Right now, outside my window, thousands upon thousands of juicy buds are aching to unfurl. Newness in electric green, swaying violently as they contend with the changing wind. A harrowing moment to emerge, to open yourself up again, to take on a new shape, but that’s the way of Spring, right?
This is an episode of Something Like that looks at newness in its revelatory, ritualistic form, but also in its anxiety, the stress and also the exhilaration of meeting a moment, of opening oneself up to a moment.
As always, thank you to my dearest friend Roger 3000 for providing Something Like’s jingle
The music under my voice today is Larkin’s O’Cean (1980)
Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders, London Symphony Orchestra, Promises, March 2021
Rachika Nayar, The Trembling of Glass, Our Hands Against the Dusk, 2021
Dialect, Yamaha Birds Pt. 2, Under ~ Between, 2021
Everything Play, 君に輝く太陽を感じよう (Feel The Sun), Everything Play, 1992
Kendra Smith, Iridescence, The Guild of Temporal Adventurers, 1992
Irena and Vojtěch Havlovi, In the Garden, Melodies in the Sand, 2021
Laurence Brisset (Hildegard v. Bingen), Hodie Aperuit, Gemme, 2015
Maggie Payne, Shimmer, Ahh-Ahh, 2020
Leona Hirota (広田玲央名), Flower, Leona, 1985
Mad Music Inc. 11, Mad Music, 1977, reissued in 2016
Koh-Tao, Moon in the Lake, Tayu Tayu (たゆたゆ), 1997
Alice Coltrane, Spring Rounds from Rite of Spring, Eternity, 1976
In this special 30th episode of Something Like, we look at the glistening, darkened, persistent paths that water carves, producing new life in the process. A year into recording Something Like from my bedroom in Kreuzberg, we’ll also look into the cyclical quality of water, and so its place in memory. We’ll return to the observance of its dual states: wetness and dryness, high tide and low tide, the shore and the depths of a pool. To navigate all of this, we have Alejandra Pizarnik’s 1962 poem Caminos des Espejo as a guide, this time read by the poet Mayra Rodríguez Castro from her current home in La Esperanza, Colombia—one of the rainiest places in the world.
Special thanks to Mayra for her contributions to this episode!
Thanks as always to Roger 3000 for providing us with Something Like’s jingle
The music behind my voice in this episode is from Toshiya Sukegawa’s (助川敏弥), Bioçic Music Aqua (バイオシック・ミュージック 「水」),1993
Mayra A. Rodríguez Castro is a poet and translator. Rodríguez is the editor of Dream of Europe: Selected Seminars and Interviews (Kenning Editions, 2020). Her translations include the Pornomiseria Manifesto by Luis Ospina and Carlos Mayolo (2017) and Ecogenoethnocide by Santiago Arboleda Quiñonez (2018). Here is an interview with Mayra speaking about Audre Lorde, Dream of Europe: Selected Seminars and Interviews, a book that Mayra edited and released with Kenning Editions last year.
Ladan Osman is a poet, born in Somalia and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She earned a BA from Otterbein University and an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin’s Michener Center for Writers. In 2014 her poetry collection The Kitchen Dweller’s Testimomy won the annual Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. Osman lives in Chicago. Read her poem Water at Narrative Magazine.
Alejandra Pizarnik was a poet, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1936. She studied philosophy and literature at the University of Buenos Aires before dropping out to pursue painting and her own poetry. She lived in Paris from 1960–64. She published eight books of poetry before her death in 1972 at age 36, by suicide.
Here is Lydia Merriman Herrick’s English translation of Caminos del Espejo from the Spanish:
Paths of the Mirror
And above all gazing with innocence. As if nothing were happening, which is true.
But I want to look at you until your face moves far from my fear like a bird on the sharp edge of night.
Like a little girl drawn with pink chalk on an ancient wall suddenly erased by the rain.
Like when a flower opens up and reveals the heart it doesn’t have.
