I digitally released a recording called House on the 2014 Winter Solstice. Comprised of loop-based guitar and piano tracks that have been processed with old, damaged tape, I created these recordings after participating in an incredible ancestry workshop in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia over a year ago. Throughout the weekend we were learning how to access deep memory in our bodies as a way to learn more about a chosen ancestor. I was researching my Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) great great grandmother. On my last night there I went for a walk along the river. There was no wind, no clouds, and I could hear and see for miles. A ways into my walk, I remember looking back at the farm house I was staying in and being struck by the image of wood fire smoke billowing out of the chimney into the star-filled sky. The clouds leaving the house seemed like memory in action — a visible retrieval, unfolding into shapes and then fading away. In this simple moment, I experienced that rare feeling of awe, and asked myself, "When is it okay to go home?" The question echoed inside of me for weeks. One day I finally realized that I had been looking back at and revisiting an old house for a long time — one that I was finally ready to burn down and leave behind so that I could proceed with reclaiming the home that is rightfully mine.
You can listen to/purchase/download the recording here.
The track "Lost" from this release was included on Phinery's Somehow Commissioned #2: Texture compilation. Featuring writings and recordings by various artists, it's another beautiful release from the Denmark-based label. Below is one of the two pieces I wrote about texture for the publication component of the compilation.
Sound, by its very nature, requires a physical medium to travel through. This is why you can't hear anything in outer space. Here on Earth, we're surrounded by sound. Silence is relative. At every moment, sound is created and impacted by the physical world, and the physical world is created and impacted by sound.
One of my earliest memories is sitting beneath tall birch trees with my grandmother, the wind blowing gently through their leaves. I still remember the sound.
The forest was whispering.
To describe the texture of that sound, I would describe the leaves. Their shape, size, colour, how many, how dense... Then I'd have to describe the trees themselves, the earth they are rooted in, the curve of the hill they are on, the field down the road that seemed to pull the wind toward it... Then I'd have to describe the season, where the
sun was in the sky, and how it was pouring through the branches, casting shadows onto our faces as we listened... All these physical elements, and how they relate to each other, inform the texture of the wind.
But the wind, it's pace,
inform how physical objects move,
and they inform how wind moves,
The wind, the essence, the spirit. The trees, the physical world, vessels. We need both for sound. Neither comes first. They are voices of each other. Eternal collaborators of reality. And their place of interaction is texture, a point of creation.