This episode of constellations we’re mapping ourselves, from the outside in. Relax your need to understand everything and listen to yourself, your body, loosen the need to analyze.
“Necropolis 2: Cruise Control” by Kamikaze Jones
“A Sound Poem” by Axel Kacoutié
“Necropolis 3: Planet of the Gapes” by Kamikaze Jones.
My original intention was to create an immersive sonic environment that was representative of the darker, more infernal channels of the collective queer subconscious. My work as a performance artist and extended technique vocalist over the past year has been focused on explorations of queer madness, and supernatural manifestations of queer erotic identity. My objective was to create a mythological sonic territory that addressed the sublimated ghosts and demons of our shared history. I quickly realized the boundaries of my own subjectivity in the compositional process and, embracing the queer art of failure, realized that the project would undergo a kind of conceptual mitosis, splitting into two separate but distinct companion pieces, each radical interpretations of what a “Queer Necropolis” could sound like.
Inspirations for these works:
I had gone down an internet rabbit hole researching conversion therapy propaganda, and gathering any sonic ephemera I could find related to these organizations.
Resources 4 U from Kamikaze:
Here’s the link to the butt plug I used for the entirety of Planet of the Gapes, and in portions of Cruise Control.
Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA is a national social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of people involved in the sex trade and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education and advocacy.
Necropolis 2: Cruise Control is a campy, vocally driven interpretation of this core concept, utilizing transcriptions from my Grindr dialogues, Yelp reviews of sex toys, and hold music from gay phone-sex hotlines. It imagines a queer hauntological underworld mediated by the technologies of yesteryear.
We are wrong to look for uniformity and objectivity. We have all mapped associations to what our subjective experience is like.
My experience of the colour red is different from yours. Our brains light up the same way when hearing water but our relationship to its sounds will never be the same.
Because of this, I wanted to illustrate how I've mapped mine using abstract terms like solitude, sunbathing, patricide etc. All as an attempt to say, "you don't have to understand, I just want to connect and have you see (listen) how I relate to the world."
Inspirations for this piece:
Today I will say:
The sound design and music in trailers/cinema - generic I know, but everything that I love about building worlds with sounds has come from learning how it's done in film.
Mother Moor's Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes - Grit and dirt. I like things that make me see/think in a different way or imagine new ways to express myself
Resources from Axel:
The Entry Level Audio Network (UK) - a network for anyone in the 1st stages of their UK audio career. UK wide meet-ups and online networking
Rise and Shine Audio - giving everyone a voice within the podcast and radio industries regardless of income. Free monthly RISE workshops and panels see radio professionals sharing their knowledge and SHINE events help you with promoting your content and furthering your career.
Sounds in Colour - an audio network for people of colour (UK) - if you identify as such, connect via soundsincolour[at]googlegroups.com
Necropolis 3: Planet of the Gapes started as a very fortuitous accident, and is comprised entirely of acoustic instruments played with the B-vibe; a vibrating anal plug. The plug proved to create a series of hypnotic and rhythmically singular drones on whatever instrument I applied it to, including found percussion, mandolin, and the detuned piano at my local lgbtq+ bar. Planet of the Gapes, to me, sounds like an extraterrestrial queer mining planet, full of subterranean depths, haunted caverns, and arcane masturbatory rituals. It is a sacred and insular expression of erotic interiority, and a ceremonial queering of traditional modes of instrumentation.
Axel Kacoutié is an audio artist who's been crafting sound, music, and words to challenge the familiar and revive the magic in the mundane.
Their work has featured on the BBC and spaces like the Barbican. He’s received awards from Third Coast: Best Documentary Award, Sarah Lawrence College International Audio Fiction Award, British Podcast Awards and more.
He is also the Creative Director of Sound for Guardian Podcasts (UK) and the sound designer and theme composer for its flagship daily news podcast, Today in Focus.
Kamikaze Jones is an interdisciplinary artist whose work often explores extended vocal technique, queer hauntologies, and ritualized erotic transcendence. His recent practice has been focused on cultivating both sonic and sculptural sanctuary for the ghosts of public sex. He is a co-founder of The Anchoress Syndicate, a poetry and performance collective based in New York City.