All the gestures of my body and my voice to make an offering out of me, the branch that leaves the wind on the threshold.
Cover the memory of your face with the mask of the one you’ll be and frighten the little girl that you were.
Their shared night dispersed with the fog. It’s the season of cold nourishment.
And thirst, my memory is of thirst, I below, in the bottom, in the well, I would drink, I remember.
To fall like a wounded animal in the place that was going to be revelatory.
Like someone who doesn’t want something. Not a thing.
Sewn mouth. Sewn eyelids. I forgot. Inside, the wind.
Everything closed and the wind inside.
Words turned golden in the black sun of silence.
But silence is certain. That’s why I write. I’m alone and I write.
No, I’m not alone. There’s someone here who trembles.
Even if I say sun and moon and star I refer to things that happen to me.
And what did I want?
I wanted the perfect silence.
That’s why I speak.
Night takes the form of a wolf’s howl.
The pleasure of getting lost in the premonitory image. I arose from my corpse, I went looking for who I am. Wanderer from myself, I’ve gone towards she who sleeps in a country to the wind.
My endless fall into my endless fall where nobody awaited me, since upon seeing who was waiting I saw none other than myself.
Something was falling in the silence. My last word was I but I was referring to the luminous dawn.
Yellow flowers in a circular constellation of blue earth. The wind-filled water quakes.
Glare of the day, yellow birds in the morning. A hand unleashes darkness, a hand drags the hair of a drowned woman who doesn’t cease passing by the mirror. To return to the memory of the body, I have to return to my grieving bones, I have to understand what my voice says.
Sun Ra Arkestra, Sea of Darkness / Darkness, Swirling, 2020
Mayra Castro Rodríguez reads Alejandra Pizarnik’s Caminos del Espejo, 1962
Dorothy Carter, Along the River, Waillee Waillee, 1978
The Growth Eternal, V. My Storm at Sea, Bass Tone Paintings, 2020
Laila Sakini, The Potion in the Pool (Flora Yang Remix), 2020
Flesh & Bone, Ocean Song, Skeleton Woman, 1992
Nobue Kawana, あのとき限りの私たち (A no toki kagiri no watashitachi), Nobue’s Sea, 1975
Ana Roxanne, Venus, Because of a Flower, 2020
Né Ladeiras, Húmus Verde, Alhur, 1982
Fred Simon & Liz Cifani, Time and the River, Time and the River, 1995
Rock & Waves Song Circle, I, Rock & Waves Song Circle, 2016
Brian Bennett, The Sea, Nature Watch, 1982
O Terno, Profondo/Superficial, <atrás além=””>, 2019
Ursula K. Le Guin & Todd Barton, A River Song, Music & Poetry of the Kesh, 1985 (2018)
Kay Gardner, Atlantis Rising, Emerging, 1978
Cris Williamson, Waterfalls, The Changer and the Changed, 1975
Mayra Rodríguez Castro, lluvia, 2021</atrás>
How is it that for every song about the special kind of love of friendship, there are hundreds about breaking up? In celebration of Valentine’s Day coming up, this 29th episode of Something Like plumbs acid folk and avant-garde composition alike to search out the love involved between friends, and what that could mean. This is no invective against romantic love but we might take a renewed look at a couple of love songs, asking if they could apply to your best friend too.
Special thanks to Rosa & Dylan Aiello, Nooa Avo, Oopie Ghosh & Nadia Jones, Orsod Malik, Hoora Sarajan, and Camilla Wills for their excellent input into the making of this episode! Happy Valentines Day, my friends! Will you be my valentine? I choo choo choose you!
As ever, Something Like’s jingle comes courtesy of my dearest friend, Roger 3000. Check out the precious new release on his imprint Tundra Records by DJ New Smile here.
HONEY is a riso printed zine meditating on the experiences of friendship. The project was conceived by two friends who recognised non-familial connections were entirely formative to their politics, welfare and identities, but observed a marked lack of attention on modern forms of friendship in print media. Order your copy of Honey here and check them out on instagram.
