession (being a VJ — I am always looking for bizarre experiments before the ease of pre-written computer software). She has also been instrumental for the use of the computer in the philosophy of art. Her artistic catalogue is going to take me weeks to get through. Basically, she is a fucking bad ass who everyone should know about. I’m surprised I never came across her work before.

At 41, in 1968 she took computer math at The New School in NYC & subsequently became an in-house artist and researcher of color & perception at the Bell Labs for the next 33 years. She started working with scientists who were thrilled at the idea of an artist wanting to reconfigure the linearity of computer programs at the time, and wanting to add color to push the boundaries of animation. This was also a huge draw for Max Mathews, who never worked with an animator as part of the process of computer programming sounds before. During her time at the Bell Labs in the 70s and 80s, Schwartz invented a variety of computer system techniques for artists to use.

Pop Montreal was going to host a Lillian Schwartz Retrospective 1969-1976 in Montreal last year but it was cancelled. Too bad, UbuWeb‘s page for her gives me an error.

Lillian Schwartz at Flaherty NYC – September 12, 2011 from Philip Wilde/Ann Michel. Skip ahead to 18:04 for the interview

Composer Series: Mileece at MoMA

February 20th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

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The enigmatic and effervescent Mileece is performing at MoMA on 26 Feb & I will be documenting her practice & performance, with the DoP magic of Martin Reisch.

If you are in New York, I urge you to come out. Mileece is one of the most unique artists I have encountered with rare knowledge of sound & code. She works with SuperCollider, an object-oriented programming language, and foregrounds the handicraft of her work, that goes beyond letting software “do its thing”. Her work as a composer and installation artist “promotes ecology through technology and the arts”. Recently, she has created her first interactive Aesthetic Sonification installation with hand-made sensor based instruments and initiated the design and development of TreeWeaver™, a technology platform enabling Human/Plant communication through sound.

In 2011, I visited Mileece in her LA home where we had hours of conversation. She had some cogent ideas about listening & the worldly soundscape:

Listening is an art, and we have to learn how to listen. That’s a major problem, we don’t listen. The only thing we’re really told to listen for is cars when you’re crossing the street! No one is ever like, “make sure you listen to the evening chorus!” No one ever says that, but we should probably say that because it would keep us sane. It’s been proven that when people listen to bird song they calm down — the brain waves cycles slow, the heart rate slows. We are related to our sonic environment.

The art of listening is something that we develop and I hope that whatever reason my interest in listening and in sound has led me to be able to siphon out from nature, things that can be put into a musical context and blossom into something new and exciting, but yet very much connected to the environment with which it came.  A bird from Costa Rica, or a cricket from France — who is really interested in a cricket from France? But when you put the two together and some other music and some other interesting things, like the subway from New York and all of a sudden there is this cacophonous sound of our environments and we’re more aware. “Oh that’s the screechy sound, that’s us, that’s our sound and there’s these other sounds and they are nice!” I hope to blend these things to make space where we can reflect on our existence, because I like tripping out and thinking about existence and I like to use sound as a way to create realities and dimensions in existence that we can’t get to. I began to call this album [upcoming album in production] a sonic film. It should take you on a journey that’s beyond music, it’s a space and a visual experience in itself. I hope through my listening I can make these sounds more interesting and therefore give them more weights.

See an excerpt from my documentary microfemininewarfare featuring Mileece here.

BIO-ELECTRICITY: AN EVENING WITH MILEECE, HOSTED BY WILDER QUARTERLY

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2013
7:30–10:00 P.M.
MoMA, NYC

In conjunction with the installation of Wolfgang Laib’s Pollen from Hazelnut in the Museum’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium, join PopRally for a performance by London-born, Los Angeles–based sonic artist Mileece, who presents “live generative music” integrated with compositions from her forthcoming album. This lush, harmonious music combines unique compositions with Mileece’s self-developed concept of “aesthetic sonification”: a real-time synthesis of sounds from the bio-electric emissions of plants and handmade gestural instruments. The performance combines live cello; wildlife recordings and soundscapes from Mileece’s travels in Canada, Costa Rica, and other locales; and live visuals generated by plants, along with other video material. As part of the performance involves light projections, the artist encourages guests to wear white.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Performance begins promptly at 8:00 p.m., with a cocktail reception to follow. Guests are invited to view Wolfgang Laib’s Pollen from Hazelnut during the reception, which also features a DJ set by Maria Chavez.

Amen Brother.

November 16th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I LOVE JUNGLE MUSICS & AMENS ARE MY PANACEA

the way to my heart & inside my body

(i can get distracted by art, images, materials, food, whatever but eventually they will fade & never compare to my love for jungle breakbeats & tempos of 155-180 <3 )

 

& probably my favorite jungle song of all time, till death do me part:

& the amazing Fracture & Neptune taking the whole Amen Brother tune into a whole other dimension:

Summer/Fall Music.

October 26th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

There’s a blog post inside me about all the amazing women I met on my 5 day trip to UK last week. I spent as much of my time as possible with determined and ambitious women that know all about taking risks. The energy of unabashed women lights me on fire. Our movements taking over space.

FOR NOW songs I am obsessed with:
MUSIC MADE BY WOMEN BECAUSE WOMEN MAKE AWESOME MUSIC.

Composer Series: Bérangère Maximin

August 17th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Bérangère Maximin is a French electro-acoustic composer. She is a student of Denis Dufour’s (a member of the Groupe de recherches musicales (GRM)). She is one of the women featured in my upcoming documentary, microfemininewarfare. Please buy her album Tant Que Les heures Passent (As Long As The Hours Go By). It was released on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records label in 2008. I discovered her while staying at my friend’s house in Paris last year while working on the project’s proposal (serendipity yo!) while he was on the typical gone-south, Parisian vacation with his wife and daughters. I think music really defines a person (many people consider this childish of me) and I went through his music collection and this album caught my eye. I liked the name of it, and put it on to listen on his stereo system not too loud because it was a small residential building in Saint-Cloud.

I like when an artist can sweep me up into their world, and she was able to immediately. It is a strange vibration of musique concrete and an aesthetic of a woman filled with darkness. I can’t really say – I don’t appreciate the ‘music critic’ language so I will stop, but maybe you can be surprised by her melodic arrangements too!

It was obvious I would ask her to participate in my project because I was so fascinated by the narrative in her music. Bérangère and I spoke a lot about the music creation process and how difficult and painful it is, but I will leave that for later. One thing that surprised me was her attitude of wishing to bring together groups of electronic and electro-acoustic and jazz musicians together; something she is having difficulty with in Paris, because some people part of these groups are vocally exclusive and dogmatic. It is not surprising after meeting her, and that most of the women in my documentary discussed their desire to merge communities, and to create communities and collaborations of support networks that aren’t based on stylistic aesthetics. I hear many people mention this, but I don’t think as many people go through with it. Music politics; they are overbearing sometimes! OK, I will leave you with some out-takes from the photo shoot. Bérangère was quite generous, and I hope I served her well. The documentary, photos and interviews will be available sometime this year. They have to be.

Some out-takes:

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