音樂mixtape [side K]

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Slow Dancing With An Astronaut by nagalrak
Astral O by Lafidki
BALLE by yullippe
魂轎 Limbo Litter by 破地獄 Scattered Purgatory
Wake Up Awesome by C. Spencer Yeh, Okkyung Lee and Lasse Marhaug
Bumi Uthiri (trans. “utilitarian earth”) by Uwalmassa
Bucket by Really Cute Trashcan
G A U T by F ∆ U X E, which samples Pulang Merantau from Tunang Pak Dukun, a Malay film made in Singapore in 1960

音樂mixtape [side I]

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snapshot of what I’ve been blasting in the car for tour this summer

listen to women and artists of colour 🙂

Far She by Via App
Craig by SMERZ
Ccoco by D. Tiffany
Et by Scintii
Stay by Diva Li
Heaven Could Be Lately by Jayda G
Hades Gate by Xosar
After Woman (for Bartolina Sisa)** by Elysia Crampton feat. Rabit
Blood of the Covenant by Chino Amobi
Out by 16 Dead On The Scene by Machine Girl
2010 by Cornelius
Rookie by Red Velvet

** Bartolina Sisa was an Aymara woman who lead the indigenous uprising in Bolivia against their Spanish colonial oppressors in 1781. She was executed, her body dismembered and put on display to intimidate further resistance. The 5th of September, International Day of the Indigenous Women was instituted in her honour. Elysia’s music and work are meant as Aymara survival and resistance, Bartolina being a major inspiration for her album Demon City which this track is from.

音樂mixtape [side H]

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I’ve been asked a lot during this tour how I ended up making this kind of music and who my influences are. So here’s a small playlist of some key figures for me:

Tzigane by Maurice Ravel performed by Midori
I watched Midori on TV a lot when I was a tiny budding violinist. Something about her intensity and expressive eyebrows really grabbed me. There was definitely a time when I thought of becoming a concert violinist and being just like Midori.

String Quintet in E flat major, Op. 97 “American” Mvt. 2 Allegro vivo by Antonin Dvorak
Music lessons and practicing were a chore for the majority of my childhood and youth. In the summer between Grade 11 and 12 though, I had the chance to attend an amazing chamber music camp with 4 other prodigy string friends as part of a quintet. Their 5th friend couldn’t make it and I was the next best option, which was really fortunate, because this was the first time I actually remember enjoying the music I was playing and finding a love for it. We learned both Mvt. 2 and 3 from this quintet by Dvorak, as well as Mvt. 1 from K.516 by Mozart. Rehearsal time was something I was actually excited for, it was inspiring, exciting, fun, and I would willingly practice beforehand to make sure I was well prepared to play with everyone else. It’s something I think a lot about now as a music teacher, how to help my students enjoy what they’re learning and playing, instead of begrudingly going through the motions.

Gabriel Moody by FOONYAP
Admittedly when friends first started recommending FOONYAP to me I was skeptical that they were only drawing the comparison because we’re both Chinese, from the prairies, and play the violin. I listened to this earlier recording of Gabriel Moody a lot, really drawing lots of inspiration on how drippy the violin parts come together. It turns out there’s a lot more in common between the two of us the more I’ve gotten to know her, it’s a very surreal feeling when your heroes become your friends.

Experience by Daedelus on Song Exploder
This episode was really encouraging for me because I was interested in making electronic music but didn’t know how. Daedelus talks about how they see electronic music as being soundscapes that subvert expectations and described their own track as “aspirationally” electronic even though they didn’t use any electronic equipment.  I didn’t know how to use any electronic gear when I started so instead I’m just working with what I already know (my violin) to make my own.

遊戲 by Elephant Gym
When I first got my delay pedal I was really excited but also totally lost about what to do with it. I stumbled upon Elephant Gym and was super inspired by the way 張凱婷 plays with the timing of their delay pedal to create flowing bass lines, especially on this track.  I learned this bass line on my violin and then started making my own riffs, you can hear this technique on tracks like “glitter” and “trickle”.