Orsod Malik is a Sudani curator, editor and digital archivist. He is the founder of @code__switch, an archive/continuum of radical internationalism and a curator at the Stuart Hall Foundation. His work attempts to draw links between yesterday’s anti-imperial struggles and immediate conjunctures.
adrienne maree brown is a writer, a pleasure activist, a sci-fi/Octavia Butler scholar, a facilitator (non-active), a speaker/singer (including wedding singer) and a doula living in Detroit. I read an excerpt from their Coevolution Through Friendship (February 5, 2013), which was published in HONEY.
Cat Cohen is a comedian and writer. Nooa Avo read her poem, poem I wrote after I looked at your jawline and it ruined my life
Sandra M. Gilbert (born December 27, 1936) is an American literary critic and poet who has published in the fields of feminist literary criticism, feminist theory, and psychoanalytic criticism. I read her poem, Thinking About an Old Friend (1980).
Emily Brontë was a British writer. In this episode, I read her poem Love and Friendship.
Nikki Giovanni, Two Friends, The Reason I Like Chocolate, 1976
Bebe K’Roche, Strong and Free, Be Be K’Roche, 1976
Gary Shearston, Friend to Me, I Get a Kick out of You, 1974
Julia Holter, Moni Mon Ami, Ekstasis, 2012
Brady Cohan, Oliver and Me, Studies Vol. 1, 2020
Jenny Hval (feat. Laura Jean Englert & Vivian Wang), The Practice of Love, The Practice of Love, 2019
Kirby Shelstad and Richard Allen, Just Friends, Peaceful Solutions, 1984
Frank Harris & Maria Marquez, Bein’ Green, Echoes, 2019
Heather Leigh, Prelude to Goddess, Throne, 2018
René Aubry & Jean Schwarz – Five Women, Still Waters: Ballet De Carolyn Carlson, 1986
Tirzah, No Romance, No Romance, 2014
Dylan Henner, We Could Hear them Singing From Across The Valley, The Invention of the Human, 2020
Laraaji, Moods and Emotions, The Piano Trilogy, 2021
Kinoko Gumo, Please Give a Name to the Small Life, Kokoro O Utau, 1972
Dne, Friends Cleanse, These Semi-Feelings, They Are Everywhere, 2016
Jill Caslaghi, Friend of Mine, Friends of Mine, 1977
Scott Seskind, I Remember, Chance, 1990
Lou Reed, She’s My Best Friend, Coney Island Baby, 1976
Julian Cope, Sunspots, Fried, 1984
Bob Reitman, A Few Thoughts, The Eleventh House, 1971
Johnny Frierson, Have You Been Good to Yourself, Have you Been Good to Yourself, 2016
This is an episode that started as a meditation on waiting, and became an episode about the distillation of time and the experience of time passing: its expansions and contractions. Our lodestars in this sense will be two great proponents of free jazz: the musician/researcher/educator/gardener/martial artist Milford Graves and the writer/educator/poet/filmmaker Amiri Baraka. We’ll be looking at time as irregular, subjective—its passage expressed elastically. Mostly, we’ll be looking at patience and its ritualisation. We’ll search for strategies in music to be in time, and so perhaps to account for its passage not in terms one’s own subjective experience of it, but in terms of existing within its inevitability.
Hang in there, friends.
As ever, Something Like’s jingle is provided by my brilliant friend and collaborator Roger 3000, who has an adorable new track out on bandcamp now.
You can listen to Amiri Baraka’s complete 1985 lectures at Naropa University here.
Amiri Baraka, On Class, Speech, Rhythm, Sound, and Music, Naropa University, 1985
Sarah Davachi, Accord of Voice I, Laurus, 2020
Neil Young, I’ve Been Waiting for You, Sugar Mountain – Live at Canterbury House, 1968
His Name is Alive, Tape Slow, A Silver Thread (Home Recordings 1989 – 1990), 2021
Bitsy Knox & Roger 3000, Walking, OM COLD BLOOD, 2018
Gavin Bryars, Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet, The Sinking of the Titanic / Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet, 1975
Ah 2020, what is the soundtrack to your misery? This episode of Something Like, the last of this goddess-forsaken year, cycles back through past episodes and past moments to plumb the music that marked time this year.
