Breathe In(fo Overload)

In voice class this week, my teacher emphasized: Singing is not something we hear, but something we feel. He gave us homework: Breathe. Huh. I breathe. But do I breathe, breathe? How come sometimes I forget to breathe? Or that I’m breathing? How do I remember to forget that I’m subconsciously remembering to breathe?

I should do my homework.


I extended this homework to Beast Monster Thing on Wednesday night, when we hosted KALX’s weekly experimental radio show Information Overload. She breathed, loud, into the mic. We asked the listeners to breathe with us. Was anyone? Were you? Are you breathing right now? Yeah. I love hosting Information Overload. I call it deejay yoga, because it pushes us outside the song → song → song format. It’s a show that wants you to stretch and play eight tracks simutaneously.

Beneath poems, screams, an Ursula K. Le Guin story and live soft-spoken French, here are three of the songs we layered:

On the ethereal side, ‘Hochu’ by Tomoyoshi Date and Stijn Hüwels is a beautiful ambient release from Tokyo label Home Normal. It’ll hum and hold you. And ‘The Weight of History’ was a surprise to me. Somehow, I missed until last week that Brian Eno collaborated with Kevin Shields (of My Bloody Valentine) for Record Store Day. Now that I’m caught up—hello, I ship this textural union 100%.

On the upbeat side, ‘Seyni’ is a Sahel Sounds release in which Ahmedou Ahmed Lowla plays Mauritanian WZN, an instrumental genre that has become a form of pop music (because pop can be anything muahah). It’s synthy. It’s brain melty. We layered three Enya songs at once after it. Yes: three. I’ve had this itch to play an excess of Enya on the radio. People tend to pigeonhole her. My mom used to put on Enya CDs for me every night. I’d fall asleep to Enya...every night. So her music is basically like my childhood lullabies. Are you going to question my lullabies? Should I link some Enya? No. I’ll leave finding Enya up to you. You can find her. Enya is everywhere. I believe in you. Enya believes in you.

Breathe out.