Scalpel/Stradivarius by Sarah Neufeld
I played this at my first show as respectfulchild. The chord progression is just so divine, it feels so good both under the fingers and in my soul. Sarah Neufeld’s solo album Hero Brother is pretty important to me, both as a selection of avant-garde violin pieces that doesn’t use a loop pedal, but also as a collection that simply embraces the violin without need for added extras like vocals or a rhythm section.

Deviations by Economics
Continuing along my “aspirational” electronic sound, I was thinking lots about the arpeggiation that synths can automate, especially while listening to the album The Wastes by my pal Economics. I basically combined that with the delay technique that I got from Elephant Gym and the result was the track “glitter”

The Mutterer by Lonely China Day
I could listen to this track and this album endlessly. This track in particular influenced me to explore and take time with space in my music. There is a calm introspection to this track that pulls at some deep emotions that I can’t quite describe. It pretty directly influenced the composition of my track “float”, especially the intro.

Says by Nils Frahm
I remember my friend sent me the album Spaces by Nils and I really fixated on how he could do so much with very few chords. He would build intensity with minimal movement and I really enjoyed that. It’s definitely reminded me that I can be very selective about my chord structure instead of making things too busy and that sometimes it benefits to have less rather than more.

音樂mixtape [side G]

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for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, here is my playlist of music and resources by Asian artists out here in the diaspora:

to those of us not born or living in Asia, those of us who have lost connection to our language and our culture, who share struggles with being exotified and tokenized, of internalized self-loathing, of trying to escape Asian stereotypes while still trying to feel Asian enough, of not knowing where we belong and who we are, of trying to prove that the struggle our immigrant parents went through was worth it, for those of us who face systematic violence and elimination through islamophobia, of feelings of isolation from being an ocean away from your family and never getting to visit them, but also those of us who are carving out and creating spaces for each other where we don’t see ourselves, who actively dismantle anti-blackness in our own communities, who decolonize our minds and our work to remind us of our responsibilities as settlers on indigenous land, who are helping to inspire the next generation, telling us that we are worth the fight, that we deserve to be here, and that we don’t have to take any of this shit. This is a thank you to each of these artists that inspires me daily, and also to the many more that are not on this list.

Your Best American Girl by Mitski
Sounds That Mark Our Words by Casey Mecjia
I Think You’re Alright by Jay Som
Sloka by Saraswathi Jones
Atalanta / Whalesong by Yamantaka// Sonic Titan
Resident Alien by Doctors & Engineers
Part-Time Woman by Vivek Shraya
The Woman That Loves You by Japanese Breakfast
Kitty in the Tree by Bitter Party
Baby’s Got It by Maylee Todd
World Gong Crazy by Han Han x Datu x Hataw
Eid Mubarak by The Kominas

The Great White North: the myth of multiculturalism in Canada featuring Yamantaka // Sonic Titan and Casey Mecija
The Sound and Fury of Mitski
Street Music-Culture in Taiwan project by Wendy Hsu of Bitter Party
100% Mixed Story featuring Maylee Todd
Han Han bring Pinoy pride to Wavelength
Real Life: Love, Loss, and Kimchi featuring Japanese Breakfast
Seeking Single White Male short film and essay by Vivek Shraya
Meet Jay Som: the New Queer Voice of Indie Rock
Meet the Desi Artists Fighting Back Against Trump with Punk Rock and ‘Post-Colonial Pop’ featuring Doctors & Engineers, The Kominas, and Saraswathi Jones

音樂mixtape [side E]

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first playlist for the year of the Fire Rooster!
atmospheric post-rock to emo punk anthems to lo-fi bedroom jams

万佛朝宗 / Ten Thousand Buddhas by Wang Wen
Street Spotted by 8 Eye Spy
Biting Straws
by forests
Golden Pineapple by LinFeng
TARDY by The White Tulips
頭腦體操 Sports Brain by Chen Yinn
上野公园 (Ueno Park) by Atta Girl
I Love You Mr.Snowball by chestnut bakery
一起去跑步(Let’s go running together) by Cosmospeople