LISTEN NOW: https://soundcloud.com/user-929382892/sets/sun
Curated by Catherine de Montreuil and Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes
Recording, mastering, and project support from Nick Short
Artwork by Martin Steuck, Catherine de Montreuil, and Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes
- June 20 – Album release date
- July 4 – 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Broadcast on CJSF 90.1 FM with Marisa + Catherine
- July 20 – Cassette Launch event TBD
- 01. Pari – A radiant resonance
- 02. Atama Itai – Osaka Sun
- 03. B.Michaael – 21/21
- 04. Ogheneofegor Obuwoma – ft. Onosholema Ikhwolegbe – In conversation with time
- 05. Jane Harms – The Weekend of the Year
- 06. Lida Pawliuk – ft. B. WEST – Cruel Summer
- 07. Absolute Value Of Noise – Circuits That Wake Up With The Sun
- 08. Stefana Fratila – ft. Tess Degenstein – “I Want To Leave This Earth Behind” (Short Story)
- 09. Manuel Muñoz – Distorty’s Like A Melody In My Head
- 10. Jami Reimer – Lost in the antiphon
Sound of the Sun, Volume I is the weird, entrancing, celebratory, sometimes gloomy, and somewhat euphoric summer mixtape of planetary travel, solar interventions, story telling, and frog choruses you didn’t know you needed for summer 2023.
As UNIT/PITT’s first iteration of a multi-part project of sonic-celestial explorations, the Sound of the Sun project asks participants to consider their relationship to cycles of solar movement as the days lengthen on this half of the planet—to observe, respond, record, and retell through music, poetry, field recordings, storytelling, and any other audio-based methods in order to speak to this important time of the solar year.
Featuring sound works by 10 artists, Sound of the Sun, Volume I beckons the promise of sun-worship, long beach days, A/C, forest fires, and excess levels of Vitamin D.
About the Artists + Tracks:
Pari – A radiant resonance
Pari (he/they) is a BIPOC settler artist whose multidisciplinary work engages with intersectional identities, transgenerational memories and mythologies, through the in-between boundaries of writing, visual art, and archival photography.
About the track: |A radiant resonance| is an immersive audio experience that explores the artist’s transcultural influences in ancestral mantra traditions and avant-garde Dada immersions. Inspired by their grandmother’s recitation of the ancient Gayatri mantra from the Vedas, Pari recontextualizes healing frequencies of sanskrit seed syllables – Bīja mantras – to revere and connect with the all-pervasive Solar essence, Bhargo.
Accordingly, the ancient meets the avant-garde within this poetic soundscape, as the artist urges renewed appreciation for the power of sound as a portal to self-discovery.
Atama Itai – Osaka Sun
Atama Itai is an experimental art project by composer Akira Mikoshiba and illustrator and tattoo artist, Layla Chen.
About the track: Osaka Sun is inspired by the time the artists spent in the countryside mountains of Osaka, Japan in 2022; where friends established a small community in abandoned houses surrounded by sun and forest. Atama Itai’s sound tries to stay away from traditional structure (such as verse, chorus, and bridge), while bringing influences from their cultures (Japan, Korea, China). All of their work is created at home with no professional help. Layla provides voice and animation/video and Akira creates all of the instrumentals.
B.Michaael – 21/21
B.Michaael is the pseudonym of Vancouver based artist, producer, and composer Branton Olfert. His practice focuses on recontextualizing elements and motifs from a wide range of genres, collaging them into new sonic worlds and hybrid structures. Branton is currently releasing music through the Ohio based experimental label Orange Milk Records. His latest work takes heavy influence from Japanese environmental/ambient music, and expands those distinctive characteristics into dynamic macro structures.
About the track: 21/21 was created as a proof of concept and extension toward the ongoing study of deconstructing musical structure and standardised sequencing within the current musical medium of electronic music. The majority of the piece was created and structured within a set of custom MaxMsp sequencers that use data sets and movements of the sun between the winter and summer solstices to interpolate into musical gestures. 21/21 expands and opens up over a time-line of 182 days condensed into 8min to simulate the growth and chaotic nature of life that blooms with the extended hours.
Ogehenofegor Obuwoma, feat Onosholema Ikhwolegbe – In conversation with time
Ogheneofegor Obuwoma is a Nigerian storyteller and writer with a BFA in film and communications from Simon Fraser University. The possibilities of bodies as personal archives and their relationship to the world is an important part of her practice. Ogheneofegor’s work emerges from an investigation of the dynamic, nuanced and ever changing state of contemporary Nigerian society, people, and culture. Her artistic practice is influenced by African futurism and a visual language born of cultural and lived experiences. They are constantly exploring the interrelations between cultural production and rituals and ground their practice in traditions of care and reimagination.
About the track: What is the sound of this body in transformation? Using call and response, the performers chart the course of a life; as it unfolds across timelines. In this piece, lived experience, cultural and spiritual aesthetic, crafts a space within the cycles of life in a way that considers what has been and is yet to come. Through traditional storytelling and exploration of Nigerian culture and experiences, the artist challenges the expected conventions of being Nigerian.
Jane Harms – The Weekend of the Year
Jane Harms thought she would make pop music but in the end any music would do because all music brings us closer to heaven. She bought a harp but the kind with buttons, because it was all she could manage, or afford. She found a way to have its automated strings trigger synthetic tones, to then collide with a voice straining, breaking under the weight of interpretation.
