CASEY WEI (ed.) – FRIEND POEMS

Multiple Authors (ed. Casey Wei) – Friend Poems
by Colin Osler, Kay Higgins, Tiziana La Melia, Steffanie Ling, and Casey Wei
paperback, 90 pgs – $15
ISBN: 978-1-927385-60-9

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Realized throughout the pandemic, Friend Poems addresses long-running thoughts, recurring dreams, and secret epiphanies. Co-published by PSVancouver and AK, AK’s 27th release is its first collection of poetry with contributions by five Vancouver-based artist-writers responding to the prompt: “a poem written to a friend, with friends in mind, as an act of trust.” Each contribution works through its own methodology and desire while rippling kismet throughout one another.

Friend Poems launches with a reading and discussion via Zoom on Friday, January 26th at 5pm PST. To attend this online event, register here.

Bios:

CASEY WEI is an interdisciplinary artist, musician, and writer based in Vancouver. Her practice has evolved from filmmaking (Murky Colors [2012], Vater und Sohn / Father and Son / 父与子 [2013]), into works that cross over between art, music, and the community at large (Kingsgate Mall Happenings [2014], Chinatown Happenings [2015], the Karaoke Music Video Free Store [2017], the art rock? concert series [2015-2018], which resulted in the film, art rock? The Popular Esoteric [2018]). In 2016, she began Agony Klub. She plays in the music project Kamikaze Nurse and sometimes produces music videos and texts under the alias Karen Zolo. She is also co-founder and editor at ReIssue.pub, and founder and ED of Artworld Software.

COLIN OSLER is an interdisciplinary artist and musician based in Vancouver, BC. His work is informed by themes of cultural phenomena, memory recall and nostalgia. He will be graduating from Emily Carr University with a BFA in Critical + Cultural Practices this Spring.

KAY HIGGINS is an artist and cultural worker based in Vancouver. She was a co-founder of Artspeak Gallery and the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres, is co-proprietor (with Kathy Slade) of the artist press Publication Studio Vancouver and was Executive Director of the artist-run space UNIT/PITT Projects from 2010-2019. She is currently Head of Publishing at the Libby Leshgold Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and Editor of ECU Press. Her work has included manufactured publications, handmade artist books, public inscription, photography, and internet-based projects. She has been a curator, editor, factory and warehouse labourer, technology consultant, and candidate for municipal office.

STEFFANIE LING is a cultural worker and guest living on the unceded territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations. She is currently organizing Marx study groups on Discord and researching New Work Poetry, Situationist comic strips, and Soviet era animation. Her books are NASCAR (Blank Cheque, 2016) and CUTS OF THIN MEAT (Spare Room, 2015). A forthcoming chapbook with House House Press (Montreal, 2021) is called MIXED MARTIAL ARTS.

TIZIANA LA MELIA was born in Palermo (IT) and raised on an orchard-garden situated on unceded Syilx (Okanangan) territory. Her artistic practice aims for holistic and non-binary considerations of matter, environment, ecology, memory, storytelling, place and language transformed into poetry, painting, collaborations, video, drawing, and installation. She is working on a new project titled The Simple Life: Country Mouse, City Mouse, Hamster – mixing personal chronicles, Aesop fable and reality television. Upcoming exhibitions and projects include Fly Robin Fly, Mecenes du Sud, Montpellier-Sete, Montpellier (FR), Comics Trip, Collection Lambert, Avignion (FR), Global Cows 2020, Images Festival, Toronto, and a book of her poetry translated into Italian, edited by Sonia D’Alto and Archive Books (Berlin/Milan).

TONI COSMOS – FLOWERS WILL NEVER COME BACK

AK027: Toni Cosmos – Flowers Will Never Come Back

Sometimes Christophe, sometimes Cobra, sometimes Tucano, for this album, he is Toni. Why, will the flowers no longer return? Enter the labyrinth and bathe in this 13-song disco-synth-punk bender. Flowers… opens up the city in which he loves you, and is a significant chapter in the prolific output of a bursting star soul.

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$6.66 digital album or cassette tape

HOUSE WIND – NIGHTHONEY: MELODIES FOR PREPARED GUITAR vol. 2

AK025 Nighthoney: Melodies for Prepared Guitar, Vol. 2 hones in on some of the more pristine sounds hinted at from Volume 1. While the focus is still on the melodic, the preparations used to modify the guitar push House Wind’s tones into new sonic territory, offering harmonic textures that sustain a visceral sublime. The compositions shimmer, churn, and resonate with a brimming sensuality evocative of an awakening.

$7 – cassette tape

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From House Wind, on his technique:

“From January through August, 2019, I worked on a technique that created incredible harmonic overtones on a prepared 12-string electric guitar. While it took a while to refine, the technique is simplicity itself, and what turns out to be an easy way of making complex live solo guitar music with a minimum of effects. Here’s how it’s done. (Note: I tried this technique on a six-string with poor results.)

