Mixtape #43 : International Women’s Day

by 5:4
12 minutes read

As today is International Women’s Day, for my March mixtape i’ve allowed myself to indulge in a celebration of fabulous music by women composers and musicians. Compared to most of my mixtapes, this was one of the more difficult to create, for two reasons. First, because the shortlist of music i was keen to include wasn’t remotely short, but simply enormous (137 individual tracks, lasting a little over 12 hours), and second, because deciding which of them to omit was tough in the extreme. In the end, though, i found an interesting and, i hope, imaginative way of navigating through such a bewilderingly diverse collection of music. There’s no particular structure to the mix as a whole this time, as i was simply allowing myself to be drawn spontaneously from piece to piece, sometimes smoothly, sometimes breaking things up with non sequiturs.

There’s a not quite even split between instrumental and vocal music, though both of these terms are interpreted pretty eclectically. The latter range across the spectrum of sentiments, from poignant and painful (Brika, Laura Sheeran, FKA Twigs, Galina Grigorjeva, Lori Cullen) to passionate and elated (Anna von Hausswolf, Cocteau Twins, Princess Chelsea, Sleigh Bells, Jackie Trent, Ari Mason, Vanbot, Carice van Houten, Peaches, Trio Mediaeval, Ladyhawke), both of widely varying orders of magnitude, alongside the more reflective (EmikaRóisín Murphy, Demen, Zola Jesus, Nynke Laverman, OY, ionnalee, Robyn) and downright demented (Jennifer Walshe – who else?).

As for the instrumental music, not all of it is non-vocal: the pieces by Gazelle Twin, Lauren Redhead and Annette Vande Gorne occupy an electroacoustic place in between, each utilising voices in different ways. As for the rest, perhaps the most applicable continuum is between strains of agitation and disquiet (Jocelyn Pook, Kristin Øhrn Dyrud, AGF, Copeland, Zeena Parkins, Elizabeth Anderson, Natasha Barrett, Mica Levi, Wendy Bevan, Clara Iannotta, Pauline Oliveros, Rose Dodd, Vanessa Rossetto, Chaya Czernowin, Rebecca Saunders, Arlene Sierra, Galina Ustvolskaya, Line Katcho, Milica Djordjević) and calmer, more measured music (Olga Neuwirth, Linda Catlin Smith, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Motion Sickness of Time Travel, Chiyoko Szlavnics, Unsuk Chin, Christina VantzouÉliane Radigue, Delia Derbyshire, Isnaj Dui, Susanne Sundfør).

Elizabeth Parker‘s radiophonic cheerfulness doesn’t qualify as either of those, but then pretty much none of the 60 wonderful pieces i’ve featured on this mix fit neatly within one particular box or label: their inventiveness is boundary-challenging, which makes them ideal for a day like today. Apropos: i’ve ended the mix with a track by Frida Sundemo that beautifully captures a sense of optimism, which i think is also ideal for this particular day; the song’s theme is love, yet its emphasis on ‘flashbacks and futures’ seems an apt phrase for the confident, forward-looking attitude exhibited by all of this music, and which this mixtape celebrates.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with links to obtain each of the albums:

Anna von Hausswolff – Sova (from Ceremony)
Olga Neuwirth – …Miramondo Multiplo… – Aria della Pace (from Edition musikFabrik 08: Graffiti)
Linda Catlin Smith – Poire (from Drifter)
Brika – Demons (from Voice Memos)
Jocelyn Pook – The Dream (from Eyes Wide Shut (Music from the Motion Picture))
Kristin Øhrn Dyrud – Lights Out (from Coherence (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack))
Emika – Professional Loving (from Emika)
Róisín Murphy – Parallel Lives (from Overpowered)
AGF – How To Address The Fog (for Paavo Haavikko) (from Kuuntele)
Anna Thorvaldsdottir – In the Light of Air – 3. Existence (from In the Light of Air)
Cocteau Twins – Pur (from Four-Calendar Café)
Laura Sheeran – Lamenta Fra (from Murderous Love)
Princess Chelsea – We Are Very Happy (from The Great Cybernetic Depression)
Motion Sickness of Time Travel – pleochroism [excerpt] (from Alpha Piscium)
FKA Twigs – Figure 8 (from M3LL155X)
Copeland – Faith OG X (from Because I’m Worth It)
Chiyoko Szlavnics – Inner Voicings – III [excerpt] (from Donaueschinger Musiktage 2014)
Zeena Parkins – Gold (from Between the Whiles)
Unsuk Chin – Violin Concerto – Movement II (from Rocaná/Violin Concerto)
Elizabeth Anderson – Solar Winds [excerpt] (from L’envol)
Sleigh Bells – Lighting Turns Sawdust Gold (from Jessica Rabbit)
Jennifer Walshe – G.L.O.R.I.- (from Nature Data)
Jackie Trent – Once In Your Life (from More Late Night Sounds In Stereo)
Ari Mason – Let Me (from Wanted: Songs of Desire)
Natasha Barrett – Racing Unseen: Racing Far, Racing Wide [excerpt] (from Puzzle Wood)
Mica Levi – Death (from Under The Skin (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack))
Demen – Mea (from Nektyr)
Christina Vantzou – The Magic of the Autodidact (Ken Camden Remix) (from Nº2 REMIXES)
Galina Grigorjeva – Nature Morte – III. Who are You? (from Nature Morte)
Éliane Radigue – Elemental II [excerpt] (from Elemental II)
Wendy Bevan – Three (from Slow Light)
Clara Iannotta – Al di là del bianco (from A Failed Entertainment: Werke 2009–2014)
Pauline Oliveros – Four Meditations [excerpt] (from Four Meditations/Sound Geometries)
Zola Jesus – Veka (from Okovi)
Lauren Redhead – entoptic landscape version 4 (from entoptic landscape)
Rose Dodd – Transient I [excerpt] (unavailable)
Vanbot – Tired (from Vanbot)
Nynke Laverman – It sielewyfke (from Nomade)
Carice Van Houten – End of the World (from See You On The Ice)
Vanessa Rossetto – Make Good Use of the Ground [excerpt] (from Mineral Orange)
Chaya Czernowin – The Quiet [excerpt] (from The Quiet: works for orchestra)
Gazelle Twin – The Entire City (from The Entire City)
Rebecca Saunders – Behind the Velvet Curtain [excerpt] (unavailable)
Lori Cullen – Face Of Emily (from Sexsmith Swinghammer Songs)
Elizabeth Parker – Radio Blackburn (from The Soundhouse)
Delia Derbyshire – The Pattern Emerges (from Electrosonic)
Arlene Sierra – Cicada Shell – 1. Marziale [excerpt] (from Arlene Sierra Vol. 1)
Galina Ustvolskaya – Symphony No. 5 ‘Amen’ [excerpt] (from Symphonies 2, 3, 4 & 5)
Line Katcho – Dérive [excerpt] (from Pulsions)
OY – Horizon (from Space Diaspora)
Peaches – Trick Or Treat (from I Feel Cream)
Milica Djordjević – Do you know how to bark?! non-communication for solo contrabass 2.1.1 [excerpt] (from Edition Zeitgenössische Musik)
Isnaj Dui – The Last Will Become A Darker Grey [excerpt] (from Abstracts On Solitude)
Trio Mediaeval – Den Elskte Jerusalem (Beloved Jerusalem) (from Folk Songs)
Susanne Sundfør – Movement 3 (from A Night At Salle Pleyel)
ionnalee – Here is a Warning (from Everyone Afraid To Be Forgotten)
Ladyhawke – Wild Things (from Wild Things)
Annette Vande Gorne – Taureau (Le défi) – Combattimento (Chœur des femmes II) [excerpt] (from Yawar Fiesta)
Robyn – Jag Vet En Dejlig Rosa (from Body Talk Pt. 1)
Frida Sundemo – Flashbacks & Futures (from Flashbacks & Futures)

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Chris L

Many thanks for this, Simon. I’m not sure how much of a compliment to the efforts of all involved it is to say that it makes good driving music; however, the bulk of it did indeed provide an excellent accompaniment to my journeys to and from Darlington to visit my parents over the weekend!

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