About the track: The Weekend of the Year documents a practice the artist calls “Angel Time”. Taking leave from a timetable found in a late medieval occult text, the artist engages each hour of the day in activity related to the archangel which rules over that hour. This necessitates keeping time starting from sunrise; adjusted seasonally.
Starting from field recordings on a handheld tape recorder, 7 short looped pieces of ambient/synthesizer music were composed, connected to the angels. From there, she selected the 3 which correspond to Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Harp for Anael, a descending chime for Cassiel, the clang of falling metal for Michael: cycling through these sonic cues, an atmospheric sonic diary illustrates an experience of living each hour on a solar timetable in observation of the Archangels.
Lida Pawliuk, feat. B. WEST – Cruel Summer
Lida Pawliuk is a musician and artist residing in Berlin. As one half of the live hardware project Minimal Violence, she has released music on labels such as Tresor and Technicolour Records, as well as toured throughout North America and Europe.
About the track: Cruel Summer pays tribute to the artist’s favourite summer anthem by Bananarama, released in 1983. Reworked entirely on the Roland MC-505 and Access Virus A, and featuring musician B. WEST on vocals, Cruel Summer combines melodies with lyrics that perfectly capture the malaise and melancholy that can run as an undercurrent throughout the days from solstice onwards as summer rushes towards its conclusion. The mood can be determined by individual circumstances or simply the collective awareness that summer won’t last. Whether heartbroken, lonely, or too broke to escape the heat crushing down on the city, Cruel Summer is a playful collision of summer’s many feelings.
Absolute Value of Noise – Circuits that wake up with the sun
Absolute Value of Noise (Peter Courtemanche) is a sound artist from Vancouver, Canada. He creates radio, installations, network projects, performances, and curatorial projects. He likes to work with “gadgetry” — bio-electric analog circuits, custom turntables, lamp filaments, wire coils, high voltage ionizers, magnetic transceivers, and “little electronic brains” that observe and respond to local phenomena. He often works outdoors making installation pieces that comment on bio-diversity, extinction, and fragile ecosystems. His artworks often have a literary basis — inspired by narrative texts and the history of specific installation sites.
About the track: Circuits that wake up with the sun is a new soundwork produced outdoors by using solar powered AM radio transmitters. The transmitters do unexpected things at sunrise, sunset, and when clouds appear and disappear. The sounds of bio-electric synthesizer circuits have been run through the AM transmitters at dawn and dusk, and on days when there is broken cloud cover; thereby collecting sounds when the transmission is most fragile. Playing with the recordings, the artist has created sounds unique to the time(s) of day when the world transitions from dark to light, and shadow to brightness.
Stefana Fratila, feat. narration by Tess Degenstein – “I want to leave this Earth behind” (Short Story)
Stefana Fratila is a Romanian-born artist, composer and sound designer based in Toronto, Canada. She is also a DJ and co-founder of Crip Rave, an event platform showcasing and prioritizing Crip, Disabled, Deaf, Mad, and Sick body-minds within safer and more accessible rave spaces. She has exhibited, performed, and screened her work internationally, including at MoMA and e-flux (New York, USA), Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria), and the International Symposium on Electronic Art (Paris, France). She has also completed residencies at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Wave Farm Transmission Arts, and CMMAS (Mexican Centre for Music and Sonic Arts).
About the track: Between December 2018 and 2019, Stefana Fratila embarked on a series of research trips across North America (including to NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre), meeting with astronomers and scientists in order to create 8 VSTs that emulate the planetary atmospheres of the solar system. During a residency at CMMAS (Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras) in Morelia, Mexico, Fratila began writing an ambient record on an octophonic sound system. This sound piece begins with a manipulated sample of the 1969 Apollo 11 launch, and leads into a remixed version of Fratila’s recent album, underneath narration by actor Tess Degenstein reading a speculative fiction short story Fratila wrote.
Manuel Muñoz – Distorty’s Like a Melody in My Head
Manuel holds an MArch from UBC and a BSc(Env) from UofT; it was at these schools that he focused on third space environments and ghost stories, hydrology cycles and the phantom third rhythms of minimalist music (respectively). Strips of magnetic tape are woven into the wall-to-wall carpeting of his bedroom.
About the track: archiving. A perfect circle only exists in quick glimpses of the sun as even the residue seen behind your eyelids was distorted when you looked away. Milankovitch cycles, wow and flutter, anthropogenic stressors, muscle fatigue, VHS remanence decay, heat death and diminishing returns. Some NASA scientists believe that the time for reversing our effect on the environment ended in the 2000’s (coincidentally with the obsoletion of tape). At best, we are in a period of damage control and at worst,
Jami Reimer – Lost in the antiphon
Jami Reimer (she/her) is a musician, performance maker, composer, and educator from Winnipeg, Manitoba. From choral music to field recording practices, Jami explores voice— human and otherwise. She was recently awarded the Robert Fleming Prize from the Canada Council of the Arts for her ongoing creative research about bioacoustics and amphibian chorusing.
About the track: Lost in the antiphon is an excerpt from a larger production titled Soft tongues: a bioacoustic opera. The work is part of an ongoing investigation into amphibian choruses, bioacoustics, and ‘speculative choral music.’ This track grew out of a partnership with the Amphibian Natural History Lab (University of Campinas) during a residency undertaken during the 2022 spring mating chorus season. Frog recordings made in the field by the artist are combined with recordings of recently extinct frogs accessed through the sound archive at the lab and sampled ‘choruses’ of Jami’s voice. The emergent erotic vocal networks of mating choruses get quieter with each year as amphibians face endangerment the world over.