Xiu Xiu covers Mozart as part of music / art singles series (listen); tour starts this week
Record label Cosmic Dreamer launched the "Limited Edition Curated Series" where musicians are matched with a visual artist in a series of 7" singles. The first paired John Vanderslice with experimental filmmaker Guy Maddin, and the second in the series features Xiu Xiu with artwork from Heidi Hahn. We've got the premiere of Xiu Xiu's interpretation of Mozart's "Turkish March" which is one side of the 7". Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart explains his choice:
shayna dunkelman (who plays the song on marimba) is from a political stand point interested in the idea of the "exotic" as it factors into "tiki" music and "tiki" culture and has introduced it to the band. the idea of a musical pastiche of the "orient" or the "islands" or the "east" being turned into a something for distraction and relaxation by someone from the "west" is rife with complexity, problems, possible curious results and weird history. tiki culture is a result of the soldiers from the WWII pacific theatre going to the most beautiful places on the earth and then murdering people and being murdered. their minds and hearts were destroyed but in the most beautiful setting imaginable. they came home and wanted to escape what they had done, had done to them and had seen but did not want to forget the beauty of where it occurred. as a result tiki images are usually a bizarre combination of scary masks, references to the world beyond (death) and also gorgeous women with big boobs and flowers. it is peaceful and palliative but also thinly veiled in the horrors of war.
the turkish march is one of the first examples of "exotica" in western music. mozart had an idea of what turkey was, what the east was and he wrote a piece through that lens although it has nothing to do with turkish music or culture. in the same way that martin denny wrote quiet village. it has nothing to do with polynesian music at all but it his idea of what that imaginary world is for a western listener. it is both a type of reverence and a type of racist domination. in that they felt like they could take an concept they were moved by (this concept of course being an entire culture and history) and reduce it to a musical whim.
and titularly it is a comment on the syrian refugee crisis with obvious implications and parallels.
Listen to that, and read a little more about artist Heidi Hahn, below. The single comes with a 12x12 signed print of the artwork. Order yours here.
Xiu Xiu just played his take on the Twin Peaks score at Big Ears festival, and will be in the NYC area to play Brooklyn Bazaar on April 6 with Dreamcrusher and Gold Dime (tickets) and Jersey City’s WFMU Monty Hall on April 11 with The Use and Rachel Mason (tickets). Updated dates are listed below.
Heidi Hahn is a Brooklyn based painter who has shown extensively in New York and internationally. She is represented by Jack Hanley Gallery in New York, holds an MFA from Yale University, and has been an artist in residence at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, The Fine Arts Work Center, Yaddo, and the Headlands Center for the Arts. Her dark and introspective paintings have been written about in publications including The New York Times, Art in America, and The Huffington Post.
Xiu Xiu - 2017 Tour Dates
Mar. 30th – Detroit, MI – El Club
Mar. 31st – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle
Apr. 1st – Jacksonville, FL – The Sleeping Giant Film Festival
Apr. 6th – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bazaar
Apr. 7th – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
Apr. 8th – Harrisburg, PA – Cathedral Room at Der Maennerchor
Apr. 9th – Baltimore, MD – The Wind-Up Space
Apr. 11th – Jersey City, NJ – Monty Hall
Apr.12th – New Haven, CT – Bar
Apr. 13th – Providence, RI – Colombus Theatre
Apr. 14th – Portsmouth, NH – 3SArtspace
Apr. 15th – Boston, MA – The Hardcore Stadium