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Singing To The Machine: Orpheu The Wizard

Orpheu The Wizard (author)   
Rustan Söderling (illustrator)
Published 14 Mar 2024
Illustration by Rustan Söderling

Introducing a new mix series, where artists, selectors, and music geeks connect sounds to a broader and recurring artistic research theme that weaves through The Couch.

First up is Het HEM's music curator Orpheu de Jong under his DJ moniker Orpheu The Wizard:

"This mix consists of a selection of songs loosely revolving around the themes of Mystics of the Chthulucene, an artistic research project exploring the connections between magic and artificial intelligence. Some are linked only through title and sonic aesthetics, some in topics, and some purely associative. There are two songs from Music & Poetry of the Kesh, a 1985 album by Ursula K. Le Guin and Todd Barton, which documents the indigenous songs of an imaginary people from the Pacific Coast in a far distant future. Lee Gamble’s ‘XIth c. Spray’ contains haunting synthetic voices powered by machine learning. And in ‘Digital Ketjak’, Roberto Musci and Giovanni Venosta chop up recordings of Ketjak, a Balinese dance that has its roots in Samnghyang, a trance-inducing exorcism dance. Via titles like ‘Banshee Foam’ and ‘Dance of Electronic Neuron Circuits’, we end up with Miyako Koda’s ‘Butter’, in which an entity, likely a cyborg, ponders about what happens when being turned off, or as she says, dying once a day."

1. Ursula K. Le Guin & Todd Barton - Long Singing

2. The Fates - Who Am I (Furia)

3. Shiny Two Shiny - Ritual Hate (Waiting For Us)

4. Ursula K. Le Guin & Todd Barton - The Quail Song

5. Roberto Musci, Giovanni Venosta - Digital Ketjak

6. Lee Gamble - XIth c Spray

7. Star Searchers - Banshee Foam

8. Henry Kawahara - 電 子 ニ ュ ー ロ ン 回 路 の 舞 踏 (Dance of Electronic Neuron Circuits) (Third Mix)

9. Miyako Koda - Butter

We collected all sources in one place, so you can browse through them all.