lazy river by Mira Calix was created as a download release to accompany her range of #calixagainstcovidcloth face masks, exclusive to Bleep, in aid of Medact and Doctors of the World. The track itself is a hyper-collage made from hundreds of clips collated from Twitter as the pandemic took hold, all set to a pounding drum loop, chronicling the world-wide responses to Covid-19 through the lens of social media. This archive of affectual gleanings are then disjunctively interrupted with her own field recordings made on daily walks in the suddenly eerily quiet suburban town in which she is based.
The track seethes with a righteous anger and overtly political energy; the return to nature glimpsed in her recordings is secondary to the pandemonium of the world news cycle that enters the otherwise quiet, private and solitary domain of lock-down Britain.The dense collage starts with singing in Naples and ends with the whistles of Wuhan, via Brazil, Spain, New York, and Germany. Neighbourhoods commune across balconies, blasts of horns sound in support of key workers, pots and pans are thumped for the NHS, nurses plea for PPE, streets erupt in singing, the bells of Notre Dame ring out, doctors state facts and politicians bury them under a theatre of figures, ad-hoc protests spout 5G conspiracies, and the press comment upon comments in overlapping waves of contradiction and virtual noise. These sounds connect us with others through the digital space in a strange solidarity, but also exist in painful contrast to the personal, introverted experience of the unexpected solitude of the newly-reclusive life. The track explores these two separate but simultaneously lived realities; the body is in the localised physical space of hushed emptiness, yet at the same time the second body is simultaneously connected to a ever-changing and highly politicised stream; the world reacting in real time to an unforeseen transformation of the world as we knew it. The track could be understood as an extended advert for the rational of wearing a mask for the foreseeable future; as we gradually return to the outdoors to explore the world as we find it anew.
Masks should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use. Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.
composer mira calix, video flat-e
Nunu was originally commissioned by Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de la Ville de Genève in 2002. Mira created an electronic version of the piece and premiered it there in 2002.
The orchestral version of Nunu was commissioned by the Ether Festival as part of the Warp Works and 20th Century Masters concert at The Royal Festival Hall. The orchestral version of the piece is performed by the London Sinfonietta, a tank of amplified insects including cicada’s, cockroaches, crickets and beetles and Mira Calix. The piece is performed in surround sound, engineered by Sounditermedia. Flat-e combine live feeds from miniature cameras situated in the insect tank, along with pre-recorded material.
The London Sinfonietta and Mira have toured Nunu. extensively. It has been performed at an array of international concert halls, including Parca Della Musica in the Mariinsky Concert Hall in Moscow and the Esplanade Concert Hall in Singapore
The original electronic version of Nunu and the orchestral version of Nunu (RFH mix) which was recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall premiere and broadcasted by the BBC, were released on the album 3 commissions, by Warp Records in 2004.
A surround sound version of Nunu was commissioned by Lieven Bertels and remixed by Mira Calixin in 2008. Nunu Wadudu appears on Recovery/Discovery: 40 Years of Electronic Music in The U.K., alongside the seminal works: Mortus Plango by Jonathan Harvey, Chronometer by Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Temazcal by Javier Alvarez.
Upper Ups - teaser - from the Utopia EP
Calix’s return to electronic instrumentation and the laid-back dance floor, is routed in the physical landscape. By creating creating these frameworks and parameters she uses found sound, off cuts of existing sonic material from her personal library, taking a collage approach to music. Exploring this fragmented approach further, she deploys her own voice as an instrument, a cut up that refractures and recontextualises the material in order to conceive a sound that is directly influenced by sight.
rightclick was made specifically for the film, the subsequent 3 tracks followed on and were very much conceived as an EP in graphic form, a sonic découpé if you will. The concepts behind the individual tracks’ riffs stem from the role of the muse, the male gaze, nostalgia vs modernity and the distribution and categorisation of art and the utopian idyll: upper ups references the muses of some of the world’s most famous artists, bite me, a podcast discourse on art, while just go along explores escape, obsession and the male gaze.
Even Calix’s cover artwork, a photomontage, takes the same approach as her music. A gatherum of sculptural self-portraiture featuring her abstracted anatomy taking flight, offering a combination of annexed collages that reflect the colour and form of the music within.
Calix has always created drawings and graphic material as part of composition process - visible on her Calix Portal - where she has been releasing material old and new from installation-based work over the past 18 months.