Blue Gene Tyranny, Leading a Double Life, Out of the Blue, 2019
White Light, I Want You to Know Me, White Light, 1982
Silvia Tarozzi, Al Cancello, Mi Specchio e Rifletto, 2020
Mich Live, Planet E, Message from Heart, 1986
Pyrolator, Gespraech mit der Erde, Wunderland, 1984
Mikrokosmos, Another Time, This Time, One Time, Another Time, This Time, One Time, 2020
Lyu Hongjun (劉宏軍), フルスーの景 (Furusu No Kei) , 大地の詩 (Songs Of The Earth), 1988
Carman Moore, Love Trouble, Personal Problems, 2020
Björk, The Anchor Song, Debut, 1993
Alabaster DuPlume, Visit Croatia, To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1, 2020
Keeley Forsyth, Look To Yourself, Debris, 2020
Duval Timothy, Same, Help, 2020
Gia Margaret, sadballad, Mia Gargaret, 2020
Roger 3000, Tu Ne Meurs Pas, Fiftine, 2020
Iceblink, Cellphone in the Bath, Carpet Cocoon, 2020
Ana Roxanne, Camille, Because of a Flower, 2020
Nailah Hunter, Bassin Bleu, 2020
Jay Electronica feat. The Dream, Ezekiel’s Wheel, A Written Testimony, 2020
Sun Ra Arkestra, Seductive Fantasy, Swirling, 2020
This year, in lieu of getting sloppy in velvet at Christmas parties, howling at the Solstice moon, shooting arrows and shooting back Thor’s Hammer at the Schloss Britz Weihnachtsmarkt, wrapping white elephant gifts for the Christmas Pyjama Jamboree, and basically living in the reflection of a Christmas tree ornament, I made a special holiday episode of Something Like, and invited some of my favourite people in the world to send over their holiday greetings.
Each message feels like the best little sonic xmas gift I could ever ask for, and I can’t wait to share them with you. Thanks to Julien Meert, Elif Saydam, Michele di Menna & Max Brand & Mina, Camila McHugh, Sascha Garrey & Daniel Girard, Tim Koh, Alex Turgeon, Viviana Abelson, Céline Gillain, Joseph Kusendila, Leon Eisermann, Rosa Aiello, Anna Łuczak, Emma LaMorte, Louise O’Kelly & Paulo Andres Gonzalez, Nooa Avo, and Margie & Tony Knox for sending over your messages; you’ve warmed my heart more than you can know! Also sending love to all those who couldn’t send something along, I’m sharing this episode with you in particular.
Happy holidays, Merry (Happy) Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Winter Solstice, everybody! This lonely year is almost over. Almost time for another.
Check out Artist Charity Aid Network (A.C.A.N.) on Instagram and support the charities participating artists have chosen! Plenty of last minute xmas gifts for great causes!
Check out this list posted by A.C.A.N. telling Berliners where they can donate clothing, food, money, and supplies over the holiday season and all year round.
Another idea: Tim Koh’s new album “In Your Dreams”, out now on Bandcamp and the holiday episode of Kokonut Trip on NTS.