1) Make a second bridge on the fretboard by sliding a heavy nail, glass dropper or pen under all the strings at, say, the 12th fret. This raises the strings from the fretboard on both sides of this added bridge.

2) Pluck or strum on the neck side of this second bridge. All playing is done on the ‘neck side’ so to speak. The strings on the right or pick-up side of the inserted bridge, unless muted for effect, are generally left completely free to vibrate.

3) Use metal finger picks on the index and middle fingers of the left hand as mini-slides to fret the notes (a regular slide can work, though with less control and precision). While there’s limited space to play, and you aren’t so much fretting the strings as caressing them, this set-up can generate unusually complex and beautiful bells, chimes and drones, using only a delay pedal to create a more kaleidoscopic effect.

Like playing natural harmonics on a guitar, you begin by locating the sweet spots that chime. What’s different from typical harmonics with this set-up is that overtone clusters seem to develop from the sympathetic vibration of the open strings on the pick-up side. Sometimes the clusters create simple drones, while at other times they could easily be mistaken for violas, organ and brass instruments. What’s striking about playing this way is that the guitar behaves like two different instruments, with the overtone clusters often building separately and distinctly from the plucked or strummed melody parts, maybe similar to the interdependent way melody and drone respond to each other on drone wind instruments like bagpipes.

Since this technique performs best with a light touch to coax out the harmonics, the notes available to play are more limited. I used several tunings for variation. But compared to most prepared guitar set-ups I’ve tried, this one bestowed more than its share of beautiful surprises and made for easy music making nearly every time I picked up the guitar. As always, it’s a double-edged sword, the heightened element of chance also meant the frustration of being unable to duplicate a particularly stunning passage of overtones.

AK Presents: A Shot is a Stanza

Inspired by The One Minutes Foundation, AgonyKlub invited 23 cultural practitioners to contribute a one minute video poem, using their phones as an entry point.

Works by (in order of appearance):
Matthew Budden, Dan Pon, Nic Hughes, Margaret Dragu, Tiziana La Melia, Karen Zolo, Isabelle Pauwels, Clark Nikolai, Katayoon Yousefbigloo, Steffanie Ling, Myles Black, Aimee Van Drimmelen, TJ Felix, Vikram Uchida-Khanna, Roxanne Panchasi, KC Wei, Barry Doupé, Pia Massie, Yusuke Shibata, Nicole Kelly Westman, Alysha Seriani, and Dan Colussi.

AK06 Magazine+ Mixtape

magazine + cassette ~ $15
Featuring new printed works by: Myles Black, Barry Doupé, Justin Gradin & Doug Wideen, Pia Massie, Trevor McEachran, Andrea Nunes, Colin Osler, Isabelle Pauwels, Jacquelyn Zong-li Ross, and Karen Zolo

With music by: Tommy Tone, Pukesword, Christophe Clébard, Sylvia Wrath, hazy, Alieen Bryant, and Organs Without Bodies.

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HOUSE WIND – LOCUSTS MAKE HONEY: MELODIES FOR PREPARED GUITAR

AK020 – HOUSE WINDLocusts Make Honey: Melodies for Prepared Guitar

A 16-track suite of altered, prepared, and shifted guitar tones evoking ‘familiar strangeness’, magic, and the ungovernable.  Mirroring the aleatory spectrum of sounds heard in nature, these melodies also affect a temporal and cultural shift, suggesting kinship with older music traditions, particularly non-Western ones, like Gamelan and Japanese shamisen and koto.  Locusts Make Honey pulses, buzzes, and enlightens.

Limited cassette run of 70 out June 1st.  Come catch a live performance and pick up a copy at the Toast Collective Sat June 1st.

$6-cassette with download code
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KAMIKAZE NURSE – BUCKY FLEUR

AK019: Kamikaze Nurse – Bucky Fleur

Kamikaze Nurse’s 10-song debut, Bucky Fleur, is an epic win from start to finish.  Swirling, sparkling, and swerving guitars, a virtuosic rhythm section, and poetically sensorial vocals all add up to a whole that can only be described as indescribable.  Just when you’ve tamed the vibe, it shifts into a brand new way.  With reference points of My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, and the Pixies, they aim high, and have created a rock masterpiece.

A limited cassette run of 50 will be available Sunday June 9th, at Music Waste, and here~!

$6-cassette with download code
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MASKARA – A VISITOR

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AK017: Maskara – A Visitor

Nic Hughes’ prolific output continues with AK017, A Visitor.  Maskara’s dagger sharp vocals castigates and scolds lovingly through the chaos of his controlled and elegant arrangements in this 9-track odyssey.  Despite the sonic punishment, there are riffs, arcing towards transgression.

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$6 – cassette tape with download code
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