Supersonic x Swamp present… Performance as Catharsis
In Conversation: Natalie Sharp & Gazelle Twin
Friday 13 November 2020, 19:30 GMT
Live stream via YouTube
FREE (donations welcomed*)
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[Natalie Sharp’s BodyVice live at Supersonic 2019 – image by Joe Singh]
Supersonic was founded and is led by womxn, one of our key aims is to be an inspiring space where womxn, trans and non binary artists who are creating extraordinary new music are celebrated and recognised.
So we’ve teamed up with Swamp Booking, one of Europe’s leading independent agency, to launch a series of talks that amplify the voices and experiences of womxn, trans and non-binary artists who are creating new music. Together, we’ll be exploring how to create a better working environment and a more cohesive scene, sharing wider perspectives first-hand whilst also focusing on more specific topics such as identity, collaboration, and the use of the body in live performances.
Despite some positive trends, gender disparity is still a major concern across the wider music industry. For example, PRS for Music’s membership remains heavily skewed towards men, with only 18.4% of members identifying as female. In 2019, the top 10 female songwriters/composers in the UK generated 67% less revenue via PRS for Music compared to their top 10 male counterparts. This revealed that women, even at the top of their field, receive less opportunities than men for their music to be heard and performed.
With this in mind, together with Swamp, we kick off our first talk of this wider series on Friday 13 November (we’re not superstitious here) and turn up the mics of producer, composer and artist Elizabeth Bernholz – the genius behind Gazelle Twin and cosmic-creator Natalie Sharp aka Lone Taxidermist. This panel entitled Performance as Catharsis will be hosted by journalist, Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley.
[Gazelle Twin live at Supersonic 2018 – image by Joe Singh]
So, what is performance as catharsis? From the most primitive relics we find examples of the link made by humans between music and the body. Since ancient times, music has served many ceremonial functions, ranging from tribal circumcision to marriage and death. The ancient Egyptians depicted scenes of instrumental performance, illustrating their belief that music accompanied the body to its final meeting with the gods. They recognised not only that music was created and performed by humans, but that it would assist them to transcend their bodily confines after death.
During this talk we’ll hear how two boundlessly creative artists use the physicality of their bodies as a tool for musical self-expression and how they incorporate costume in live performances. Let’s get you acquainted with them both…
Through avant-garde electronica, Gazelle Twin’s repertoire draws from sci-fi film scores, choral music, underwater life and the paranormal. This certainly shone through in her 2015 Supersonic performance where she performed from her second album UNFLESH, a depiction of puberty, phobia, gender identity backed by unrelenting industrial-pop production. In 2018 she returned to the Supersonic stage for a UK premier of an electrifying, brand new performance surrounding her album ‘Pastoral’.
Supersonic veteran, Natalie Sharp aka Lone Taxidermist is known in equal measure for her cosmic synth creations and otherworldly costume designs. Sharp is a disabled artist at the forefront of a new wave of underground musicians, creating immersive worlds for their audiences to participate in. Often working in non-conventional settings, she challenges existing frameworks and expectations whilst exploring issues around gender and sexuality, pain and the body. She effortlessly blends stagecraft with costumes, graphic art, video making, face paint, vocal technique, remixing and DJing, pushing the parameters of live settings.