Roger 3000, Jingle Bells, 2020
Marvin Gaye, Purple Snowflakes, 1964
Home Alone “I’ll Give it a Whirl”, 1990
Vince Guaraldi Trio, Christmas Time is Here, A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965
It’s Christmas Time, The Qualities, 1960
Eurythmics, Winter Wonderland, A Very Special Christmas, 1987
Jun Togawa, 降誕節 (The Nativity), Wish With You A Merry Christmas, 1983
Elif Saydam’s Top 5 of 2020
The Patti Smith Group (Radio Ethiopia Field Marshall), White Christmas, 1978
Eddie Daniels, Sleigh Ride, A GRP Christmas Collection, 1988
YTV Santa Calls, 1997
Pastor T.L. Barrett and the Youth for First Choir, Jingle Bells Part 1, 1971
Michele di Menna, Max Brand, Mina
Cocteau Twins, Frosty the Snowman, Snow (EP), 1993
Kate Bush, December Will Be Magic Again, 1980
Vince Guaraldi Trio, O Tannenbaum, A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965
A Message from Camila McHugh
Coil, Christmas is Now Drawing Near, Winter Solstice (North), 1999
Sascha Garrey & Daniel Girard, Deck The Halls, 2020
Karina Skye, We Three Witches, Pagan Yule Carols (Wiccan Holiday Music), 2012
Viviana Abelson, 2020
Celine Gillain, I’M SORRY IF I HAVEN’T ALWAYS BEEN A GOOD FRIEND, 2020
Joseph Kusendila, Le Frêne (The Ash Tree), read by William Gallab
The Choir of Chester Cathedral, Song of the Nuns of Chester (1425), Glory to the New-Born King – Christmas Music Sung by the Choir of Chester Cathedral, 2012
Betty Arden, Funny Bells, 2020
YTV Santa Calls 1997
Suicide, Hey Lord (1981), ZE A Christmas Record, 1981
Alex Turgeon, 2020
Special EFX, Silent Night, 1988
Tim Koh, Little Drummer Boy, 2020
Haruomi Hosono, 25 December 1983, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, 1984
Louise & Paulo in London, 2020
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Ding Dong Merrily on High, 2010
Little Women, Ding Dong Merrily on High,1994
A message from Emma LaMorte, 2020
J.S. Bach, Christmas Oratorio, BMW 248 Part Two: For the Second Day of Christmas, No. 10, 1734 (performed by Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, 1987)
A message from Anna Łuczak, 2020
Nina Simone, I am Blessed, Broadway Blues Ballads, 1964
Stevie Wonder, Someday at Christmas, Someday at Christmas, 1967
Dave Grusin, Some Children See Him, A GRP Christmas Collection, 1988
An interview with Leon Eisermann from A.C.A.N.
A message from Rosa Aiello, 2020
Prince, Another Lonely Christmas, Purple Rain, 1993 (first as a B-Side on I Would Die For U, 1984)
Tom Recchion, A Christmas Filled with Tears, Where Were You on Christmas, 2006
Taeko Ohnuki, Inori (To Nobody), We Wish You A Merry Christmas, 1984
A message from Nooa Avo, 2020
Joni Mitchell, River, Blue, 1971
A message from Margie and Tony Knox, 2020
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge / Patrick Hadley, I Sing a Maiden, 2012
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Once in a Royal Davids City (Desc. Stephen Cleobury), 2017
Female ascetics, hermits, wise women, and witches, and the lore that circles around this archetype is what we will be exploring in the 25th episode of Something Like: Hag Lore. I’m very pleased to be sharing this episode with some wonderful friends and artists who share my fascination with this archetype. We’re going to listen to a reading by the Canadian artist Rochelle Goldberg, a reading from Don Quixote by the Canadian Berlin-based artist Elif Saydam, sound recordings by the British Berlin-based artist and music from the Berlin based artist and musician Anchoress (Anna-Lucia Nissen & Alex Rathborne). And so we’re going to also look at female-identifying characters who chose a life of seclusion, who removed themselves from the material world: the Desert Mothers, the anchoresses of medieval christianity, and perhaps even some contemporary evolutions of this type. We’ll delve into what is behind the fascination with the notion of female recluses.
As always, Something Like’s intro jingle comes courtesy of my main bud Roger 3000
Big thanks to Anna-Lucia Nissen, Beth Collar, Elif Saydam, and Rochelle Goldberg for their invaluable contributions to this episode!