Hey folks, 

In looking for a way to keep you updated every week with some new content while also holding myself accountable to both consistent writing and regular music listening, I decided to upgrade my regular “blog” into a new music listening guide. Every week, I will share some new music I’ve discovered during the week. I have to share at least one piece, although three is ideal. 

The music will be in any genre, and I will try to get a wide variety of different types of music on here. And of course, I will prioritize music by other people of color, especially those with intersecting identities. 

The best way to make sure these posts are consistent is by letting me know you read and listen to these pieces. As always, if you find any post on this page valuable, please let me know. And I would be very excited to hear your reactions to these pieces, especially if they’re new for you as well. 

So let’s jump right in with this week’s listening guide. 

Deep Listening by Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, Panaiotis

As someone who is chronically stuck on Arab time, it’s pretty clear that I am late to this party. To make matters worse, I haven’t even finished this album yet. I’m halfway through listening to it now, and in that time alone, I was transported to a sacred memory from my time at Lawrence University. 

My friend and I were in the midst of a dangerous confrontation with white nationalists, one that made the entire university unsafe for both of us. One evening, at around 10:30pm we found refuge in the racquetball room. At this time, every safe space we could find was cherished; it was a moment to celebrate vulnerability in a space where the fear of death ceased its relentless suffocation. 

For hours, we unclothed our fears and sang our hearts into this liminal space. 

In hearing this work, I’m reminded of the liminality of space, a sonic journey in the distance between matter and void. 

Violence by Time is Fire

I always felt like a fake punk kid. I love its aesthetics, but I don’t listen to that much music. But when I do listen to good punk music, I become obsessed. 

My latest obsession is with Time is Fire, a DC (local!) band lead by Iranian singer and Sufi poet Kamyar Arsani, in collaboration with Matthew Perrone (Guitars), Ashish Vyas (Bass), and Jim Thomson (Drums & Percussion). This band speaks for itself pretty well, so I’ll present it here. And maybe this will be the push I need to explore the DC Punk scene further. 

Final Thoughts and Expectations for Next Week

This week was a fun mix of deep listening research and punk exploration. I feel the most myself when listening to the right punk music, so I am very excited to explore some more DC punk bands, especially if there are more Middle Eastern based bands. 

I also plan to explore Pauline Oliveros’ music, and her legacy, more deeply. I’m incorporating deep listening as an integral component for my next piece, so I will be committed to some intense research in the coming weeks. 

Next week, you might expect similar, or perhaps more Middle Eastern Classical music. We will have to see. Until then, enjoy this awesome and inspiring music! 

Hugs,  

Nebal

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