Off The Agender

Artwork by Pushing Normal

I am excited to be More Womxn’s resident artist this month on Resonance FM with a special show inspired by my own experience of being agender! You can listen live at 8pm tomorrow night ( Friday!) or catch up afterwards on their website

Rhian the robo recorder, exiled from their home world of Agender, is left stranded on Earth searching for sounds that resonate with their soul. 

Experience the world through gender free eyes. Listen on Resonance FM, 8pm 18th February 2022. Produced by Liza Bec at Anarres Studios. 

The best part about creating this show was discovering the amazing work of so many incredible humans, in particular the incredible breadth and depth of work. I started with the intention of including as much work by agender artists as possible and was particularly excited to read the work of Bogi Takács. Bogi is an agender, trans poet and author and eir work has been published everywhere from Clarkesworld to Uncanny magazine. I loved the visceral textures and feelings evoked by this poem. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 

It was also an absolute pleasure to experience the work of CN Lester, an amazing musician and queer activist. Aether is a gut wrenchingly ethereal track. I really connected with the lyrics and harmonic structure. CN Lester is also a published author and their book “Trans like Me: A Journey for All Of Us” is very much worth a read.

Shirley Manson is one of my long time idols so when I found out that Arca and Shirley had collaborated I simply had to include the track in this session. I first saw Arca when performing on the same bill back in 2018 and have regretted not going and saying hello ever since. Her fearless creativity in all of her work is an absolute inspiration to me. You will also spot a sample from the song Musculos which I’ve used as roborecorder fuel for some of the improvisation sections. 

Tami T  is another artist who explicitly does not want to define their gender, producing glitter electronica which is both subversive and fabulous. I particularly like Tami’s musical strap on which rivals the robo recorder for sheer phallic verve. 

As a (somewhat lapsed) clarinettist I fell in love with brin solomon’s clarinet sonata at first listen. brin’s creativity and zest for life spoke to me both through its music and through its words on the web. You can hear part of one movement at the very end of the show, but there are also fragments tucked away earlier on- it’s worth listening twice to the session to see if you can spot where else we have used it. It is most definitely worth heading over to brin’s website to experience the sonata in full. 

Last but not least I included samples from Ursula K Le Guin and Todd Barton’s album Music and Poetry of the Kesh. This work was created to bring to life the folk music of her novel Always Coming Home using instruments designed and custom built for the purpose. Having named my studio after the anarchist utopian planet Anarres from “The Dispossessed”, still one of my all time favourite books, I really wanted to include some of this music in the session. You will also hear a heron flying backwards sampled from later in this album divebombing the session! If you haven’t read her books then go and read them right now, they will change your life.

Many thanks to Katie Callin for having me on- this is the first time that I have created a mix for radio and the process of making it to a tight deadline has been incredibly inspiring and pushed me to do some different (and scary!) things! In particular speaking my own words into a microphone which is a long standing phobia of mine, never mind having to mix it afterwards! 

Credits

“Off the Agender” concept and script by Liza Bec

With the exception of the poem “Spatiotemporal Discontinuity” written by Bogi Takácsand previously published in Uncanny Magazine

Performed live at Anarres on 2nd February 2022. With live, improvised music by:

Liza Bec – Roborecorder, reed flute, sopranino and alto saxophones, vocals, piano, electronics, narration 

David Ryder Prangley – Narration, bass guitar

Lascelle Gordon – Percussion, reed flute

Track Listing 

Ursula K Le Guin and Todd Barton – Long Singing

Spiral Dial – Sunshine Velvet

Arca featuring Shirley Manson – Alien Inside 

CN Lester – Aether 

Tami T – It’s Not Your Right To Know (Remix)

brin solomon – Clarinet Sonata 3rd movement

Additional Samples

Ursula K Le Guin and Todd Barton – Heron Song

Arca – Musculos 

Spiral Dial – Knit

Spiral Dial – Drip Stand