Joshua Kohl is a composer, sound designer, conductor, musician and co directs Degenerate Art Ensemble, a Seattle based, globe trotting performance company. His primary focus is music for the moving image; dance, film, installation. He is deeply honored to have his work included among so many incredible musicians in the Wayward in Limbo series.
1: Snapshot Spring 2021
I don’t know what this work is about, but I can tell you what was on my mind while working on it. Among my Asian and Asian American friends and family I sense a pervasive sorrow, anger, fear, and fed-up-ness in the air at this moment. A real sense of not being safe. I think about all of the times I have seen friends hurt when those around them overlook things that shouldn’t be overlooked. I think of all of the hurt that has gone unexpressed. I think of all of the moments of darkness and swallowed resentment. It surrounds my heart-mind in a thick gray cloud. “It is going to be ok, we’ve got your back”. But history… This back-getting hasn’t really materialized like it should have. We are now on the cusp of re-emergence from the strangest and most sobering year in my personal memory and I really don’t want things to go back to how they were before. They really weren’t great. A year of rude awakenings. I don’t want the coming year to be one of forgettings. This is not too much for us to handle. We have peered into our toxic mess like we have never before. Let us look again and look again. Let the shock of it all cool down to the point that we can actually open our hearts to it and move forward with determination and integrity. Sending love, courage, and strength to all of you out there in these unfolding future days. This track was made using electronics, sound libraries, home-made instruments, an autoharp, and a few bottles of other secret sauce.
2: Skeleton Flower Audio Sketchbook
This track is a string of sketches from my audio sketchbook for Degenerate Art Ensemble’s Skeleton Flower performance. These are things that were never used, or morphed into other things. Just stuff that I liked and hung on to for some reason or another.
With the Chapel closed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wayward Music Series moves from the concert hall to the living room. In place of our usual ten monthly concerts, Nonsequitur is commissioning ten Seattle artists each month to create a series of streaming audio sessions of previously unreleased material.